The best beaches in Zanzibar. Tanzania

Beaches in Tanzania

Tanzania has become a real godsend for tourists who cultivate beach holidays. Thanks to the generosity of nature, not too rich country has turned into a paradise, where travelers from all corners of the planet rush to. The most visited resort was the island of Zanzibar.

Land of eternal summer

If you look at the world map, you will find Tanzania in the southern hemisphere, in the east of the African continent. This means that the concepts of summer and winter in Tanzania and Russia are diametrically opposed. So when is the season in Zanzibar for a beach holiday most acceptable?

To the delight of tourists, swimming in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Tanzania is possible all year round. Water temperature ranges from 25-28 °, and the air is warm to 29-30 °. The exception is the rainy seasons, which occur in April, May and November. These periods are not suitable for swimming. Rain falls from the sky, there is a lot of wind, and the waves are high. During the rest of the months, the weather is fine for a beach holiday, despite the possibility of precipitation.

The strait, 40 km wide, separates the mainland from the archipelago of Zanzibar, the beaches of which are considered the best on the entire continent.

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Features of local beaches

To choose the best place in the sun, before the trip does not hurt to read tourist reviews in Russian and find out what they are, the best beaches in Zanzibar? The fact that the colorful photos on the Internet do not always correspond to reality. Almost all of them are made at high tide, from a good angle. The description boils down to the azure ocean, snow-white beaches and delightful sunsets. The picture changes after low tide, when the water for hundreds of meters away from the shore, and in front of you is a giant puddle of shells and sea urchins.

But do not be alarmed. The most powerful tides are observed in the middle of the day, and the best hours for swimming fall in the morning and evening. And yet, you must agree that admiring the paradisiacal scenery is much more pleasant than wandering along the bottom, getting tangled in seaweed and bumping into stones.

Here is an overview of the beaches on Zanzibar:

  • The north coast is famous for its beautiful coral lagoons and calm, low tide beaches;
  • The northeast with its fantastic underwater world will appeal to divers;
  • the southeast with its winds and waves will appeal to fans of water sports;
  • On the east coast the water recedes 1,5-2 km at low tide, exposing the bottom with sea stars, urchins and other sea life.

All beaches on Zanzibar are free. You just have to choose on a map the best of them. So here we go.


Nungwi beach is the most beautiful and popular beach on the north coast. From the strong waves the beach is sheltered by a coral reef, which is actively explored by divers. Entrance to the water is shallow, very comfortable, and the bottom is flat, pleasant for the feet. The rich turquoise color of the water, dazzling white sand – a great background for your vacation photos.

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Nearby is the village of Nungwi with rustic huts, stores and stalls with street food. The whole first line is occupied by hotels, stores, cafes and restaurants with national cuisine with fresh seafood.

The main advantage is the absence of tides. Favorite activities of vacationers: diving, sap surfing, beach volleyball. And in the evening tourists admire the colorful sunsets and watch the dance of the Maasai.

Reviews: ideal beach, equally suitable for family, youth and romantic holidays. The only drawback is a lot of people.


On the map of beaches south of Nungwi on the sandy spit is Kendwa beach. It takes no more than 30 minutes to walk to it. It is about two kilometers long and 150-200 meters wide in places. The beach features:

  • the rapid set of depths;
  • a strong current;
  • comfortable entry into the water;
  • the bottom without barbed urchins, but with sea stars;
  • imperceptible tides;
  • well-developed infrastructure;
  • entertainment – jet ski, “bananas”, sailing, beach volleyball, swimming with turtles.

Kendwa has a strong reputation as a beach for millionaires. The reason for this assessment was fashionable resorts on the ocean. But if you want you can stay in a modest hotel with all the amenities.

Reviews: a lot of opportunities for recreation, straining the abundance of scooters and sailboats near the shore.

Because of the current and depth the place is not suitable for recreation with small children.


