Pole, pole. It’s the first thing you will hear when landing in Tanzania. Pole, pole, translates from Swahili to English as slowly, slowly and pole, the pole is not just a word, but the encompassing of a lifestyle amongst the Tanzanian people. But, whether you want to live pole, pole or go on adventures with water activities, here are just some of the best beaches in Zanzibar where you can make that come true.
Best Beaches in Zanzibar:
- Stone Town
- Nakupenda Sandbank
- Matemwe Beach
- Mnemba Island
- Bawe Island
Nungwi is one of the best beaches in Zanzibar and a highly sought-after place by many tourists. The climate tends to be warm all year round and there are impeccable sunset views. You can also take a sunset cruise on a traditional dhow boat, which is a wooden traditional boat. If you want to be more adventurous, you can go snorkeling and see a site run by locals at the Mnarani Natural Aquarium. The bonus is that there are many restaurants of local and international cuisine.
2. Stone Town
Stone Town is the main island located on the archipelago and was known for its spice trade back in the day. It is a lively area and can get quite noisy because of the open markets and bustles of people, however, there are many white grains of sand you can discover while you are visiting Stone Town. With the former house of Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen having a house there, it is sure to fit any rockstar. Moreover, around stone town, there are many places that you can visit and go to by boat. Don’t forget to take a spice tour while in Stone Town and enjoy the many locally made goods that you will find at the markets.
3. Nakupenda Sandbank
Nakupenda, which means “I love you” in Swahili is located just about a 20-minute boat ride from stone town. The sandbank features beautiful blue clear waters and white sands. It is the perfect place to kick back and relax. You can also have the chance to snorkel in the waters and enjoy a barbecue of seafood, exotic fruit and drinks under the sun. Better yet, Nakupenda is best paired with Prison Island, where the viewing of the giant tortoises is always in sight.
Paje beach is another highly desirable place for tourists and is called one of the best beaches in Zanzibar due to its warm water and its nice laid-out white sand. At Paje beach, there is an amazing collection of beachfront where you can literally stay on the sand as well as many places to eat and of course, the turquoise waters to not be missed. For water activities, you have the chance to enjoy plenty of them with kite surfing, since the weather is always breezy, scuba diving where you can see turtles, starfish, trumpet fish, eel and more as well as some surfing. Paje is also home to amazing opportunities to simply relax and lay back with some seafood or exotic fruit at hand.
Michamvi is known as a fisherman’s island. The small island that is located next to Paje is not as crowded or popular as the other beaches, since it’s fairly remote and known mostly to locals. However, if you want to get the local experience, then don’t be shy to stop by. The best part of Michamvi though, happens to be visiting The Rock Restaurant. The Rock Restaurant is literally just that, a restaurant located on a rock in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Sometimes, when it is low tide, you can walk to the restaurant easily, but after low tide, you will see that the only way out of the restaurant is by boat, which makes your gastronomy experience just a little more adventurous.
6. Kendwa Beach, One of the Best Beaches in Zanzibar
Kendwa beach is just one of those beaches where you can test the line “I like to take long walks on the beach.” With soft sands and also a great place to once again engage in some fun water activities, you are going to come back either tanned….or sunburned. The icing to the cake just happens to be that Kendwa also offers some lively and upbeat cultural music.
7. Matemwe Beach
Matemwe is a great place to take the family since the water tends to stay at low tide and doesn’t get too high. Unlike some of the other popular beaches in Zanzibar, Matemwe stays fairly hassle-free and has less of a risk of crowds. But just like most beaches at low tide, there is more of a risk of coral reefs, so just ensure that you’re planning your visit with knowing that in mind. One of the coolest sights you can also see at Matemwe is the fact that there are many local women who take seaweed to harvest during the low tide and it has easy accessibility to Stone Town, which is only about an hour away!
8. Mnemba Island
Mnemba Island, while small, is actually mighty to the Zanzibar Archipelago as it is the largest island in the Archipelago. Shaped in a triangle, it is deemed by the Tanzania Tourism Board as a Marine Conservation Area. Year-round, people can go diving at 20 to 40 meters being the norm. There’s also a chance to experience the Kichwani Reef, which is deep and clear to see the many different species of coral.
9. Bawe Island
The Bawe Island and Sandbank from an aerial view look just like out of a movie, volleyball, not provided (any millennials out there get the reference….Wilson?). The island was recognized by the government as a private island, but you can still visit it by booking a tour. Once again, accessible near Stone Town, which is just a 45-minute boat ride off the coast, there is once again a lot of impressive aquatic life. Another tempting part of visiting the island is also the different species of birds that fly by as well as the ghost crabs you may see.
Jambiani is another fishing village that gets its income from fishing and seaweed farming. The lagoon is another perfect place and example of where you can relax, snorkel and walk. Some other activities include wind or kite surfing.
Seafood, water activities, lounging, walks on the beach and sunsets are just some of the few things you will take away when visiting Zanzibar. While some of the best beaches of Zanzibar exist in this post, your adventure to make it come true is only one click away with Global Tribes.