Where to vacation in Zanzibar: 8 best beaches

The best beaches for swimming in Zanzibar – Top 8

The main island of the Zanzibar archipelago is traditionally an attractive place for tourists who are lured by a beach holiday on the picturesque ocean coast. The beaches of Zanzibar, where the water is clear and the wide shoreline is covered in white sand, are rightly considered some of the best in the Indian Ocean.

The best beaches for swimming in Zanzibar

What makes a beach holiday in Zanzibar attractive

Sea Temperature

The geographical position of the island is such that the temperature almost never drops below 21 degrees, and this in August, and holds throughout the year averages between 29-31 degrees and a minimum of about 24. Therefore the summer here is all year round, although the calendar falls on our winter months – Zanzibar is, after all, in the southern hemisphere. The sea, respectively, warms up to 25-28 degrees, depending on the month.

The swimming season on the best beaches of Zanzibar lasts almost the whole year, except for the rainy season, which falls in April and May and November. It is still possible to swim during this time, as one never knows for sure either the amount of rain or its intensity. However, the heaviest continuous downpours do occur, affecting the life of the entire island.

Zanzibar Beach Vacations

Despite these isolated “buts” occurring just a couple of times a year, on the whole, the resort island of Zanzibar – a very suitable place just for a beach holiday. Especially if the vacation fell not for the summer. It remains to choose the best beach for swimming in the whole island: with or without the tide, with a beautiful shore, safe bottom and comfortable service!

Nakupenda Beach – vivid colors of the ocean

Of all the photos of Zanzibar’s beaches, Nakupenda Beach stands out for the emerald blue hues of the sea water. The scenery, framed by the snow-white coastal sand under the deep blue sky, looks especially picturesque. Visiting tourists are attracted by the colorfulness and friendliness of local residents, who complement the overall picture of paradise.

Nakupenda Beach

The beach is called the disappearing island of Nakupenda, in fact, the surface of the beach island is regularly hidden under the water because of the strong tides. It is located near Stone Town in the western part of the island. The infrastructure is all imported, as are the visitors – tourists. However, they all say in one voice that this is the best place, and it is worth it to get to it and see everything with your own eyes.

Seafood Vendors

The beach is relatively small, but clean and attended – without problems accommodate two or three hundred vacationers. Coverage of the coast exclusively sandy, the entrance to the sea is comfortable, a lot of boats for walks and excursions, various diving options, visually accessible sea bottom dwellers, fish and even dolphins. They offer great hearty lunches – lots of seafood (always fresh), beans, fries and drinks. Also, souvenirs, colorful reefs, plenty of photo opportunities and new experiences.

Holidays in Zanzibar - 2022. Prices and tips

Jambiani Beach – the lure of the tides

On the beach map of Zanzibar Jambiani is marked near the southeast end of the island. It is one of the most remote spots of the resort and for this reason less visited by tourists.

Jambiani Beach

The shoreline – fine white sand, according to reviews of vacationers, cool even in hot weather. The seabed consists of coral slabs, at some distance from the shore are thickets of algae, some of them after the tide hits the beach. The ocean inhabitants are different: sea urchins, starfish, cucumbers, crabs, etc., which delights children.

Ocean Dwellers

When entering the sea, you should be careful – there are rocks on the bottom, which become clearly visible at low tide. This discomfort can be corrected with the help of special slippers. Lovers of tides will be able to observe kilometers of these striking natural phenomena, wander the open spaces, get acquainted with the fauna.

The place is renowned for its quietness and low population, the best place for a secluded vacation, which is facilitated by numerous small cafes, cozy and inexpensive. There is a market in a nearby village and little service on the beach itself.

Kendwa Beach for lovers of beaches without tides

Among Zanzibar’s best low-tide beaches, travelers often choose Kendwa Beach. Small in length, with a wide beachfront, it is considered the most attractive on the northwest coast. From the nearby popular Nungwi Beach, it’s about a half-hour walk south along the sandy spit. Although it has been observed that the water there can sometimes be muddy.

Kendwa Beach

In general, though, Kendwa is known for its white sand and sea in shades of turquoise. It is usually crowded, as there are many hotels and restaurants nearby, as well as small stores and vendors. Due to the high competition, prices are quite low. Entrance to the water is comfortable, without urchins, but with beautiful starfish. Near some hotels and cafes, you can use a beach umbrella or a beach chair when you buy, for example, a drink.

Nungwi Beach – beauty on the beach and under the water

Nungwi Beach is located at the northernmost point of the resort island and is considered one of the best beaches in Zanzibar for swimming at low tide. The main local attraction is the coral reef, to which divers are actively descending. The sand is also coral, soft, white, and not heated in the sun. The color of the water delights tourists with rich shades of turquoise sea. Entering the water is comfortable, the sea is clear and clean. Tides and tides are small.

Nungwi Beach

The beach is visited by many tourists, from here begins popular boat trips to the archipelago islands. Many consider Nungwi the best place for swimming holidays because of the lack of waves. A huge number of hotels and restaurants provide all kinds of amenities, fresh seafood, quality dinners, inexpensive menu. In the evenings you can enjoy beautiful sunsets and watch the Maasai dancing.

