The 7 most beautiful beaches in Zanzibar - BookitList

The 7 most beautiful beaches in Zanzibar

Zanzibar, the name alone conjures up images of white sand, swaying tropical palms, and azure waters teeming with kaleidoscopic marine life.

Situated off Tanzania's eastern coastline, Unguja (or as it's more commonly known Zanzibar Island) was once a key trading hub on the east to west trade route, and today is renowned for its rich history, culture, and picture-perfect natural beauty.

Whether you're looking for a great diving spot teeming with colourful marine life; the perfect sunset, or simply somewhere to relax with a drink in hand and enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty before you, you'll find it on to discover The 7 most beautiful beaches in Zanzibar

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Photo by Crispin Jones

Nungwi - Best for activities

Situated at the island's northern tip, Nungwi has everything you want in a tropical beach, think alabaster-white sand, dotted with kaleidoscopic shells and calm lagoon waters home to coral gardens and a variety of marine life.

What's more, the town itself (the second largest on the island after the capital Stone Town) is a great place to stay, thanks to its wealth of attractions, bars, eateries, and accommodation options, which range from luxury hotels to no-frills hostels.

Paje - Best for kite surfing

If kite surfing is you're go-to holiday activity, or perhaps it's something you'd love to try, then look no further, Paje is perfect thanks to its year-round side, onshore wind.

Located in the southeast of the island, sandwiched between the villages of Bwejuu and Jambiani, the beach is particularly popular with beginner kitesurfers, as the reef acts as a barrier that protects the lagoon from large waves, whilst the abundance of marine life which include starfish, turtles, trumpet fish and moray eels, also make it a great destination for diving!

Jambiani - Best for getting off-grid

Situated just south of Paje, Jambiani is the perfect destination for anyone searching for a slice of local life. Considerably less touristy than many parts of the island, this small fishing village has no luxury hotels, resorts, and spas, and barely any electricity! However, what it lacks in amenities it makes up for in charm, plus its wide, white-sand beach is among the best on the island!

Kendwa - Best for sunsets

Arguably the best beach on the islands for watching the sunset, Kendwa is sometimes referred to as the 'little sister' of nearby Nungwi, and much like its larger sibling boasts picture-perfect white sand fringed by stunning turquoise waters, rich in a diversity of marine life!

However, unlike Nungwi, the village itself is relatively quiet, that is unless it's a full moon, when tourists flock from across the island for a night of drinking and dancing on the moonlit white sand!

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Photo by Humphrey Muleba

Dongwe - Best for traditional fishing

Situated north of Paje on the island's eastern coastline, Dongwe boasts a wide stretch of white sand, fringed by swaying palms and beautiful cerulean waters, rich in coral and marine life.

The beach is a hotspot for fishing, and you'll often see rows of Dhow boats anchored on or near the shore, and though it's not the best beach on the island for swimming,(if that's your bag then you're probably best elsewhere) if you're looking for somewhere laid back, that blends modernity and tradition, Dongwe is a great option!

Filao - Best for privacy

A private beach located within a resort on the east of the island Filao blends luxury with rustic island charm.

The thatched-roof huts set amongst palm trees on the edge of the brilliant white sands, are constructed from traditional materials but feature modern amenities such as wifi and aircon. Plus, if you do fancy a change from the picturesque private beach, they offer boat trips three times per week across Chwaka Bay to the secluded Kae beach, which is renowned for its breathtaking sunsets.

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Photo by Crispin Jones

Matemwe - Best for relaxing

If non-stop entertainment is what you're looking for then Matemwe isn't for you, but if you love nothing more than kicking back on snow-white sand, with a cold drink in hand, then look no further!

Situated on the northeast of the island, Matemwi, like its competitors, boasts stunning white sand and azure waters, but is generally quieter than its closest neighbors, making it perfect for those seeking a slice of tranquility.

What's more, if you do fancy indulging in some activities, you can take a boat trip to the nearby Mnemba Island which is great for snorkeling, or head to Nungwi (about a 40 min drive) and enjoy a wealth of attractions.