Top 5 Zanzibar Beaches

by Mark Wiens on July 4, 2011 · 21 comments

Zanzibar beaches

Beaches of Zanzibar

The archipelago of Zanzibar consists of 2 main islands: Unguja and Pemba. Unguja is by far the most populous and more famous of the islands, also commonly known just as Zanzibar Island. This list of Zanzibar beaches is from the main Zanzibar Island.

Zanzibar is located in the Indian Ocean, just 25 km off the coast of mainland Tanzania. It’s easy to either take a short plane ride or a ferry from the capital Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar.

Myself and a few friends having lunch at Nungwi

Myself and a few friends having lunch at Nungwi

Ras Nungwi

The Northern tip of Zanzibar is special. Unlike the East and West coastlines, the top island location is blessed by not having to deal with high and low tides. This makes Nungwi a perfect place if you are looking to swim around the clock without have to walk far out to sea to chase the ocean.

Nungwi is known for it’s party atmosphere, yet it’s not to be compared with party beach destinations elsewhere in the world. There are a number of bars and clubs, but the entire atmosphere remains Zanzibari style, chilled out and low key.

Sunset at Kendwa

Sunset at Kendwa

Kendwa

Adjascent to Nungwi, within walking distance, is Kendwa – probably my personal favorite beach on Zanzibar. It’s a little more laid back and a little less happening than Nungwi, which makes it a premiere place to lazy around.

The day’s are passed by relaxing on the beach, taking dips in the perfectly turquoise water and catching shade under a banda (small shade hut). When the sun begins to set, there’s always a friendly game of beach volleyball or football amongst whoever happens to be there at the time.

Paje Beach

Paje Beach

Paje

One of the more popular Southeastern beach towns on Zanzibar is Paje. It’s a great place to visit if you enjoy swimming in the ocean but also interacting with other travelers. There’s a good selection of bungalows, small restaurants, and beach bars.

Paje is one of the better areas on the island to go if you are interested in learning how to SCUBA dive, or practicing other water sports like windsurfing or kite surfing.

Bwejuu, Zanzibar

Bwejuu, Zanzibar

Bwejuu

Just North of Paje, is the seaweed fishing village of Bwejuu. It’s not the most pleasant beach on the island in terms of  swimming, but it has a truly unique form of natural beauty. If you are looking for a quiet beach town without even having to consider interacting with others, Bwejuu is a choice beach.

The thing I love most about Bewjuu is the swaying palm trees that are so lanky they look like they could snap off, but instead remain limber, dancing to the Zanzibari wind.

Kiwengwa

The Northeastern coast also has some of the best Zanzibar beaches. A few of the fanciest hotels on the island have claimed spots near Kiwengwa, where pure stretches of sand seem to go on forever.

Kiwengwa is a fantastic beach if you are looking to splurge a little and enjoy the exclusive peace of Zanzibar.

The entire island of Zanzibar is filled with natural beauty everywhere you look. No matter which beach you choose, you can be assured you’ll be surrounded by that laid back island attitude that is the spirit of Zanzibar.

About the Author:

is the author of 154 posts on Go Backpacking.

Mark was raised in central Africa before migrating back to the US for University. After graduating, he decided to continue traveling the world. On Migrationology, he shares the cultural side of travel from a slow paced local perspective that often revolves around his love for eating all forms of food. Join him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @migrationology, and add him on Google Plus.

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Categories: Features, Tanzania
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21 Comments

Puertoricoistheplace July 6, 2011 at 4:01 am

Beautiful choices indeed! Thanks for sharing!

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Mark Wiens July 6, 2011 at 3:13 pm

No problem! Glad you liked it!

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Mark Wiens July 6, 2011 at 3:13 pm

No problem! Glad you liked it!

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saddam fuad November 10, 2011 at 9:54 am

alot bro i realy like it bt i”ll be there

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Mark Wiens July 6, 2011 at 3:13 pm

No problem! Glad you liked it!

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TheWorldExplorers July 12, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Zanzibar is one of the first stops on our trip RTW.  Thank you for the tips I’ll have to check it against the place we are staying!

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Dave July 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Sweet. I’d love to get to Tanzania too!

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Dave July 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Sweet. I’d love to get to Tanzania too!

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saddam fuad November 10, 2011 at 9:55 am

u r welcome bro hope u will enjoy

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matee February 7, 2012 at 3:34 am

hello kindly wanted to know the best month i could come to visit zanzibar.Am looking at a month that is not too hot.thank u

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Vicky April 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Cool, this has got me really excited for my trip to Zanzibar in June. Can’t wait to try scuba diving and kitesurfing!

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Nina April 8, 2012 at 4:43 am

So true, i was in Kiwengwa and Ras Nungwi during my trip. Unforgettable places and having a paradise beach almost to myself – priceless!

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Jola May 17, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Hello Mark,
There is 8 of us coming to Zanzibar after the Kilimanjaro Expedition in September/October this year.
My guide has booked a hotel named casa del mar, which I don’t like at all!
I have been checking other hotels that would have a nice swimable beach, nice palm trees, scuba diving, and other activities.
Would you help us find a nicer hotel in the price range up to $300US?
Thank you!

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Armands Balodis July 24, 2012 at 5:22 am

I am a bit jealous. I would love to be in a beach like in the photos above instead of sitting in the office.

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Nuria October 15, 2012 at 6:11 am

Hi! We,re trying to chose between kiwegwa and nungwi, but we’re not sure. We are looking for relaxing not beach boys bothering around and amazing dips. Could you recommend us? Thanks

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Gkongo January 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm

How many beach boys you want Ms. Nuri?

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Fredrick April 30, 2013 at 12:48 am

I look forward to being in Zanzibar today and assess your take. Thanks for the information.

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sele April 30, 2013 at 1:38 am

that is our place, you are wll come to any questions please

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wilfredo vives July 21, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Thanks Mark for taking your time to show to others places like Zanzibar.
Our family( and especially my wife and me) love to spend our holidays in Zanzibar. We have been going there for six consecutive years and have special memories of Blue Bay hotel where we stayed for the past 5 trips to Zanzibar. I am going (most probably soon to leave Africa) but I will always keep fond memories of Zanzibar. It is really a place to rest and enjoy warm waters and quite decent food.

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Samson July 28, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Hi Mark Wiens , you deserve a reward for your perfect description about what somebody can enjoy in Zanzibar and it`s all true. Well done and thank and you !!

I live in Zanzibar and can agree with you of all you said [redacted]

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Bernard October 25, 2013 at 1:15 am

Hi I was in zanzibar last year and it was great I booked a blue ocean trip and hire a motorbike with a beach boy called verimark but lost his number can any body help me with his Selfoon number

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