At first glance, the beaches of Zanzibar are a real paradise! Snow-white sand, turquoise water, palm trees with hammocks stretched between them … And plus, all this beauty can be enjoyed almost all year round! Still, a beach holiday in Zanzibar has its own specifics, which should be taken into account when choosing a hotel.
Pros and cons of Zanzibar beaches
In total, there are about three dozen beaches on the island of Zanzibar, which stretch for 140 km. In some places on the coast, there are not even any boundaries between the beaches – they just flow into one another, but they have different names. Their names correspond to the names of the villages around which they are located. The coast is everywhere covered with fine white sand, the entry into the water is gentle. An added plus is that all public beaches in Zanzibar are free, but hotel areas are usually fenced off. You cannot find the usual sun loungers, changing rooms and umbrellas on ordinary beaches, they are available only in the neighborhood areas (anyone can rent a sun lounger here for a small fee).
The disadvantages of the beaches in Zanzibar include the powerful ebb and flow, which are especially noticeable on the east coast. Here the ocean goes 1.5-2 km every 6 hours, exposing the bottom, strewn with algae, sea urchins and stars. So, during low tide on the beach you can only sunbathe, and swim only during high tide. However, many vacationers successfully adjust their day to the ocean schedule and are very happy with tours to Zanzibar. If you want to watch a bounty-style picture all the time and not depend on the whims of nature, it is better to choose hotels in the north or north-west of the island.
The best beaches in ZanzibarNungwi
Overview of best beaches in Zanzibar usually start with Nungwi. It lies near the town of the same name, which is one of the largest settlements on the island. The best part of the beach, depicted on many advertising cards and posters, stretches for a kilometer from the northernmost point of the island along its western coast. The beach is practically not susceptible to ebb and flow, the water leaves only a couple of meters. There is literally everything for a great beach holiday in Zanzibar: hotels for every taste, many restaurants, diving opportunities, night discos and much more. Nungwi has a sufficient number of shops, pharmacies, gas stations, there is a large market. By the way, this is also one of the few places on the island where you can buy alcoholic beverages.
A little south of Nungwi there is another luxurious beach – Kendwa. It is here that the best hotels in Zanzibar are located, where the most respectable public rests. The noisiest “party” area is located in the center of the beach, and its northern and southern extremities delight with silence and tranquility. The ebb and flow is a little stronger here than on Nungwi, but they are negligible. The only negative is that due to the peculiarities of the coastline, the water here is sometimes cloudy.
When choosing a tour to Zanzibar, you should pay attention to the Kiwengwa village with the beach of the same name. There is a fairly large selection of hotels, well-developed infrastructure, many restaurants, shops, etc. The beach is always crowded, the atmosphere of a constant holiday reigns here, music sounds all the time, various performances take place. Of the minuses – very strong ebb tides, which leave shallow puddles with heaps of stones and algae on the coast.
In the southeastern part of the island, there is a popular Zanzibar beach called Paje (or Paje). In addition to being very picturesque, nature itself has created ideal conditions for kitesurfing: the wind here is always quite strong, and the waves are minimal due to the large reef, which lies 2 km from the coast. For swimming and relaxation, the central part of the beach is best suited, where it is always crowded and fun. The eponymous town of Paget is one of the largest settlements on the island, so there are many shops, restaurants, markets and hotels for every taste. There is also a menagerie with peacocks, flamingos and camels.
Jambiani beach is located a little to the south of Page. It is very beautiful, you can swim here during high tides, because the water warms up well. But the beach infrastructure is developed only on the territory of hotel complexes. And outside the hotels, the bottom is not cleaned, so there are a lot of algae, stones and sea urchins everywhere. But here there are excellent conditions for snorkeling – a boat for a trip to the reef can be rented literally for a penny.
Looking for a Zanzibar vacation but not sure which beach to choose? Contact us and we will provide more information about the island, its regions and features.