Zanzibar is a jewel in the Indian Ocean. This tropical paradise, just off the east-coast of Tanzania, offers everything you expect from a bounty island. The most beautiful white beaches surrounded by palm trees and a turquoise blue sea with colourful coral reefs. Since the abundance of gorgeous beaches in Zanzibar is overwhelming, it can be difficult to decide where to go. No worries, I have rounded up some of the most beautiful Zanzibar beaches for a bit of inspiration.
This long stretched white sandy beach in the north of Zanzibar is one of the most beautiful beaches Mother Earth has to offer. It’s perfect for those who love swimming, as there are almost no tides and the water is a bit deeper than anywhere else. Coconut trees, banana palms, a tropical breeze and a clear blue ocean of 26 degrees Celsius on average. What more do you want? It’s no wonder Nungwi Beach is chosen by CNN as one of the world’s best beaches. Besides sunbathing there are lots of other activities you can enjoy like parasailing, scuba diving, snorkelling, sailing, fishing and horse riding. Nungwi is also known for its vibrant nightlife with many nice bars and clubs. Therefore it is the perfect destination to soak up the atmosphere of the island and meet new people.
Just a couple of kilometres away from Nungwi, you will find this popular beach. Kendwa Beach has a lively and relaxed atmosphere. Although there are many bars and restaurants to be found, it’s a lot quieter than Nungwi Beach. Kendwa Beach is a delightful place where you can sunbathe and swim throughout the day. Moreover, this beach is known as one of the best places to gaze at the beautiful ocean-view sunset. Walk barefoot through the white powdery sands. Take a dip in the crystal blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Or enjoy a stroll down the beach. And don’t forget: about 13 times a year, Kendwa Beach transforms into a hotspot for partygoers, during the famous full moon parties on the beach.
Matemwe Beach is Zanzibar’s longest beach. A beautiful stretched white sandy beach in the golden sunlight, surrounded by palm trees. If you are looking for a pristine place to chill, far away from all the crowds, this place is for you. The tides at this location are higher than in the north, but lower than in the south. During high tide you can swim, while low tide is the perfect time for a long beach walk or a visit to one of the nearby fishing villages. Snorkelling fans and diving can also enjoy the waters and colourful fish, especially at the world-famous Mnemba Island Coral reef. Be amazed by this gorgeous underwater world, near the coast.
If you’re longing for a peaceful and idyllic place to sunbathe or take a romantic beach walk, Pongwe Beach is the place to settle down. White sandy beaches with a lush green coastline full of swaying palm trees. Pongwe is located more remote and offers therefore a wonderfully quiet and timeless feeling. The sea is clear and calm – ideal for swimming- and the sand is so fine it literally squeaks between your toes. Here you won’t find a boisterous nightlife or many restaurants, but peace on the beach. Due to its romantic intimate setting and privacy, Pongwe Beach is especially popular among newly married couples.
Kiwengwa Beach definitely deserves its place on this list of the best Zanzibar beaches. Imagine a pearl white sandy beach with a beautiful ocean-view, sparkling blue waters and countless palm trees. Enjoy long beach walks or activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing, deep-sea fishing and horse riding. You can expect two high tides and two low tides every day. When the ocean falls to its lowest point, you can walk all the way up to the reef. For sure this beach is a wonderful retreat for families or friends. Kiwenge is also very popular among Italians who run many resorts and restaurants in this village.
Paje Beach consists of a long white sandy beach with a great view of the clear blue Indian Ocean. This beach is known for its many water sports activities. Due to the steady winds this is the best place on Zanzibar to go wind- or kitesurfing. Diving enthusiasts also love this place and the beautiful coral reef, home to many marine animals. Low tide is the perfect time for a long beach walk, while children play on the sandbanks. During high tide you can take a refreshing dip in the ocean. The variety of restaurants and bars on Paje beach creates a cosy atmosphere. Whether you’re a water sports enthusiast or you just want to relax on the beach in the shade of a palm tree, Paje is a true paradise.
This cosy quiet fishing village has a relaxed atmosphere with friendly people who give you a glimpse into their daily life. In the early morning you’ll see local women gather seaweed on the beach, while fishermen sail out in their traditional dhow boats. The soft white sands of Jambiani Beach are surrounded by palm trees and clear turquoise waters. Jambiani is home to a wide lagoon and a beautiful coral reef off the coast – making it an ideal place to dive or snorkel. However, the tidal differences on this side of the island are larger, which means the water withdraws a few hundred metres during low tide. Furthermore there are plenty of nice restaurants in Jambiani to choose from. Finish off the day in style with a tropical cocktail and leisurely walk on the beach, while enjoying the setting sun. Slow down, forget time and embrace the Island vibes. Nobody’s in a rush here.
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