Zanzibar Island is an awesome world class beach destination! Check out our itineraries for Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia Island and read all you need to know about these tropical islands. You can also easily combine a Zanzibar vacation with a safari on the mainland.
Imagine a dream holiday to the tropical island Zanzibar. This bounty island is a paradise, offering the world’s most beautiful beaches and coral reefs. Miles and miles of white sandy beaches sprinkled with palm trees, surrounded by the clear azure waters of the Indian Ocean. Apart from laid back beach life, Zanzibar also has a colourful culture and history. Stone Town is well worth a visit. This fascinating old city offers so many nice markets, restaurants and historical sightseeing’s.
Zanzibar Island is part of the Zanzibar archipelago together with Pemba and Mafia and many smaller islands. These islands are also called the Spice Islands because of its rich history in spice trade and many spice plantations. Great beach destinations to wash off the dust after your safari.
Zanzibar offers the world’s most beautiful beaches. Soft white sandy beaches surrounded by colourful coral reefs and the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Zanzibar island has about 25 beaches, sprinkled with fishing villages. Should you stay north or rather choose the south or east coast of Zanzibar?
Zanzibar’s best beaches are on the north and east coast of the island, all with crystal white sand and colourful coral reefs. Nungwi and Kendwa are one of the most popular beaches since they do not have to deal with high and low tides. It has a chilled atmosphere with numbers of restaurants, bars and accommodation options. So if you seek real peace and privacy you should visit another part of the island (like the east or south). The north is home to villages like Uroa, Pongwe, Kiwengwa, Nungwi and Kendwa.
At the east coast of the island you will find the most idyllic beaches. Along the eastern coastline runs a beautiful coral reef, a top world spot for snorkelling and diving. You can immerse yourself in the abundance of marine life, such as sea horses, turtles and many tropical fish. The beaches at this east coast are very tidal. During low tide you can take a walk on the beach and enjoy the ocean views. If you love wind- or kite surfing this is the right place for you. Matemwe beach is the longest and one of the most beautiful ones at this site of the island. Like in the north, there is a wealth of accommodation options.
This part of the island is known for its long stretch of soft sandy beaches. It is the best spot on the island for sailing or kite- and windsurfing, thanks to steady winds. Hop on a traditional wooden sailboat (dhow) and sail the ocean, or go swimming with dolphins at Kizimkazi (south). Here you will find little villages like Jambiani, Paje and Bwejuu. These small fishing village have a nice timeless atmosphere with friendly people. One of our favourite villages is Jambiani. Check out why we think Jambiani is the place to be in Zanzibar.
The south west coast is a bit more remote with fewer lodges and deserted beaches. The beaches in west and south of Zanzibar are less popular, although there are some beautiful beaches with gentle tides. If you visit the south, do not forget to go to Menia Bay Conservation Area. This is a spectacular underwater world for divers. The western coast is home to the fascinating old Stone Town, the cultural and historical centre of Zanzibar.
The tropical island of Zanzibar is known for its beautiful white sandy beaches and coral reefs. But Zanzibar does not only offer laid-back beach life and watersport activities but also a colorful culture and history. The opportunities are endless, there is a lot to do for everyone on Zanzibar. We selected for you the best Zanzibar excursions.
- Spice tour
Visit a spice farm and learn how spices, herbs and fruits grow and used as medicine.
- Kite surfing
Thanks to its steady sideshore winds, Zanzibar is an ideal spot for wind- or kitesurfing, especially the beaches at Paje, Kiwengwa and Nungwi.
- Mountainbike tour
If you like some exercise and adventure go on a biking tour to explore the island. It offers you a nice insight in the daily way of life and beautiful nature.
- Walking tour in Stonetown
The old Stone Town is the historical centre of Zanzibar and an amazing mix of Food lovers and culture enthusiasts can visit interesting cultural places like Sultan’s Palace, the House of Wonders, the Slave Market and Darajani or Forodhani food markets. You can ever dinner at Freddie Mercury’s former house, who was born in Zanzibar.
- Prison Island
Visit the deserted island that was once used as a place where slaves were detained. Nowadays Prison Island is a place to relax at the lovely white beach. It is ideal for snorkeling, swimming or sunbathing. You can also see the old prison ruins and about hundred giant land tortoise.
- Safari Blue
Enjoy the natural beauty of Zanzibar on a traditional wooden sailboat (dhow). Visit 3 beautiful island where you can swim, snorkel and enjoy an delicious barbecue. Another popular snorkeling trip is to Mnemba Atoll, one of the most beautiful snorkel spots in Zanzibar.
- Jozani Forest
Go on a walk through the last indigenous forest and mangroves on Zanzibar. The huge palms in this forest are impressive and you will see lots of monkeys like the rare Red Colobus Monkeys.
- Restaurant The Rock
This restaurant is built on a rock in the ocean. An awesome place to eat and enjoy the views.
- Chumbe Island
This uninhabited small coral island is a true snorkeling paradise. It is the first private marine park in the world and has only 7 beautiful eco-friendly bungalows, surround by pristine nature.
Best time to visit Zanzibar Island
The most popular time to visit Zanzibar is during the dry season, from June to October and from December to February. However, Zanzibar Island is a great beach destination all-year round. Even during the wet season (mid-March, April, May, November) it is beautiful, since the rain showers don’t last much longer than 30 minutes and the temperatures still remain around 28 C. February is the hottest month in Zanzibar (average 28 C), while July (average 24 C) is the coldest. Given its tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit Zanzibar.
Zanzibar offers a wealth of lodges, hotels and resorts. It has everything ranging from basic accommodation to ultra-luxury. Tanzania Specialist knows most of the accommodation Zanzibar so you can always contact us for advice. We prefer the personal atmosphere of the small bed & breakfast lodges on the island. The staff is so friendly and will do everything you make sure you have a great time. Another benefit of bed & breakfasts is that you can explore other restaurants and bars during the day and evening. There are so many great places to eat and have a drink, with beautiful views over the ocean and a great ambiance.
Zanzibar Island reviews
“Zanzibar is a fantastic, beautiful island. I stayed in the village Jambiani and the Zanzibari (local people) are so friendly and welcoming. They are always up for a chat. The beaches, spice farms, forests and little villages are so beautiful. The only drawback i can think of is the lack of museums, but it can also be I did not went to the right places. There are so many nice restaurants and bars on the island where you can eat delicious local or western meals and dance.”
“Zanzibar is a great beach destination you don’t want to miss when you visit Tanzania. It is a paradise and the perfect place to end your safari. We stayed at the eastcoast of the island where you can find amazing beaches. The beaches are pretty quiet with no annoying beach boys. We have eaten delicious sea food for a fair price at several restaurants.”
More reviews ? Find all reviews on Tanzania Specialist Tripadvisor !
If you have a question about Zanzibar or our beach itineraries, please contact us.