Another beach with minimal tide is located in the center of the east coast of the island, at an equal distance from its northern and southern tip. This is Paje, or, as it is often called by tourists, Paje Beach.

In this place, the ocean does not go all the way down, remaining about knee-deep. When the water arrives, it is up to your chest and neck at the most. The bottom is flat, with soft white sand, but barefoot to go in is not recommended. There is a risk to run into a sea urchin.

Active tourists will not be bored. Right on the beach is a diving center and two schools of kiteboarding, where you can get skills from an experienced instructor.

Infrastructure is developed: a lot of hotels, restaurants, stores, bungalows on the beach. Organized rental sailboats, scooters, snorkeling equipment.

Feedback: a very beautiful beach, without stones and algae, as well as the best kiteboarding in all of Zanzibar.


Matembe is a favorite destination of Italian tourists, located in the northeast of the island, near the village of the same name. Around the expensive hotels there are green lawns, cozy air-conditioned bungalows on the beach, and the staff speaks fluent Italian. But outside the resorts infrastructure is almost non-existent, although several inexpensive hotels have already been opened.

The beach is not crowded, with a wide sand spit and a lot of sea life – sea urchins, starfish, crabs. The sea is shallow, you can swim only during the tide, which is very high here. The powerful tide allows you to walk to the coral reef, which is located 700 meters from the shore.

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Local residents vying with each other to invite tourists to sea fishing with their own boats. Vacationers on the shore are entertained with dance shows with the participation of Maasai.

Reviews: ideal beach for an expensive, secluded vacation.


Jambiani beach does not boast a wealth of infrastructure and comfort. The shore is sandy, but the bottom is covered with slippery rocks, slabs and algae that appear before your eyes at low tide. The water goes far away, so swimming here is problematic.

The entertainment industry is completely absent. There are no discos, no bars and restaurants. Along the first line in a row are about 50 hotels, which carefully clean their territory from algae and sea urchins. If you are not prepared to rent a room for $ 300, you will swim in the company of prickly sea creatures.

Reviews: you can put up with some inconveniences and get cheap snorkeling, kitesurfing, a dolphin tour and Monkey Park nearby in return.


Nakupenda Beach is located on the west side of Zanzibar, near Stone Town. The place is characterized by a particularly beautiful emerald hue of the water. Combined with the celestial blue and snow-white framing, the landscape looks particularly picturesque. The African color and friendliness of the locals complete the picture of paradise.

The beach has a reputation as a disappearing island. At high tides its surface almost completely disappears under the water.

On a small but clean beach can easily accommodate 200-300 people. The entrance to the sea is gentle, the bottom is flat, sandy, without sharp drops. Colorful reefs and sea creatures are permanent. The entire infrastructure is imported – souvenirs, delicious street dinners of fresh seafood.

Reviews: one of the best places in Zanzibar, worth a day’s attention.


Kivengwa Beach is in no way inferior to the promoted Maldivian beaches. The gorgeous ocean scenery, snow-white ribbon of beaches, and sprawling trees on the shore provide the perfect backdrop for photo shoots. Honeymooners, couples in love, and ubiquitous Italians flock here to the northeast coast.

Adding to the charm are the hammocks hanging from the trees, the many wooden boats on the shore and the locals in brightly colored African clothing. The picture is spoiled by the powerful tides and high tides, the waves bring a lot of seaweed, which the staff are constantly cleaning. Restaurants, bars, stores and souvenir shops are lined up on the beach. Villagers are ready to take you on sea fishing or on a tour of the island.

Reviews: very expensive resorts and hotels, excellent service, great deserted beach.

When you see such beauty, all your regrets about spending money will melt like smoke. You’ll be left with a vivid impression and a piece of the sun’s warmth, which Zanzibar so generously shares.

The best beaches for swimming in Zanzibar – Top 8

The main island of the archipelago, Zanzibar is traditionally an attractive destination for tourists lured by a beach holiday on the picturesque oceanfront. The beaches of Zanzibar, where the water is clear and the wide shoreline is covered in white sand, are rightly considered some of the best in the Indian Ocean.

