Beach Bliss in Zanzibar: Relaxation and Exploration


Zanzibar has an exciting array of diverse beaches. From the internationally acclaimed Nungwi Beach to the tranquil hideaways of Michamvi and Kizimkazi, each beach offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences. Explore pristine white sandy shores, vibrant coral reefs, and captivating marine life. Engage in thrilling water sports, unwind in luxurious resorts, and savor the flavors of local Swahili cuisine. Head out on a journey to discover the hidden gems of Tanzania's stunning coastline.

Nungwi Beach

Nungwi beach, located on Tanzania's northwest coast, has garnered international recognition. This picturesque destination, honoured with Tripadvisor's Traveller's Choice Awards 2018, ranks among the top 25 beaches worldwide. With its pristine white sandy beaches and crystal-clear blue waters, Nungwi captivates visitors with its natural beauty.

Nungwi Zanzibar

With its pristine turquoise waters and powdery white sandy beaches, it sets the perfect stage for an array of exciting activities, most notably scuba diving and snorkeling. Further, you may explore the coral reefs and encounter a vibrant array of marine life, including dolphins, green turtles, and if you're lucky, even magnificent whale sharks during certain times of the year.

For a unique experience, consider a visit to the Horse Club. Here, you can ride horses as they gracefully swim through the shallow waters, creating some unforgettable moments.

While planning your activities however, it's advisable to consider the tides. Although the tides at Nungwi beach are generally insignificant, it's worth noting that during low tide, the beach may experience water loss, making it challenging to engage in water-based activities. To ensure optimal enjoyment, it's recommended to check the tide schedule before planning your adventures.

Zanzibar shells

After enjoying your time at the beach, immerse yourself in the local culture with a tour of Nungwi village. Head to the nearby fish market, where you can observe the vibrant activity and catch a glimpse of the local fishing industry. Get a look at the traditional construction of dhows - fishing boats that line the shores. Finally, indulge your taste buds in the flavours of Swahili cuisine and enjoy the vibrant local nightlife scene.

Another highlight of Nungwi is the closeby Mnarani Conservation Pond, where turtles rescued by fishermen from their nets are rehabilitated. You'll have the incredible opportunity to interact with Green and Hawskbill turtles and feed them seaweed or even swim alongside them.

The beach is also lined with excellent accommodations and resorts, catering to various budget requirements. Whether you seek luxury or more affordable options, you'll find ample choices to enhance your stay.

While Nungwi has much to offer, it's important to note that Nungwi beach faces a challenge in the form of persistent beach boys who may try to hassle visitors, potentially hindering relaxation on the beach. In addition, due to the beach’s popularity, you will find it rather crowded. If the presence of beachboys makes you uncomfortable and if you’re looking for a quieter beach to relax at, we would recommend exploring other available options.

Kendwa Beach

Located in the northern end of Zanzibar, Kendwa boasts pristine white sandy beaches and tranquil light blue waters. One of the prominent attractions in Kendwa is the vibrant array of starfish dotting the shoreline.

For enthusiasts of outdoor activities, Kendwa provides a range of options to indulge in. You may engage in thrilling beach volleyball matches or explore the fascinating underwater world through diving and snorkeling. The crystal-clear waters surrounding Kendwa are home to a myriad of marine life, including dolphins, squids, crabs, sea urchins, butterfly fish, and stingrays, all coexisting amidst the captivating coral reefs.

Zanzibar Kendwa

Furthermore, Kendwa offers a wealth of additional experiences to indulge in. Take to the skies and experience the thrill of parasailing, or enjoy leisurely boat rides aboard the traditional dhow boats. Indulge in relaxation by unwinding on the pristine beach while treating yourself to rejuvenating spa treatments or savour a few refreshing cocktails as you soak in the tropical ambiance.

Accommodation options in Kendwa cater to various budgets, ranging from luxurious resorts to mid-range hotels and budget-friendly establishments.

Notably, the tides in Kendwa remain fairly consistent, allowing for a pleasant swimming experience throughout the day.

It's worth mentioning that, similar to Nungwi, Kendwa's popularity draws crowds, particularly during Tanzania's peak season and holiday periods like Christmas. While enjoying the beach, be aware of the beachboys who may approach you to sell various items or services. Although efforts have been made by the government to restrict their presence on the beaches, they may still be found within the town. Stay vigilant and exercise caution during your visit.

Matemwe Beach

Located on the northeastern coast of Zanzibar, Matemwe offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and local charm. Nestled amidst swaying palm trees, this idyllic fishing village is renowned for its pristine waters that offers travellers a tranquil escape. Matemwe's comparative lack of crowds makes it an appealing destination for those who prefer a more peaceful ambiance. Visitors to Matemwe often enjoy a hassle-free experience with fewer interruptions from beachboys. This allows you to fully immerse yourself in the serene surroundings and connect with the local culture without any distractions.

