Top 5 Zanzibar Beaches

by Mark Wiens on July 4, 2011 · 22 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


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


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


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.


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 164 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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