The 10 most popular and beautiful beaches of Zanzibar

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Martí Micolau

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Of Tanzania we usually hear about the wonderful parks, famous for safaris, but when it comes to the sea ... the reference to the island of Zanzibar is inevitable: white beaches, palm trees and emerald colored waters: here are 10 of the most beautiful beaches of the Zanzibar archipelago!


  1. Nakupenda beach
  2. Jambiani Beach
  3. Kendwa Beach
  4. Paje Beach
  5. Matemwe Beach
  6. Vumawimbi Beach
  7. Misali Island
  8. Uroa Bay
  9. Nugwi Beach
  10. Prison Island
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Nakupenda Beach

Nakupenda Beach is a beach located on the islet of the same name, which has the curious habit of disappearing from the sight of tourists. During high tide, which occurs from the late afternoon, the coasts of Nakupenda are gradually covered by water, which make it practically invisible.

  • Where it is: along the east coast at Stone Town, Zanzibar - Get directions
  • Ideal for: relaxation and snorkeling
  • Type: White sand

2 - Jambiani Beach

Jambiani beach is located near a quaint fishing village. The phenomenon of the tides, present here in a greater way, allows you to observe the spectacular play of colors implemented by the wet sand, which takes on dozens of different shades.

  • Where it is: south eastern coast of the island, near Jambiani, Tanzania. Reachable thanks to taxis mainly found in the Stone Town area - Get directions
  • Ideal for: relaxation, walks on the beach, snorkeling in the coral reef
  • Type: White sand

3 - Kendwa Beach

Kendwa Beach is made up of three kilometers of white sand, which joins with a sea of ​​turquoise waters. Here the phenomenon of the tides is less pronounced than on other beaches but, when the water recedes, it is still possible to observe the splendid starfish.
In the evening, the inhabitants flock to the beach, staging characteristic dances, wearing their colorful dresses. the suggestive sunsets make it a particularly romantic area

  • Where it is: Kendwa, north west coast of Zanzibar - Get directions
  • Ideal for: nightlife, snorkeling
  • Type: White sand

4 - Paje Beach

Paje is a very windy resort, which makes it particularly suitable for lovers of water sports, especially Kitesurfing. Furthermore, this white beach is strongly affected by the phenomenon of the tides, which leads the sea to retreat for many hours of the day, returning "bathing" in the afternoon. While waiting for the water to return, it is still possible to take walks on the beach, looking for starfish and large urchins.
In the village behind there are several local stalls and shops, which provide everything you need without having to travel too far.

  • Where it is: east coast of Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar archipelago - Get directions
  • Ideal for: nightlife, water sports
  • Type: White sand

5 - Matemwe Beach

The beautiful beach of Matemwe is a very long sandy coastline with splendid colors, far from mass tourism. Like other beaches, it is subject to the phenomenon of tides, which occur four times a day in this area. On the one hand, this can make bathing difficult on the other allows you to go on foot to the coral reef, where it will be possible to observe marine fauna with the naked eye.

  • Where it is: South East Coast of Zanzibar - Get directions
  • Ideal for: relaxation, romance
  • Type: White sand

6 - Vumawimbi Beach

Vumawimbi Beach is a palm-fringed and wooded beach. Until recently this was an area not very busy, and today it is still in the process of "development": for this reason it is good to bring food and water with you. In return the beach has crystal clear waters and a natural swimming pool ideal for snorkeling. Furthermore, it is not uncommon to be able to enjoy the company of some nice child, residing in the surrounding area.

  • Where it is: Kigomasha Penisula, North West Corner of Pemba - Get directions
  • Ideal for: relaxation, romance, snorkeling
  • Type: White sand

7 - Misali Island

Misali Island is a beautiful island covered with a small forest and magnificent beaches. Surrounded by coral reefs, the island gives the opportunity to experience a real adventure in contact with nature. The white beach and the sea of ​​incredible colors, give the opportunity to enjoy a pleasant snorkeling.
Furthermore, it is possible to visit all the beaches of the island with a short trek inside the forest, during which there will be the opportunity to spot some monkeys.

  • Where it is: west of Pemba and north of Zanzibar. Short boat trip departing from Misali - Get directions
  • Ideal for: relaxation, romance, snorkeling, trekking
  • Type: White sand

8 - Uroa Bay

Uroa Bay is a long strip of sand that winds between resorts, houses and a crystal clear sea. Used as a refuge from the chaos that characterizes the surrounding areas, very popular with tourists, even Uroa, during the phenomenon of low tide, offers a spectacle that is difficult to forget: the beach takes on shades that make it multicolored.
In addition to the large sea urchins and starfish, on the beaches of the bay it will be possible to observe and photograph but not collect, too some of the most characteristic shells in the world.

  • Where it is: North West Coast of Zanzibar - Get directions
  • Ideal for: relaxation, romance, walks, photography
  • Type: White sand

9 - Nugwi Beach

Twenty kilometers long, Nungwi beach is particularly windy, and therefore suitable for water sports. The low tide to which the area is subject several times a day makes the backdrops perfectly visible even to the naked eye. During the walks, recommended for the purpose of sighting the beautiful starfish and colorful fish, it will also be possible to witness glimpses of life lived by the local inhabitants, residing in the surrounding villages.

  • Where it is: East coast of Zanzibar - Get directions
  • Ideal for: relaxation, romance, walking, sailing water sports
  • Type: White sand

10 - Prison Island

Prison Island, also known as Changuu or Quarantine Island is an island in the Zanzibar archipelago, with a very particular history. Uninhabited until 1860, this was donated by the sultan of Zanzibar to two Arab slave traders, who they turned it into a place of detention for slaves that created problems. Subsequently, the British Prime Minister of Zanzibar bought the island again, later having the prison to which it owes its name built. At the beginning of the twentieth century, with the spread of yellow fever, the prison was converted into a hospital, and the island was used as a quarantine, with the subsequent birth of the name "Quarantine Island".
In addition to the excursion to the ruins of the prison, the island offers the opportunity to relax on the beach in the company of colony of friendly giant tortoises, who reside there, to the delight of young and old.

  • Where it is: 6km northwest of Stone Town - Get directions
  • Ideal for: relaxation, walks, family vacation
  • Type: White sand

When to go? Info on climate and best time

  • Weather: On the coast, the climate is warm all year round, with two rainy seasons in the northern part, and one in the southern part. The sea temperature fluctuates throughout Tanzania between 25 ° in August and 29 ° in the summer months - more info on climate and best time in Zanzibar
  • Best time: from mid-December to the end of February and from June to October.
  • Period to avoid: from March to May due to sudden, frequent and sudden storms.

Plan your trip to Zanzibar: info on flights, hotels and tours

To enter Tanzania it is necessary to have a passport, with residual validity of six months at the time of entry, and a visa: it is possible to request it at the embassy in Rome or at the consulate in Milan. If you are flying with scheduled airlines, the visa will be paid only upon entry while, in the case of tour operator charters, the tax will be paid upon exit: strictly in cash, and with dollars not prior to 2006.
Taxis are the only solution to be able to move easily within the cities, the only alternative to matatus: old and slow minibuses, which cannot be used if you do not know the area well.

  • flights to Zanzibar or Dar Es Salam from € 395,52 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 20,00 per room -

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