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Best Beaches for Swimming in Zanzibar

What makes a beach holiday in Zanzibar attractive

Sea Temperature

The geographical position of the island is such that the temperature almost never drops below 21 degrees, and this in August, and holds throughout the year averages between 29-31 degrees and a minimum of about 24. Therefore the summer here is all year round, although the calendar falls on our winter months – Zanzibar is, after all, in the southern hemisphere. The sea, respectively, warms up to 25-28 degrees, depending on the month.

The swimming season on the best beaches of Zanzibar lasts almost the whole year, except for the rainy season, which falls in April and May and November. It is still possible to swim during this time, as one never knows for sure either the amount of rain or its intensity. However, there are also the heaviest, longest rainstorms that affect the whole island.

Beach Holiday in Zanzibar

Despite these sporadic “buts” that arise only a couple of times a year, in general, the resort island of Zanzibar – a very suitable place just for a beach holiday. Especially if the vacation fell far from summer. It remains to choose the best beach for swimming in the whole island: with or without the tide, with a beautiful shore, safe bottom and comfortable service!

Nakupenda Beach – vivid colors of the ocean

Of all the photos of Zanzibar’s beaches, Nakupenda Beach stands out for the emerald blue hues of the sea water. The scenery, framed by the snow-white coastal sand under the deep blue sky, looks especially picturesque. Visiting tourists are attracted by the colorfulness and friendliness of local residents, who complement the overall picture of paradise.

Nakupenda Beach

The beach is called the disappearing island of Nakupenda, in fact, the surface of the beach island is regularly hidden under the water because of the strong tides. It is located near Stone Town in the western part of the island. The infrastructure is all imported, as are the visitors – tourists. However, they all say in one voice that this is the best place, and it is worth it to get to it and see everything with your own eyes.

Seafood Vendors

The beach is relatively small, but clean and attended – without problems accommodate two or three hundred vacationers. Coverage of the coast exclusively sandy, the entrance to the sea is comfortable, a lot of boats for walks and excursions, various diving options, visually accessible sea bottom dwellers, fish and even dolphins. They offer great hearty lunches – lots of seafood (always fresh), beans, fries and drinks. Also, souvenirs, colorful reefs, plenty of photo opportunities and new experiences.

Jambiani Beach – the lure of the tides

On the beach map of Zanzibar Jambiani is marked near the southeast end of the island. It is one of the most remote spots of the resort and for this reason is less visited by tourists.

Jambiani Beach

The shoreline is fine white sand, according to reviews from vacationers, cool even in the heat. The seabed consists of coral slabs, in some distance from the shore of thickets of algae, some of them after the tide falls on the beach. The ocean inhabitants are different: sea urchins, starfish, cucumbers, crabs, etc., which delights children.

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Ocean Dwellers

When entering the sea, you should be careful – there are rocks on the bottom, which become clearly visible at low tide. This discomfort can be corrected with the help of special slippers. Lovers of tides will be able to observe kilometers of these striking natural phenomena, wander the open spaces, get acquainted with the fauna.

It is renowned for its quietness and low population, the best place for a secluded holiday, aided by numerous small cafes, cozy and inexpensive. There is a market in a nearby village and little service on the beach itself.

Kendwa Beach for lovers of beaches without tides

Among Zanzibar’s best low-tide beaches, travelers often choose Kendwa Beach. Small in length, with a wide beachfront, it is considered the most attractive on the northwest coast. From the nearby popular Nungwi Beach, it’s about a half-hour walk south along the sandy spit. Although it has been observed that the water there is sometimes muddy.

Kendwa Beach

In general, Kendwa is known for its white sand and turquoise-colored sea. It is usually crowded, as there are many hotels and restaurants nearby, as well as small stores and vendors. Due to the high competition, prices are quite low. Entrance to the water is comfortable, without urchins, but with beautiful starfish. Near some hotels and cafes, you can use a beach umbrella or a beach chair when you buy, for example, a drink.

