Zanzibar archipelago is a cluster of Indian islands situated km off mainland Tanzania. The Unguja island is the largest and most visited island. The island is also a cultural center and the administrative centre of the semi-autonomous country. In this guide we will cover some of Zanzibar top beaches and experiences available in each of them.
The bustling coastal strip on the northern side of the main island is the most visited part coastline. The beach has the widest selection of accommodation whether you are looking for a honeymoon accommodation, family friendly facility or a budget resort. With a good number of tourists always in the vicinity, Nungwi is also the best pick for solo travelers. The beach is one of the main water sport destination especially in the beginning of the year when the kaskaz winds are blowing. The area between the z hotel and Sandies baobab is one of the main island prime snorkeling spots.
Paje is another popular beach in Zanzibar found on the eastern side of the main island. The beach also boast a wide selection of accommodation for all types of travelers in all budget levels. In fact the beach has the best options for backpackers. When compared to Nungwi paje is better when looking at the size of the white sand strip as paje recedes hundreds of kilometres in low tides, leaving behind a blissful ocean front where you can relax on a seaside bed or take a long stroll searching for aquatic creatures and shells. Being on the direct path of both kuz and kaskaz winds that blows between June – October and December – March, Paje is the most sought-after beach for kite surfing and Stand Up paddling.
Michamvi is a small section near a fishing village in chakwa bay in the central eastern region of the main Unguja island to the north of Bwejuu beach. Unlike paje and Nungwi, which are good for water sporting Michamvi is calm and exclusive and the best for relaxation in an authentic beachfront with endless tropical flora. Being a bay michamvi has a problem with low tides. However, the island is still a great escape for its fascinating sense of nature.
Jambani is a 7 km remote beach on the eastern side just south of paje. The beach is a good choice for tourist who would like to engage in water sporting in a low key and authentic beach location. Jambiani has better luxury accommodations than Paje. The Jambiani water recedes hundreds of meter during low tides leaving behind a large white sandbank that is ideal for sunbathing or for playing beach football. The beach also has quite exclusive swimming spots. Along the coastline there are large shallow lagoons with thriving marine life leading to some of the best diving spots on the main island.
Kendwa beach is in a remote fishing village on the north western side of Unguja main island. The beach is a popular choice of lovers of deep sea fishing with the channel between the coastal strip and Tumbatu island being a popular dwelling of sea fishes like sailfish, swordfish and stripped marlin. Kendwa is also a popular snorkeling destination and is the only place you can go for skydiving in Zanzibar. Other popular sport activities in the beach are paddle boarding and kite surfing. The beach has a wide range of accommodation option for all budget levels.
Bwejuu is a popular beach destination to the north of paje. Like most beaches in Zanzibar eastern coast, Bwejuu receives crowds of tourist especially over the peak season July to September. The beach also has a wide selection of accommodation and is a popular choice for tourists seeking just basic budget accommodation. The beach is a popular destination for water sporting mostly over the peak season when the Kuz winds are blowing over the coast.
This strip is in the central eastern region between chakwa bay and Kiwengwa. The beach boasts one of the most idyllic location with incredibly alluring palm lined white sand coastline and picturesque azure water protected by a reef 1 kilometre away. The beach also has one of the best sunrises as the sun disk emerge from the ocean horizon amidst the profound calmness of the waters. The strip is not a popular water sport destination and is therefore low-key and exclusive. You can however, engage in swimming or go for kite surfing or boarding in paje to the south. You can also engage in diving in the bay which boast a beautiful coral garden that is a popular spot for aquatic life mostly starfish.
Matemwe beach lies on the eastern coast towards the northern tip. The beach is one of the most exclusive water sport destination as the coastline lies on the direct path of monsoon winds. The beach experiences both low tides and high tides and therefore is great choice for swimming or reef walk. It is also the closest eastern beach to Mnemba atoli the best diving spot in the archipelago. The only challenge with the coast is that at times the Kuzi monsoon winds that blows from April to August are too strong and wash seaweeds to the matemwe coast.
Kizimkazi lies on the western side of the Unguja island near the southern tip. The beach is quite isolated as it is sheltered from both the Kuz and Kaskaz winds making it not a popular spot for kiters. Unlike the Eastern beaches which has expanses of white sand coast strip the Kazimkazi beach has small sheltered bay occasioned by the presence of a raised coral rag barrier. This further explain why the area has fewer holidaymakers and has no beachfront accommodations. However, the menai bay along this strip is the most ideal spot for both open seas and coral dives.
Vumawimbi beach is situated on the east side of Kigomasha peninsula and to the north of Ngozi forest reserve in pemba island. You will be mesmerized by the emptiness along this strip as only a few people access this strip since there are no beach hotels in the area. The beach is not popular with water sporting as it falls on the wind shadow making it exclusively a place for tourist seeking a place where they can relax as they enjoy untouched natural ambience. The beach is the best location where you can go for picnic with your dearest and nearest.