Best Beaches in Zanzibar


Zanzibar is considered to be one of the most amazing beach areas in Africa, if not worldwide. 

Whether you prefer to relax on the white beaches or benefit from the excellent snorkeling and diving conditions, there are numerous areas to choose from. For first-time visitors, in particular, it is highly advised that you check whether your chosen area matches your planned activities and expectations. 


The north-west part of the island is well-known for its almost non-existent tidal issues, as opposed to the east coast, where the tide impact might mean that the ocean can be a few hundred metres from the resorts during periods of low-tide.



Kendwa Beach

(North-west, 56 km from Stone Town)
One of the most popular beaches in Zanzibar with many luxurious hotel options. Unlike most other areas of Zanzibar, the Kendwa beach is not affected by any sort of tide impact. It is therefore the ideal place if you are looking to swim all day long, without having to walk a long way out to reach the ocean. However, because the ocean is so calm, it is not suitable for kiting or other similar sports. Kendwa is slightly more relaxed than Nungwi, with a number of diving centres and some parties over the weekends and around the full moon.


Nungwi Beach
(North, 59 km from Stone Town)

The main part of Nungwi beach is pretty lively, with many hotels and bars, plus the local fisherman area is a must to visit. The Mnarani Aquarium is located here, and houses a number of rescued turtles.


The further north area of Nungwi hides an unspoiled empty beach area, where you barely see anyone.


Pongwe Beach

(North-east, 36 km from Stone Town)

An ideal place for those that want to relax in a quiet area and, if they want to take part in some of the activities on offer, don’t mind travelling for around an hour to reach the various watersports such as snorkeling and diving.


Matemwe Beach

(North-east, 50 km from Stone Town)

A fairly unspoiled area where, during the low tide period, the ocean turns into a coral desert that is ideal for taking photos and enjoying the various shades of turquoise from the pool areas. A great starting point for the Mnemba island snorkeling/diving trips that are nearby.


Kiwengwa Beach

(East, 46 km from Stone Town)

Probably best for the all-inclusive resort lovers. The beach is good for families with children and the number of beach boys is less than around Stone Town or in central Nungwi. A visit to the Kiwengwa Pongwe forest is an optional activity.


Paje Beach

(South-east, 57 km from Stone Town)

The easiest place to find a lodge on the beach front, it is a prime location for kite-surfing (December–February and May–October). Due to the tide, and the kiters themselves, this beach is not that suitable for regular swimming in the ocean.


Jambiani Beach

(South-east, 56 km from Stone Town)

The most lived-in area in the south-east, offering an interesting choice of dining and for observing the local lifestyle (particularly the seaweed farmers and fishermen). This is also an ideal area for bike hire, especially during low-tide when swimming in the ocean is not possible.


Bwejju, Dongwe, Pongwe Beach

(South-east, 56 km from Stone Town)

This is a wonderful beach, except during Christmas when it is affected by seaweed cover. It is a quiet area that is ideal for travellers that prefer to have no mobile signal and seek the Hakuna Matata atmosphere at the time of electricity power cuts. It is recommended that visitors avoid night walks on the beach.


Kizimkazi Beach

(South, 60 km from Stone Town)

Famous for dolphin sightings and dhow boats tours, this is not really a beach destination due to having the biggest differences between high and low tides in the whole of Zanzibar. The oldest East African Shirazi Dimbai mosque, dated 1107, is located nearby and is accessible for a visit.