Nungwi Beach – beauty on the beach and under the water

Nungwi Beach is located at the northernmost point of the resort island and is considered one of the best beaches in Zanzibar for swimming at low tide. The main local attraction is the coral reef, to which divers are actively descending. The sand is also coral, soft, white, and not heated in the sun. The color of the water delights tourists with rich shades of turquoise sea. Entering the water is comfortable, the sea is clear and clean. Tides and tides are small.

Nungwi Beach

The beach is visited by many tourists, from here begins popular boat trips to the archipelago islands. Many consider Nungwi the best place for swimming holidays because of the lack of waves. A huge number of hotels and restaurants provide all kinds of amenities, fresh seafood, quality dinners, inexpensive menu. In the evenings you can enjoy beautiful sunsets and watch the Maasai dancing.

Paje Beach – ideal for kiting

Takes the east coast five kilometers north of Jambiani Beach. The beach is expansive, roughly equidistant from the extremities (north and south) of Zanzibar. This place has a lack of stones on the seabed and is considered one of the shallowest and flattest – so best suited for holidays with children. The weather is always perfect.

Paje Beach

Paje Beach belongs to the beaches of Zanzibar with almost no ebb and flow – the water is relatively gentle and stays around your knee and arrives around your chest-neck. The sand is white and smooth, when entering the water, you must be careful not to get on the hedgehog and it is better to use special shoes.

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On this beach there is a kite school.

There are two kite schools, which help you quickly learn the technique of riding a board. You can rent a kite and ride on your own with a paddle. Nearby there are many restaurants, cafes, hotels, it is possible to book a bungalow right on the shore. Thanks to the dive center, scooter rentals, sailboats for trips to the reef, the place is quite popular with tourists, it is almost always crowded.

Matemwe Beach – high tides for swimming

Located on the northeast coast of the island, near the village of the same name. Matemwe is characterized by hotels, which are the best place for Italian tourists. The hotels are expensive and the staff speaks Italian. There are well-kept green lawns around and air-conditioned bungalows on the coast. Although the beach itself is not very crowded.

Matemwe Beach

The sand spit is wide, the coast is rolled up and comfortable, the breeze is warm. The seashore is abundantly populated by wildlife – hedgehogs, stars, crabs and other creatures make you wear special shoes while swimming. The tide is very high, and since the sea is shallow, you can swim almost only when the water comes in. There are many offers from boat owners to fish, from the Maasai to see a show or to travel with excursions.

Uroa Bay – distinctive and colorful

Uroa is on the east coast of Zanzibar, about 40 km from Stone Town. Locals are active on the beach – their village is nearby and there is a seaweed farm. The tides are very remote – the water goes for 2-3 km. At low tide, women come to collect seafood or to work on seaweed plantations. Beautiful shells can be found on walks along the tidal shores.

Uroa Bay

The sand is white and soft, the entrance to the sea is almost safe, there are not many urchins, the water is bright green shades. Locals offer tours, including Russian-speaking, as well as henna painting, souvenirs, you can order. Directly on the beach is not crowded – tourists prefer to rest at their hotels.

Kiwengwa Beach – Beach Recreation and Entertainment

One of the best beaches in Zanzibar for swimming is Kiwengwa. It is on the northeast coast, with a good ebb and flow. The sand is white and soft, the ocean bright blue hues, palm groves sheltering hotels in the shade. Swimming is comfortable, the bottom is clean. The beach abounds with offerings from local vendors and demanding local kids. There is a lot of music, performances, and fun, but you can also find secluded spots.

Kiwengwa Beach

For tourists who visit the beaches of Zanzibar, it is an unforgettable time full of new experiences, admiring the beauties and definitely a desire to return!

The beaches on the island of Zanzibar, described in the article, are marked on the map in Russian.

Author: Galina Beregovaya

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