Swimming in Matemwe is an activity to be enjoyed during high tide, which occurs in the morning and afternoon. However, during low tide, a unique opportunity arises. The receding waters reveal a captivating landscape of coral reefs. You can take a leisurely stroll along the exposed seabed, marvel at the vibrant coral formations, and discover creatures such as sea urchins, starfishes, scuttling crabs, and seashells.


Another intriguing aspect of Matemwe is its role as a temporary home to nesting turtles. Between the months of April and August these gentle creatures lay their eggs along the pristine shores. It's a rare and magical experience that you can witness during your visit.

After a few blissful hours at the beach, you may head into the village to indulge your taste buds with a mouthwatering feast featuring locally caught barracuda or kingfish, complemented by rice and delicious sauces. You can truly savour the flavours of the ocean and experience the culinary delights of the region.

Matemwe offers a range of accommodations suited to different budgetary requirements, ensuring a comfortable stay for every traveller. Whether you prefer luxurious resorts or cozy guesthouses, you'll find a variety of options within close proximity to Matemwe.

Embrace the tranquility, immerse yourself in the rich local culture, and create unforgettable memories in Matemwe.

Paje Beach

Located on the serene eastern coast of Zanzibar, Paje with its glittering white beaches and azure blue waters has less tourists compared to the rest of the locations, however, it is becoming increasingly popular because of the water sports that it offers.

Paje has also emerged as a popular hub for kitesurfing, with its ideal wind conditions captivating adventure seekers from around the world. Feel the rush as you harness the power of the wind and glide across the sparkling waves. In addition to these aquatic adventures, Paje offers a range of enjoyable activities to enrich your experience. You may go for a dive in the depths of the sea where you'll discover a vibrant underwater world teeming with marine life, including turtles, octopuses, trumpet fish, starfish, and more. If you prefer a more relaxed pace with less adventure, stroll along the beach, where you'll encounter local women diligently collecting seaweed, a valuable resource used in the production of natural soaps. You can support the local communities by purchasing these eco-friendly products, beautifully wrapped in banana leaves.


Accommodation options in and around Paje cater to diverse budgets, ensuring a comfortable stay for every traveler. From cozy guesthouses to luxurious resorts, you'll find a suitable option that aligns with your preferences.

However, due to the beach’s popularity you will find a considerable crowd and quite a few beach boys here. Be cautious of the beach boys who may approach you. While most of them will be harmless, be mindful of potential scammers and exercise caution during your interactions.

Jambiani Beach

Located on the serene eastern end of Zanzibar lies Jambiani Beach, another tranquil coastal haven in Zanzibar offering a multitude of activities and cultural experiences. This quiet beach allows you to immerse yourself in its beauty, through leisurely cycling along its shores, snorkeling and scuba-diving, or wading through the vast seaweed cultivation near its expansive coastline.

The true gem of Jambiani is Kuza Cave, a remarkable ancient limestone cave tucked away in the tropical forest of north Jambiani. As you enter the cave it will reveal to you an enchanting clear, blue pool within its depths. You can immerse yourself in the wild beauty of the area, which serves as a natural habitat for diverse animal species, including butterflies, monkeys, bushbabies, and a variety of birds.

Seaweed Zanzibar

Jambiani Beach not only offers natural splendour but also provides a chance to connect with the vibrant local community of Jambiani village, a fishing location. You can explore the local culture, indulge your taste buds with the Swahili cuisine, and enjoy the Swahili music.

While Jambiani shares similarities with its livelier counterpart, Paje beach, it maintains a laid-back atmosphere and has fewer tourists. Here, you'll find respite from the bustling beach boys, allowing you to unwind and embrace the tranquil surroundings. However, like Paje, swimming in the waters is best enjoyed during high tide, so plan your beach activities accordingly.

Accommodation options in Jambiani cater to varying budgets, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay for every traveler. From cozy guesthouses to beachfront resorts, you'll find a suitable choice to suit your preferences.

Michamvi Beach

Michamvi beach is another pristine location present along Zanzibar's eastern coast. This destination unfolds into two distinct sections: Michamvi Kae and Michamvi Pingwe.

Michamvi Kae offers a secluded and serene retreat. Its untouched shoreline is adorned with mangrove trees, providing a peaceful escape from bustling tourist crowds. Here, you'll find solace, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. With fewer tourists, Michamvi Kae ensures a more intimate connection with nature.