Kendwa Beach, Zanzibar. Reviews: is it worth the trip?
Paje Beach – ideal for kiting

Takes the east coast five kilometers north of Jambiani Beach. The beach is expansive, roughly equidistant from the extremities (north and south) of Zanzibar. This place has a lack of stones on the seabed and is considered one of the shallowest and flattest – so it is best suited for holidays with children. The weather is always perfect.

Paje Beach

Paje Beach belongs to the beaches of Zanzibar with almost no tide – the water goes relatively short and remains knee-deep and arrives at about chest-neck. The sand is white and smooth, when entering the water, you must be careful not to get on the hedgehog and it is better to use special shoes.

On this beach there is a kite school.

There are two kite schools here at once, which help you quickly learn the technique of riding a board. You can rent a kite and ride on your own with a paddle. Nearby there are many restaurants, cafes, hotels, it is possible to book a bungalow right on the shore. Thanks to the dive center, scooter rentals, sailboats for trips to the reef, the place is quite popular with tourists, it is almost always crowded.

Matemwe Beach – high tides for swimming

Located on the northeast coast of the island, near the village of the same name. Matemwe is characterized by hotels, which are the best place for Italian tourists. The hotels are expensive and the staff speaks Italian. There are well-kept green lawns around and air-conditioned bungalows on the coast. Although the beach itself is not very crowded.

Matemwe Beach

The sand spit is wide, the coast is rolled up and comfortable, the breeze is warm. The seashore is abundantly populated by wildlife – hedgehogs, stars, crabs and other creatures make you wear special shoes while swimming. The tide is very high, and since the sea is shallow, you can swim almost only when the water comes in. There are many offers from boat owners to fish, from the Maasai to see a show or to travel with excursions.

Uroa (Uroa Bay) – distinctive and colorful

Uroa is located on the east coast of Zanzibar, about 40km from Stone Town. Locals are active on the beach – their village is nearby and there is a seaweed farm. The tides are very remote – the water goes for 2-3 km. At low tide, women come to collect seafood or to work on seaweed plantations. Beautiful shells can be found on walks along the tidal shores.

Uroa Bay

The sand is white and soft, the entrance to the sea is almost safe, there are not many urchins, the water is bright green shades. Locals offer tours, including Russian-speaking, as well as henna painting, souvenirs, you can order. Directly on the beach is not crowded – tourists prefer to rest at their hotels.

Food and Alcohol Prices in Zanzibar - 2022
Kiwengwa Beach – Beach Recreation and Entertainment

One of the best beaches in Zanzibar for swimming is Kiwengwa. It is on the northeast coast, with a good ebb and flow. The sand is white and soft, the ocean bright blue hues, palm groves sheltering hotels in the shade. Swimming is comfortable, the bottom is clean. The beach abounds with offerings from local vendors and demanding local kids. There is a lot of music, performances, and fun, but you can also find secluded spots.

Kiwengwa Beach

For tourists who visit the beaches of Zanzibar, it is an unforgettable time full of new experiences, admiring the beauties and definitely a desire to return!

The beaches on the island of Zanzibar, described in the article, are marked on the map in Russian.

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The 8 Best Beaches of Zanzibar

Where to vacation in Zanzibar

The best beaches in Zanzibar – Africa’s Maldives! We tell you where the tides are less pronounced and where it’s best to vacation with children. Which beaches have the most comfortable service and a beautiful beach.

Zanzibar is always warm, and the bathing season lasts all year round. The air temperature does not drop below +21 ° C, and the water in the ocean is warm to +25. +28°С. Most rainfall is in April and May and November – during this time there are fewer tourists.

All 40 beaches on the island are free. Sunbathing with your own towel or mat is not forbidden anywhere. A set of two sun beds and a sun umbrella costs 10,000 TZS.

Exchange rate: 1000 Tanzanian Shillings (TZS) ≈ 31 rubles.

    and Travellata – cheap tours. – Hotels in Zanzibar.


This is one of the best beaches in Zanzibar. In Kendwa there are luxury hotels, so the luxurious place is called the resort of millionaires. The pluses of Kendwa are the wide strip of sand, rows of coconut palms, gentle entrance to the ocean and developed infrastructure. Tourists like that this beach has no sea urchins and the tides are not pronounced. A minus is that from the abundance of scooters and boats, the water is often muddy.

The beach has sun beds and umbrellas, souvenir shops, a diving center, several restaurants and bars. There are many opportunities for lovers of outdoor activities. Rent a jet ski, go banana boating, play beach volleyball and find time for a thrilling ride on a motor or sailboat across the ocean!

Zanzibar: weather by month and temperature. When it's best to relax

Best hotels on the beach:

Where to vacation in Zanzibar

Kendwa Beach. Photo: znm666 / depositphotos.com.


