Whether you’re going to travel from Tanzania to Zanzibar for some post-safari relaxation, a chilled beach holiday or a romantic East Africa honeymoon, the main draw of this African island paradise is the beaches.But with all these stretches of white sand from which to choose, how would you choose the best beach for the type of Zanzibar holiday you want?Here's our full guide and map of Zanzibar's greatest beaches for swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, and staying at a lovely beach resort.
Bwejuu is one of Zanzibar's best beaches:
This palm-lined white sand beach on the island's southeast shore is about an hour and a half away from Stone Town. It's one of Zanzibar's quietest areas, and a favorite choice for individuals looking for complete relaxation, tranquility, and seclusion. A mangrove forest and dhow boat cruise, a visit to the local town of Bwejuu, a reef safari, snorkelling and diving, a visit to Stone Town, or a day trip to the Jozani Forest, which is home to the Red Colobus Monkey, are just a few of the activities and excursions available in the area.
Michamvi is a peninsula on the island's central east coast:
Michamvi feels remote and offers extensive areas of uninhabited beaches to explore, despite the presence of two huge beach resorts in the region. Michamvi-Pingwe and Michamvi-Kae are the two portions of the peninsula. Michamvi-Pingwe sits on the eastern side, with a vivid coral lagoon and magnificent palm-fringed beaches nestled between steep coral-rag cliffs. Michamvi-Kae, on the western side, faces west towards Chwaka Bay.
Nungwi Beach, on Zanzibar's northwest coast, is one of the island's most beautiful and popular beaches. Nungwi is undoubtedly one of the island's liveliest districts, with a diverse range of night time entertainment provided by the several beach resorts, hotels, restaurants, and pubs. This beach, though, isn't only for partygoers. The coral reefs off the coast of Nungwi are wonderful for diving and snorkelling, and you might even spot dolphins, green turtles, and whale sharks during certain times of the year. Nungwi Beach, which faces west, features some of Zanzibar's spectacular sunsets, and a sunset tour on a traditional dhow sailing boat is a must.
Kendwa Beach, sometimes known as the "little sister" of Nungwi Beach, is much quieter than its northern twin. The beautiful seas are ideal for swimming, snorkelling, and diving. This is one of the few beaches on Zanzibar where the tide does not significantly fluctuate. This beach is also home to colourful starfish, which may be spotted just offshore (but be sure not to pick up these creatures or disturb them in their natural habitat).The sunsets at Kendwa Beach are legendary, so be on the beach as soon as the sun begins to drop. The beach comes alive in a new way once the sun sets below the horizon, with nightlife and calm beach parties.
On Zanzibar's south coast, this little fishing community is made up of two settlements: Kizimkazi Dimbani to the north and Kizimkazi Mkunguni to the south. The coastline here is significantly different from the east coast's typical palm-backed lagoon .The shoreline is elevated above the ocean by a coral rag cliff, and the beaches are little coves rather than large swaths of sand. As a result, there are fewer lodging options available, and the neighborhood has a distinct and authentic feel. Dolphin safaris are popular in the village of Kizimkazi.
Matemwe is a stretch of coastline on Zanzibar's northeast coast. The long, picturesque beach at Matemwe (Zanzibar's longest beach) has some of the best sand on the island, and traditional fishing cottages can be found among the palm trees at the back of the beach, providing a fascinating glimpse into the local culture. The world-famous island of Mnemba Atoll is located two kilometers offshore, just beyond the main reef, and is surrounded by pristine and easily accessible coral reefs. Matemwe Beach features some of the best diving and snorkelling on the island, as well as great kitesurfing and sailing.
Pongwe Beach is undoubtedly Zanzibar's best swimming beach. The calm arc of beach at Pongwe is lined with palm palms and backed by lush foliage; it's as near to a quintessential tropical paradise as you can get. Pongwe Beach is fortunate in that an offshore reef protects the entire beach, keeping the inner waters quiet and safe for swimming. Snorkelling and boat tours to the reef can also be arranged.
Paje Beach, on the southeast coast, features everything a beautiful beach should have: huge expanses of white sand, palm trees swinging in the breeze, blue waters, and spectacular sunsets. Paje is a serene and quiet beach bordered on one side by a tiny hamlet, offering it a nice contrast to the busier, more developed beaches in Zanzibar's north. Paje Beach is well-known for its water activities, and the superb kitesurfing conditions attract amateur and professional kitesurfers from all over the world to this part of the island. The clean, mild seas are also ideal for scuba diving, as the offshore reefs are home to turtles, starfish, trumpet fish, and moray eels.
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