Zanzibar is an archipelago of over 50 islands so if you love beaches you’ll be spoilt for choice when visiting this seaside paradise. To make it easier for you, Viva Africa Tours has picked the best of the bunch – and if you ever get tired of lazing on white sands gazing at azure seas (yeah, right!) we’ve given you some tips on what else you can do while you’re in Zanzibar.
Zanzibar has a magical old-world atmosphere and you’ll feel that you have travelled back in time, with Stone Town’s Indo-Arabian architecture a striking and unexpected urban backdrop for memorable summer nights. Zanzibar is culturally diverse and a haven for foodies who will enjoy the exotic cuisine – especially the fresh seafood. The markets, run by friendly locals, are perfumed with pungent, enticing aromas of spices and fruits. The beaches are soft white sand, where the sparkling waters lap. You can be as active – or as lazy –as you like on Zanzibar.
Something for everyone
Apart from beautiful and sunny and perfumed and… oh, we could go on and on… Zanzibar has a lot to offer every traveller. Families can enjoy the beaches that offer fun activities for the kids and a break for mom and dad. Students may prefer to go on an inexpensive backpacking tour and meet new friends. If you’re looking for a bit of luxury, you can enjoy the high-end lodges and hotels. Or, for some privacy, there are many colourful, welcoming guest houses to enjoy. If you’re the kind of person who likes to learn new skills, there are opportunities to learn cooking or wind-surfing or any number of activities.
Our favourite beaches
At the northernmost tip of Zanzibar’s lies Nungwi beach, which boasts azure waters and bleached white sands. Because tides here aren’t extreme, it’s a great place for swimming and diving. Nungwi is best known as one of Zanzibar’s vibrant beaches and is the place to head if you want to enjoy a drink or two. Although it’s at the centre of Zanzibar’s backpacker culture, it still has the tranquillity expected of Zanzibar.
The pristine white sand beach nestles on the south west side of Nungwi and the chilled out atmosphere has made Kendwa a favourite. It’s a great place if you’re a sociable type; there are friendly locals and there’s plenty of opportunity to join a game of beach volleyball or football.
North of Paje lies the seaweed fishing village of Bwejuu. Find a shady spot beneath a palm tree and spend the day reading, gazing at the waters and relaxing. This serene and gentle beach town has an excellent range of lodges, guesthouses and hotels.
The north eastern coast has mile upon mile of white sand and this is why you’ll find some of the poshest hotels on the island here. If you are looking to splurge then this is the place for you. There is still that underlying simple and tranquil ambience that infuses all of Zanzibar, so even the price of your beer in Kiwengwa won’t raise your blood pressure.
Paje lies on the south eastern region of Zanzibar and it’s the best place for water sports: try anything from snorkelling to kite surfing. Paje welcomed beginners to expert level so there is truly something for everyone to enjoy.
Zanzibar’s other treasures
There is no arguing that the beaches in Zanzibar are amongst the best but many people are attracted by the island’s rich culture. Stone Town is an ancient city and cultural heart of Zanzibar. You could roam the winding alleys, the lively, colourful bazaars and beautiful mosques forever.
Try the Historical Stone Town tour that will guide you through centuries of culture. And don’t forget to sample the cuisine. Zanzibar’s seafood is freshly caught and extremely tasty. The market is rich with exotic fruit and uniquely spiced foods. You can also visit one of the beautiful converted merchant’s houses and finish off your day with some fine dining, Zanzibar style.
What makes Zanzibar’s beaches the best?
Zanzibar is the pearl in the Indian Ocean and its tropical paradise atmosphere is in contrast to Africa’s broad, majestic landscapes. The beaches in Zanzibar are the kind you dream about: pure white sand and shimmering, azure waters that reflect clear cobalt skies. The beaches are calm, chilled out and perfect for relaxation. The waters are fished by the locals, either by hand or with traditional wooden dhows, to bring you the finest seafood. Sunsets on the beach are awe-inspiring; but Zanzibar also glows with the colours and culture of the birthplace of African Swahili.
For a truly life-affirming trip, we suggest combining safari, mountain and beach: climbing Kilimanjaro, adventuring by safari in the Serengeti then relaxing on Zanzibar’s finest beaches. You’ll stand on the rooftop of Africa, gazing on the sun as it rises, warming up the chill dawn with pink and apricot; you’ll experience the burnished golds and greens of ancient savannah in the Serengeti, and feel the white sands of Zanzibar’s incomparable beaches between your toes. It’s an adventure that captures the diverse essence of Africa’s beauty.
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