On the other hand, Michamvi Pingwe boasts fame for its vibrant coral reefs lining the coast. This section offers accommodation options, allowing you to indulge in a comfortable stay. During low tide, the coral reefs are exposed, inviting you to embark on guided tours, and explore the fascinating world of coral formations and marine creatures like starfish, crabs, and sea urchins.

Starfish Zanzibar

The crystal-clear waters surrounding Michamvi Beach are a playground for water enthusiasts. You can immerse yourself in thrilling snorkeling and diving adventures, and explore a vibrant underwater world teeming with life. If you seek an adrenaline rush, engage in exciting activities such as kite surfing and paddleboarding, harnessing the energy of the wind and the ocean.

Moreover, Michamvi offers an exquisite resort experience, where you can unwind in luxurious amenities including refreshing pools and picturesque gardens overlooking the beach. The ambiance here is tranquil and unspoiled, free from the hassles of local vendors and excessive crowds. For those seeking ultimate seclusion, Michamvi Kae provides an even quieter haven.

While swimming may pose challenges due to low tides, Michamvi Beach entices visitors not only with its unspoiled natural beauty and serene atmosphere. It's a paradise for nature enthusiasts and those yearning for a peaceful coastal retreat.

Kizimkazi Beach

Kizimkazi Beach is located on the serene southern coast of Zanzibar. This tranquil fishing village offers a delightful escape from the crowds and beach vendors found at more touristy spots.

Kizimkazi Beach stands out with its distinctive coral rag cliff, which has created picturesque grottos and hidden coves along the shoreline. Unlike the typical white sandy beaches, this beach showcases natural formations that add to its charm. While enjoying the stunning scenery, keep an eye out for an incredible marine spectacle: whales and dolphins. Witnessing these majestic creatures is a highlight of Kizimkazi Beach.

Dolphin Zanzibar

However, it's important to note that we do not recommend swimming with the dolphins, a popular activity conducted here. These tours are conducted by local boat captains without proper government regulation or training in conservation practices. These uncontrolled excursions can be disruptive to the dolphins and may not prioritise the safety of tourists. Instead, we suggest appreciating the beach's beauty from the shores, exploring the captivating caves, and admiring the unique coral formations.

During low tide, swimming might not be feasible due to the shallow waters. However, this presents an opportunity to immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings. Keep in mind that accommodation options may be limited in this area. Nonetheless, if you seek peace and quiet away from the crowds, Kizimkazi Beach offers a haven for relaxation.

In summary, Kizimkazi Beach invites you to embrace its serene atmosphere and explore its distinctive coral rag cliffs, enchanting grottos, and hidden coves. While avoiding the dolphin safari tours, you can still marvel at the beauty of marine life and find solace in the simplicity of this less-visited gem. Enjoy the beach from the shores, appreciate the natural wonders, and revel in the peacefulness that sets Kizimkazi Beach apart.

Mnenmba Atoll

Besides visiting all the mentioned beaches you can also visit a private island called the Mnemba Atoll, owned by &Beyond, situated approximately 2 kilometers offshore, beyond the main reef. This secluded paradise offers one of the best diving spots in the region. You can immerse yourself in the turquoise waters here and discover the mesmerising world that lies beneath the surface. You may swim through the colourful coral reefs where you will have the opportunity to encounter playful dolphins, schools of yellow snappers, eels, and even barracudas. The rich marine life and stunning underwater landscapes make it an unforgettable diving experience.

Mnemba Atoll

To reach Mnemba Atoll, your journey begins by boarding a traditional Dhow boat from Nungwi, Kendwa or Matemwe. The boat anchors near the shores of the island, where you can relax on the powdery beach, bask in the warm sun, and feel the gentle caress of the sea breeze. You can take a half day trip to the island or spend a couple of days here.

The snorkeling tour starts from 40$ per person, and the prices increase depending upon the duration you will be spending on the island and the location of your accommodation. In most cases the prices are inclusive of a guide, boat, pick ups and drop offs, and snorkeling equipment.


Zanzibar's beaches are a treasure trove of natural wonders and cultural delights. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or a blend of both, these coastal havens offer something for everyone. From the vibrant marine life of Nungwi and Michamvi to the peaceful serenity of Matemwe and Kizimkazi, each beach presents a unique experience.


If you wish to engage in activities like snorkeling, diving and kite surfing, choose your operators and packages wisely depending on what you seek. The prices of these packages start from 40$ and go upto 180$.

And with this, we hope this article helped you decide on your perfect beach. See you in Zanzibar soon!


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  • Zanzibar
  • Zanzibar beaches
  • Adventure
  • Snorkeling
  • Diving
  • Kite surfing
  • Coral reefs
  • Nungwe
  • Paje
  • Kendwa
  • Mnemba
  • Boat ride
  • Swimmimg
  • Culture
  • Blue safari