Skip to Content

Top 5 Zanzibar Beaches (and Where to Stay)

A beautiful Zanzibar beach
Zanzibar beach (photo: Nici Keil from Pixabay)

The archipelago of Zanzibar consists of two 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.

How To Find the Best Accommodation Deals in Zanzibar

Most of the popular search engines (Booking.com, Agoda, etc.) have a range of accommodation options in Zanzibar.

However, we recommend you start your search with Hotels Combined, which combs all the popular booking sites to find the best price.

We've included some great deals near each beach below.

Myself and a few friends having lunch at Nungwi
Myself and a few friends having lunch at Nungwi

1. Ras Nungwi Beach

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 having to walk far out to sea to chase the ocean.

Nungwi is known for its party atmosphere, yet it's not to be compared with party beach destinations elsewhere in the world.

There are many bars and clubs, but the entire atmosphere remains Zanzibari style, chilled out, and low key.

Where to Stay in Zanzibar: Nungwi

Lighthouse Guesthouse – A double room can be had for about $25. Breakfast is included. 

Mabwe Roots Bungalows – Get a budget double bungalow with a balcony and sea view for about $45. Breakfast is included. 

Kendwa Beach on Zanzibar Island
Kendwa Beach (photo: Yoni Lerner)

2. Kendwa Beach

Adjacent to Nungwi, within walking distance, is Kendwa – probably my favorite beach on Zanzibar.

It's a little more laid back and a little less happening than Nungwi, which makes it a premier place to laze around.

The days 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.

Where to Stay in Zanzibar: Kendwa

Royal Palm Kendwa – A “king room” with two king beds can be had for about $60 a night. So if you can get some friends together, this could be a reasonably cheap option.

Mocco Beach Villa – Ok so rooms here aren't super cheap but among the most affordable on this beach. Depending on the time of year, rooms can be had for $75 – $90US, and breakfast is included.

Paje, Zanzibar
Paje Beach (photo: Konstantin Zamkov)

3. 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.

Where to Stay in Zanzibar: Paje

Summer Dream Lodge – This well-liked place has dorms starting at about $17 per bunk, per night, and double rooms for about $40 ($25 for a single). Breakfast is included.

Demani Lodge Zanzibar – Another very well-liked spot, complete with a swimming pool, has bunks in dorms starting at about $20 per night. Doubles with shared bath, $44, and doubles with private bathroom, $55. Breakfast included.

Bwejuu
Bwejuu, Zanzibar

4. Bwejuu Beach

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 lean they look like they could snap off, but instead remain limber, dancing to the Zanzibari wind.

Where to Stay in Zanzibar: Bwejuu

Helwa Zanzibar Beach Bungalows – Rooms at this small guesthouse go from $45 – $65 depending on single or double occupancy. Breakfast is included.

Villa Bwejuu – A stay in this relatively new villa goes for about $60 per night for a double room with a private bath.

5. Kiwengwa Beach

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 simple 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.

Where to Stay in Zanzibar: Kiwenga

Sipano Beach Lodge – You can get a single room on this beachfront property for $25 or a double for $30 per night. Breakfast is included, and even a small mini-market on site.

Family Beach Bungalows – Room prices here are between $30 – $40 for a standard double room, based on single or double occupancy. Breakfast is included, and they have car rental available for more exploring.

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.

***

Planning a trip to Tanzania? Include Zanzibar in your itinerary when you book a small-group tour with G Adventures

Serengeti Safari & Zanzibar is a 12-day trip from the city of Arusha to Stone Town on Zanzibar. Go on safaris in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater before relaxing on the white-sand beaches of Zanzibar.

Kilimanjaro – Marangu Route & Zanzibar Adventure is an 11-day tour that includes climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak on the African continent, followed a relaxing stay on the beaches of Zanzibar.

East Africa Overland: Serengeti & Safari Drives is a 19-day trip from Kampala, Uganda to Stone Town, Zanzibar. Highlights include gorilla trekking, the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Zanzibar beaches.

Pin for Later

zanzibar beaches

Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends:

Rhoda

Thursday 6th of April 2017

Planning to go this easter wish to enjoy there can i get a company i dont know anything

Kemal

Wednesday 22nd of February 2017

Planning to go see soon. Thanks!

Hery

Tuesday 15th of November 2016

I like your post witch you share us. This location is very beautiful. I am looking same blog from a long time. your blog give a helpful information. Thank you for sharing this!

David

Sunday 31st of July 2016

I would call this everything but not a well researched article....Zanzibar is never just 25 km of the mainland (when you talk about Unguja island which is the case here) and as someone mentioned here before, Dar Es Salaam is not the capital. Also, the archipelago of Zanzibar contains 4 main islands. I don't like smart-assing but I like plain false information a lot less. Anyway, enjoy the beaches and try it with less beer for dinner (!) especially in a Muslim country my friend.

Kenny Grindall

Thursday 14th of July 2016

Here's nothing to do with beaches, but... for the record, Tanzania's capital city is Dodoma, not Dar es Salaam. Dar was previously the capital for a very long time, however.

Comments are closed.