Want to know what the best beaches in Zanzibar are? We spent three weeks beach hopping, drinking coconuts, sunbathing, and searching for the perfect Zanzibar beaches. Surrounded by soft white sand, a compelling atmosphere, and crystal clear water on the island there is no shortage of ideal beaches.
Some of the great Zanzibar beaches include Paje, Kendwa, Nungwi, Kizimkaze, Pongwe, and Stone Town with each being unique and mesmerizing in their own way. So before you go looking for the best beach on Zanzibar just remember that there really is no bad beach on Zanzibar.
The Best Zanzibar Beaches
Kendwa Beach, Zanzibar
About 3km away from Nungwi is Kendwa Beach. Kendwa beach is best known for its full moon parties at Kendwa Rocks. The full moon party is a drunken occasion usually on the Saturday closest to the full moon. If you’re not into partying don’t worry! The beach still boasts bright blue and turquoise colors with white sand beaches making it a solid contender for the best beach on Zanzibar.
While you may not be able to catch the sunrises here you will certainly be able to catch beautiful sunsets. There is also a village nearby that you can catch a glimpse into Zanzibari life.
My favorite place to stay near Kendwa? Elewana’s Kilindi Resort
Nungwi Beach, Zanzibar
One of the best beaches in northern Zanzibar is Nungwi Beach. Nungwi is absolutely beautiful, but with beauty beings annoyance. Teens and touts scour these Zanzibar beaches with hopes to annoy tourists enough to buy their trinkets and tours. It took us 1.5 hours to get to Nungwi from Stone Town, which in a cab may cost as much as $60. Popular things to do in Nungwi is to visit the aquarium or take a sunset dhow ride.
My favorite place to stay in Nungwi? Essque Zalu Zanzibar Resort
Paje Beach, Zanzibar
Paje is the backpacker spot on Zanzibar. A cool coffee shop, bars, cheap hostels, and tasty food can all be found in Paje making it one of the best areas to stay in Zanzibar. However, Paje is best known for its kitesurfing. Kite boarders and beginners flock here to get catch some wind on this beautiful Zanzibar beach! Beginners can choose any number kitesurfing schools in Paje. Besides the kitesurfing, Paje is a great spot for laid back vacationers who want to experience soft sand and bright blue water. The women’s seaweed center, Jozani Forest, and the famous Rock restaurant are all close to Paje. My recommendation to get around here is to rent a scooter for $25 a day and take to the Zanzibari streets.
My favorite place to stay in Paje? Hakuna Majiwe Beach Resort
Stone Town Beach, Zanzibar
The beach surrounding Stone Town may not be the best beach in Zanzibar; however, if you have a few days on the island then Stone Town is a must. The beach in Stone Town is the liveliest for locals on the island and some may argue it’s one of the best swimming beaches in Zanzibar. On weekends expect the crowds to swell and the Zanzibari people to take part in swimming, football games, and gymnastic show downs. This beach is also a great spot to watch the dhows sail off into the setting sun.
Stone Town also has a lot to offer, with restaurants, shops, and historical sites. Even though the beach isn’t the most relaxing or prettiest of the bunch it is a great place to get more of a local feeling on Zanzibar rather than being hidden away in a tourist point. To make things better the Park Hyatt Zanzibar, located right on the beach is one of the best hotels on the island.
My favorite place to stay in Stone Town? The Park Hyatt Zanzibar
Pongwe Beach, Zanzibar
Pongwe beach is perhaps my favorite on all of Zanzibar. The water is the perfect temperature. It is also a delightful array of blues, greens, and turquoise, and the area is relatively quiet on the eastern side of the island. We spent a few days here away from the crowds and soaking in the sun in complete relaxation and tranquility.
My favorite place to stay on Pongwe? Tulia Unique Beach Resort
Kizimkaze Beach, Zanzibar
Kizimkaze is a small fishing village on the southern part of the island. The big thing to do around here is a dolphin tour. However, they are controversial and unethical due to the mass tourism inflicted on the dolphins.
Instead of doing an unethical dolphin tour here we spent a few days chilling out on the quiet beaches. There are a few small places to eat in the town, but out of all the Zanzibar beaches on this list Kizimkaze is probably the least frequented.
My favorite place to stay in Kizimkaze? The Residence Zanzibar
Plan Your Trip to these Zanzibar Beaches
We rely on a few trusted websites that help save us money and time when booking hotels, flights, and car rentals. Check out some of our preferred partners below:
- For ideas on what to bring to beach: Read our ultimate beach packing list.
- Accommodation in Zanzibar: Find the best hotel deal at Hotels.com
- Check out our list: Of the best hotels on Zanzibar
- Flights to Zanzibar: Compare airlines, dates and prices all in one place with Skyscanner.
- Travel Insurance: We never travel without travel insurance with World Nomads. We ALWAYS travel with travel insurance. Natasha is a bit of a worry wart and would rather stay safe than sorry. World Nomads offers incredible flexible and great plans!
- Water: If you want extra assurance then we love traveling with our Lifestraw Go Waterbottle.
Bonus! Take a tour around these Zanzibar beaches with us
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