Which Zanzibar beaches are best ?

Zanzibar is a dream destination to enjoy the heavenly beaches found there. However, Zanzibar is full of many different beaches. The natural question to ask is « but which beach in Zanzibar should I choose?« 

I spent two months going around Zanzibar and I think I can help you choose the best beach for your needs and desires.

Where is Zanzibar?

Zanzibar, a small island archipelago, is located off the coast of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean. Indeed, Zanzibar is located about 60 km from the Tanzanian coast, so it is very easy and fast to get to this archipelago.

Zanzibar is the preferred place for travelers looking for an idyllic place to rest.

Indeed, Zanzibar is a paradise with its white-sand-beaches and turquoise waters. Zanzibar is not only a place of relaxation and idleness. Indeed, for the most active, many activities are accessible. For example you can explore the seabed, visit prison Island, swim with dolphins, visit Stone Town etc….

What is the best time to go to the beach in Zanzibar?

Zanzibar enjoys a very pleasant equatorial climate all year round. 

There are two rainy seasons:

  • From March to May
  • From October to December

The Zanzibar archipelago can be visited all year round. 

Nevertheless, the best times are:

  • January and February
  • From July to September

However, be aware that these conditions are very variable.

As for me, I spent two months in Zanzibar between the end of March and May. 

May was the worst month. Indeed, I had a lot of rain. When it rains in Zanzibar, the roads are quickly impassable. 

Also, know that when I went to Zanzibar, the month of May was the month of Ramadan. 98% of the inhabitants are Muslims in Zanzibar so the archipelago slows down during this month of May. As a result, a large number of institutions are closed during Ramadan.

However, as May is the low season, it is the time when you can enjoy the best prices.

Which Zanzibar beaches are best ?

There is no single answer to this question. Indeed, each person has different expectations during the vacation. Some people will want to find a beach where they can be quiet, others will want to enjoy water activities on the beach, others will prefer a beach with the best seabed etc.

The choice of a beach is therefore a personal choice according to everyone’s wishes.

Which Zanzibar beaches are best for kitesurfing ?

Kitesurfing in Zanzibar

Zanzibar is an archipelago known worldwide for its meteorological conditions for kitesurfing. This is a very good spot to learn Kite Surfing, which is also very suitable for more experienced people.

Kitesurfing is possible on many beaches in Zanzibar. Indeed, you will find kite surfing schools all along the east coast of Zanzibar.

More precisely, the best beaches for kitesurfing are, from north to south:

  • Kiwengwa
  • Dongwe
  • Paje

The most famous beach for kite surfing and where you will find a greater number of kite schools is Paje. This is the favorite spot for kite-surfers

So don’t hesitate to go and see for yourself.

However, conditions are also very good in Kiwengwa, which is a little further north. 

Which Zanzibar beaches are best for scuba diving/ snorkeling ?

Mnemba Atoll, Zanzibar

Zanzibar is an archipelago of islands known for its seabed. Indeed, there are magnificent seabeds with well protected corals and incredible underwater fauna.

Unfortunately, there are not many beautiful seabeds accessible from the beach in Zanzibar. Indeed, Zanzibar’s beaches are generally long stretches of fine white sand. To see the first corals it is often necessary to swim long and far away which can be dangerous.

However, along the beaches you can still see some fish and many starfish.

For diving and snorkeling, you will usually have to go on a boat trip.

You will find diving centres from most of Zanzibar’s beaches. However, a large part of the centres are concentrated in the northeast between Nungwi and Kiwengwa.

However, it is possible to access snorkeling from the beach when you are on the island of Mnemba. This small island located a few kilometres east of Zanzibar is a private island. By staying on this island you have the possibility to snorkel without taking a boat.

If this is not your case, you will have to take a snorkeling excursion with a company to dive around this small island.

If you are interested in diving, I advise you to consult my article on the best diving spots in Zanzibar.

Which beach is the most beautiful in Zanzibar ?

Zanzibar is home to many beautiful beaches. Most of them are composed of long stretches of white and fine sand with turquoise waters and many coconut palms.

The experience is unique to each of us.

Among the most beautiful beaches in Zanzibar are:

  • Nungwi, in the north of the island which is probably the most touristic and lively beach
  • Pingwi, in the south-east, with its restaurant in the middle of the water
  • Matemwe, located in the northeast, attracts a number of tourists but is still preserved
  • Paje, in the south-east, where you can find the most beautiful beaches that attract many tourists
  • Jambiani, a small village south of Paje, a living village that breathes authenticity
  • Kiwengwa, located northeast just below Matemwe, welcomes many tourists to its beach, which offers a breathtaking view of the Indian Ocean.

Zanzibar offers a wide range of beaches, all of which are more beautiful than the other. So you have a choice if your only criterion is beauty.

Which Zanzibar beach is the most quiet one ?

Having been around the island for 2 months, I must tell you that tranquility and calm are not necessarily obvious things to find on the beaches of Zanzibar. Indeed, there are many tourists and locals who will take advantage of a moment to try to sell you something on the beach.

Of all the beaches I have visited, I think Jambiani has been the most peaceful place to quietly enjoy its beautiful beach. The water is turquoise, the sand is fine and white and the temperature is extremely pleasant. 

Jambiani, Zanzibar

So I advise you to choose Jambiani if you want some peace and quiet.

Is there a beach without tide in Zanzibar?

Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean is inevitably subject to the tidal phenomenon. This phenomenon makes it difficult to use the beaches during certain hours of the day.

At low tide, the ocean retreats for hundreds of metres, which means walking for a long time to reach the water or simply waiting for the tide to rise. 

Be aware that it may take between 4 and 6 hours for the water to rise

The entire Zanzibar archipelago is affected by this phenomenon but it is more attenuated at the northwestern end of the island (Kilindi) where the sea wall is very large, which limits the effect of the tides.

To conclude, Zanzibar offers many possibilities in terms of beach. Choosing one is therefore not an easy thing. I advise you not to stay on one beach but to take the opportunity to see several. But depending on the time you have and your desires and needs, the choice of beach varies as I have just explained.

However, no matter which beach you choose, you will not be disappointed. The beaches are beautiful on Zanzibar. 

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