A half-hour walk from Kendwa is Nungwi, which is considered the most party beach in Zanzibar. Alcohol is sold here and the party goes on until the early morning hours. Restaurants, cafes, hotels, and guest houses line the beach.

Nungwi is one of the best beaches in Zanzibar for swimming at low tide. There is a picturesque coral reef not far from the shore, where there are always a lot of divers. Rent a fancy motorcycle, fly a parachute behind the boat, go snorkeling, surfing and sailboat rides.

Best hotels on the beach:

Beaches and Resorts in Zanzibar

Nungwi (Photo: jorge.cancela / flickr.com)


The popular Nakupenda Beach is on the west coast of the island, near Stone Town. It is a small sandy island that can accommodate 200-300 vacationers. During high tides, the sandy shore goes completely underwater.

Nakulenda famous for the emerald-blue ocean, the cleanest sand, a beautiful coral reef and shallow entrance to the sea. Minus one – there is no vegetation on the island, so there is nowhere to hide from the scorching sun.

The entire infrastructure is imported. Tourists are brought here by boats from nearby hotels. The road by sea takes 20-30 minutes. The locals also live on the sidelines. While vacationers are swimming, snorkeling and diving, guides and assistants prepare lunch for them. If you want to be on the beach alone, arrive early in the morning.

Best hotels on the beach:

Which Resort to Choose in Zanzibar?

Nakulenda Beach (Photo: jimmy_ktm / flickr.com)


The colorful Jambiani Beach is located on the southeast coast of the island, far from the resort towns, so there are few tourists. Jambiani Beach on Zanzibar is a beach where those who love silence are better off.

The seabed is lined with slabs of coral. You need to be careful, you can step on the sharp stones! A little away from the shore begins algae thickets, so at high tide, some algae bears on the beach. You are advised to wear slippers when swimming!

Jambiani beach has no infrastructure, but it is nice to come here with children. At low tide, the water moves away from the shore for hundreds of meters and the bottom is completely exposed. Watch for nimble crabs, beautiful stars and prickly sea urchins!

Best hotels on the beach:

Beaches Zanzibar

Jambiani Beach (Photo: westewoud / flickr.com)


5 km north of Jambiani, on the eastern shore of the island stretches a popular beach with a wide shoreline. Padge is loved for its clean sand, large stretch of shallow water and shade from casuarina pine trees. Sea urchins can be found – wear special shoes when entering the water!

Paje is the best beach in Zanzibar for kiteboarding enthusiasts. Scooter rentals are available on the beach, as well as a diving center and two kite schools. Sailing boats take fans of diving and snorkeling to the reef. There are hotels and bungalows, restaurants and cafes near the beach, so it’s convenient to stay a few days in Pudge.

Holidays in Zanzibar with children: reviews and the best hotels

Best hotels on the beach:

A helpful selection:

Where to vacation in Zanzibar

Paje Beach (Photo: Konstantin Zamkov / flickr.com)


An unusual beach is located on the northeast coast of the island. Matemwe is so shallow that you can swim only at high tide. At low tide, the water level drops 2 meters and the ocean recedes very far.

Next to the beach – well-kept lawns, expensive hotels and small bungalows, equipped with air conditioning. Nearby is a village of Maasai peasants and fishermen. Tourists from Italy like to vacation on Matemwe, so the staff of local hotels speaks fluent Italian.

Best hotels on the beach:

In the top of the best beaches in Zanzibar is rightly included Uroa Beach, which is located 40 km from Stone Town, in the east of the island. Here you can appreciate the movement of the Indian Ocean. At low tide, the bottom is exposed for 2-3 km. Local residents rush to the shore and collect edible shells and other seafood for their table and to sell at the market before the water rises.

Next to the beach there are seaweed plantations where women also work. The male population is busy serving tourists. Local men take holidaymakers to other islands of the archipelago and invite those who wish to fish.

Entrance to the water in Uroa is gentle, there are no sea urchins on the bottom, so this beach can be recommended for holidays with children. At low tide, walk along the seabed and look for colorful seashells! Learn about vacationing with kids in Zanzibar.

Best hotels on the beach:

Uroa Beach Panorama


One of the most beautiful resorts in Zanzibar is located in the east of the island. There are tides on Kivengwa, but the water only recedes from the shore by 0.5-1 km. Vacationers love the velvet sand, the blue-blue color of the water, the sprawling palm trees and the clear seabed. The beach is so good that many people compare it with the Maldives.

All the necessary infrastructure on Kivengwa is there. You can easily rent sun beds and umbrellas, find toilets and showers with fresh water, cafes, restaurants, small markets and stores where they sell souvenirs. One important advantage of Kivengwa is the lower prices of accommodation than other resorts in Zanzibar.

Best hotels on the beach:

Interesting videos about Zanzibar

Watch this informative and nicely edited video about vacationing in Zanzibar now, with the pandemic. It’s been wildly popular on YouTube – over two million views in one month! You’ll learn about getting a visa at the airport, take a walk around the island, see Nungwi Beach and learn about prices on the island:

See also an overview of all the major beaches in Zanzibar and learn about the tides on the island:

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