Tanzania has a lot of amazing places to visit. It is not just safari parks, it also has a lot of amazing beaches. More specifically, Zanzibar has a lot of them. Zanzibar is a little island that belongs to Tanzania and when it comes to beaches, it has a lot to offer. So here is my list of best beaches on Zanzibar.
Best beaches on Zanzibar
Jambiani is a small but very beautiful village, where the beach is the main thing to do. There aren’t too many people here, so sometimes, especially in the low season, you can have the beach just for yourself. And also because of it, there aren’t too many people who would try to sell you some things. You can be here and just relaxing without any bigger disturbance. It has a downside. Fewer people also means fewer places to eat. It is not like you will be hungry all the time, but while other places have more possibilities, this one has just about 5 restaurants. Either way, Jambiani is a very nice and relaxing beach and belongs to one of the best beaches in Zanzibar.
How to get to Jambiani?
There are three general ways of getting there. The least comfortable one but at the same time the cheapest one consists of local buses. If you are coming from Stone Town, you would catch a dalla-dalla that goes to Jambiani. It should cost 10 000 TZS and you should be there in an hour and a half. Just be careful – local buses are cheap, but also filled with people. Sometimes you will have to wait for another.
Another way would be to catch a taxi. Especially if you are coming there directly from the airport, it is the easiest option. Taxi to Jambiani would cost 30 USD, that way you will get there in 50 minutes and they can drive you right to your hotel.
Where to stay in Jambiani?
Luxury – Sea View Lodge Boutique Hotel is one of the nicest places with a great combination of price and services. It is a 4-star hotel and yet it cost 80 USD for 2 people per night. For that price, you will get your well-equipped bungalow and breakfast. The sea is just a minute away or you can always lay at the pool.
Mid-range – If you just want to be on the beach and want a nice place but not necessary something luxurious, Molly house is one of the best places to stay. It cost only 35 USD for 2 people per night, the hotel is right on the beach and you will get an exceptional breakfast with your stay.
Budget – Budget travelers can find a nice place to stay at Mau’s place, which is an authentic African house. Costing only 18 USD for 2 people per night, it is hard to find a better solution. This hotel is not located directly on the beach but very close by.
Although Paje is just 5 km from Jambiani, the feeling from the beach is very different. Paje is also a small town, where people are enjoying beach life and bungalows. However, Paje is a little bit wilder than Jambiani. First of all, the main thing that people doing at the beach is kite surfing. So if you want to just go and jump in the waves – it is entirely possible, but you will have to watch your back, so people won’t run you over with kite. And second of all, there are a lot of parties in the evening, so if you are looking for a party beach with sport possibility, here it is.
How to get to Paje?
In case you are heading from Stone Town, you can catch dalla-dalla. The local bus should cost around 10 000 TZS. It is a little bit closer than Jambiani, but it is possible to get there in an hour.
Taxis come very handy when you are going from the airport. Then you should pay around 30 USD.
Kite surfing schools in Paje
As I mentioned previously, Paje is a paradise for people who wants to do kitesurfing. If you are experienced kitesurfer, you can just rent here the equipment, otherwise, some schools will do their best to teach you kitesurfing.
Kite center Zanzibar – One of the most popular schools in Paje and perhaps in whole Zanzibar. They offered high-quality packages whether you want to just rent equipment or learn lessons. For full equipment per day, you would pay 80 EUR and if you are planning to come and learn, it would cost you 300 EUR per day, where you would spend the whole day on a sea with a kite.
Kite it Zanzibar – Another popular school with different prices and learning systems. You can choose whether you want to learn in a group or get private lessons. The private lessons cost 165 euro for 3 hours with the instructor. While if you want to come as a group, you would pay 120 euros per person. If you are more experienced, you can rent here the equipment for 70 euros per day.
Where to stay in Paje?
Luxury – For anyone who is searching for comfort and their little bungalow right next to the beach, there are Khulala Ocean Blue Bungalows. They offer swimming pools, greatly equipped rooms, and beach right under your windows for the price of 74 USD per night for two.
Mid-range – This hotel is not necessary at the beach but the white sands are only 100 meters away, so why not? Rooms in Nakupenda paje villa are fully equipped with private bathrooms and yummy breakfast is in price. You would pay only 40 USD for two people per night.
Budget – Sunny house Paje is a great place for rest for budget travelers. You can stay here in a private room or a dormitory with others. Either way, you would have to share the bathroom with others. But the bathrooms are nice and clean. Besides, the hotel is only 90 meters from the beach and two people would pay 14 USD per night.
Nungwi beach is on the northwest of Zanzibar. It is a place that is well known which means it is not as cheap as all the other beach resorts that are not as popular. However, there is a good reason why is this beach so popular and that is that water here is very clean and you can bathe here any time of the day, which is not always possible on the other beaches.
How to get to Nungwi?
There are a couple of fun options. If you are starting at Stone Town, you can get there by boat. Local boats would get you there for 50 USD and it would probably take 2 hours. But 2 hours on the sea!
Another option of getting there from Stone Town would be to take a local bus. It is a little bit longer ride than the one to Paje or Jambiani so you would pay 25 000 TZS. But you would get there in an hour, maybe an hour and a half.
Otherwise, there is always the possibility of a taxi. Which shouldn’t cost more than 40 USD.
Where to stay in Nungwi?
Luxury – Nungwi is possible the most popular beach in Zanzibar so you can find here the most expensive hotels. For those that are looking for really high quality, there is Sandies Baobab Beach Hotel. For 400 USD per night, you would get VIP care, your bungalow, and all-inclusive.
Mid-range – Badolina Bungalows are just a minute from the beach and you would have your cozy little bungalow with terrace and bathroom, breakfast is also included in the price of 110 USD per night for 2 people.
Budget – So far all of it sounded rather expensive but you would find here a budget solution as well. Magharibi house is one of them. You can get there room for 2 with private bathroom and well-equipped room for 28 USD.
Michamvi is a bay close to the famous Rock restaurant. This place is in particular great for watching sunsets, as it is one of the few places on east Zanzibar, where it is possible to do so. This beach is also one of the best beaches in Zanzibar because you can bathe there all day long. Mainly because the tides don’t change as rapidly in the bay.
How to get to Michamvi?
Michamvi is on the same coast as Jambiani or Paje, which makes it significantly easier to get there from Stone Town. As always you can catch the local bus for 15 000 TZS and be there in an hour or so.
If you choose to go by taxi, it would cost you something around 30 USD, depending on the driver. Taxi is also much faster to go there and you can expect to be in place in 50 minutes.
Where to stay in Michamvi?
Luxury – Sea view, private bathroom, gorgeous room. Does it sound good? Great! Upendo Zanzibar can get you all of that. One room for 2 costs 200 USD per night. It includes a great breakfast as well!
Mid-range – Sagando bungalows have a great atmosphere with all the necessary facilities and beach just behind a corner. The hotel has an authentic atmosphere with music and dancing around. You would pay 50 USD per night for 2.
Budget – If you are searching for a budget option but would like something ecological and local, there is a special Zeru Zeru Eco local lodge. The hotels are basic, but they will do. Outside is a gorgeous garden with a swimming pool. It is a little bit further from the beach, but it would cost only 23 USD per night.
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Kendwa is located in the north of Zanzibar close to Nungwi. But a lot more lowkey than Nungwi. The beach is still beautiful and clean and for the most part, it is surrounded by wild nature, which is perhaps the best of it. There are some resorts nearby but it is not as commercial as it is in Nungwi, so it could be a great alternative.
Like Kendwa, a lot of other beaches are lowkey and you might want to bring your own Beach chair. If you are interested in that, here is a guide to buying beach chairs.
How to get to Kendwa?
Kendwa is on the same side of the island like Nungwi. So getting here is relatively easy. The first and little bit adventurous option would be to catch a boat from Stone Town, which would cost 50 USD.
Otherwise, you can pay dalla dalla for getting there. The local bus cost 25 000 TZS and should get you there in 2 hours. But make sure you ask for Kendwa because not all the buses would go there.
The last option would be a taxi. Taxi is possible the most comfortable. From Airport in Zanzibar to Kendwa beach local drivers charge 40 USD. That way you would reach the beach in an hour and a half.
Where to stay in Kendwa?
Luxury – Kendwa Rocks hotels are one of the best hotels that you can find on the beach. Once you leave your hotel room, you are just on the beach itself. Hotel also offers a majestic breakfast and swimming pools. One room would cost 243 USD per night.
Mid-range – Royal Palm Kenda is a great place, perhaps a little bit further away from the sea, but you would still get a sea view, your barbecue, a nice room with a private bathroom, and an amazing breakfast. Price is only 59 USD per night which is very suitable for their services.
Budget – Here is a combination of great price and beach right behind the corner. Lighthouse Guesthouse offers nice rooms, shared but clean bathrooms, and your patio. Beach is only 50 meters away and it cost 30 USD per night for 2.
All you need to know about best beaches on Zanzibar
Zanzibar seems like an ideal tropical place with white sand beaches. And it is. But there are some important things to know about it.
First of all, perhaps the most beautiful beaches are on the east coast, but that has its downside. Which is the fact that usually, you cannot swim here until afternoon. The low tide is so low, that it is entirely possible to go about one kilometer to the sea. Tides are changing around midday so around 2 pm it is possible to swim here again.
Another important info: if you choosing one of the busier beaches, make sure that there is someone who will watch over your staff. Petty crime is quite common here.
But otherwise, all of the beaches here are amazing, very clean and I very much recommend them.
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