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Beaches in Zanzibar: How to Choose Based on Your Interests

Zanzibar Island. Beaches In Zanzibar How To Choose Based On Your Interest. Leadwood Expeditions

Zanzibar is a world-class beach destination famous for hosting everything from honeymoons to company retreats. Its beautiful, fine white sandy beaches and coral reefs, water-based activities, and transparent blue seas make it an ideal dream vacation destination. It is located about 15 miles off the coast of Tanzania and the bounty island also has a colorful culture and history. With so many beaches to choose from, check out this brief guide to choosing the right destination based on your interests:

Zanzibar Island. Beaches In Zanzibar How To Choose Based On Your Interest. Leadwood Expeditions


Situated along the coast of Tanzania, Paje lies on the east coast of Zanzibar. It is essentially a huge, long strip of white sand, palm trees swaying in the breeze, turquoise waters, and exquisite sunsets. Bordered by a small village on one side, a collection of beachfront accommodation services and eateries, Paje is known for its water sports, most commonly its excellent scuba diving opportunities. 

The serene, clear, warm waters are indeed a scuba drivers heaven and you get to see turtles, starfish, trumpet fish and moray eels among a heap of other colorful marine creatures. So if you are looking to learn how to dive in Zanzibar, enjoy swimming in the ocean, go wind or kite surfing, Paje is absolutely the place to visit. Paje is ideal for family and honeymooners and you could also find evening joints open for dinner and disco fun.

Getting To Paje From Stone Town

From Stone Town, you can either get a private taxi or you can catch 2 local buses called Dalla Dalla, and this phrase is used to describe anything from an old open-air pick-up truck to a new minivan. If you go for the Dalla Dalla option to Paje, you’d have to enter a second vehicle just outside of Stone Town.

Nungwi Beach. Beaches In Zanzibar How To Choose Based On Your Interest. Leadwood Expeditions


This charming little village is located at the Northern tip of Zanzibar, and known to possess the kind of beaches that supplies its own sunshine. Nungwi beach has the kind of white coral sand that glows even after nightfall. It belongs to the lively fishing village of the same name with bars, restaurants, and nightlife where backpackers and locals can mingle with five-star resorts. For all its bustle, it still feels secluded. Its expansive coastline is wide open for swimming in some of Africa’s most pristine, rich-reef waters. One of the rare Zanzibar beaches untouched by severe undulations of high and low tides, Nungwi beach is perfect for all day water activities. 

You can take a two-hour sunset cruise in on a dhow down to Kendwa and back, and most of the dive centres offer night dives perfect for a chance to spot unique marine creatures like Spanish dancers and cuttlefish. There are also plenty of activities to offer including walking tours, sunset cruises, parasailing, and adventures around the Northern region with top-notch Zanzibar cycling adventures. Nungwi west is best for couples and family, while Nungwi north is ideal for singles as it has a more party-like lifestyle.

Getting To Nungwi From Stone Town

From Stone Town, you can hire a car and self-drive, book a shuttle bus to collect you from your current accommodation and drop you off directly at your next stop. Hotel arranged transport in a private car is available, and you can hire a taxi from Stone Town ferry tarmac.


An old fishing village on the south east coast of Zanzibar, Jambiani is known for its beautiful beaches, exciting seaside activities, and is a perfect getaway on a tropical island. It is a great place to get a good insight into the local way of life, as it has a laid back vibe with friendly local people who mix with tourists and everything you’d need is in a walking distance. Jabiani has a beautiful 7 km long beach with swaying palm trees and in contrast to some beaches in the north, this beach has powdery white sand and hardly any rocks or sea urchins. Jambiani’s barrier reef lies a few kilometers out, with a beautiful crystal turquoise lagoon in between. 

It is perfect for snorkeling, wading and diving, as it offers an excellent view of the marine. You can enjoy a nice beach walk when the tide is low and swim in the Indian ocean when the tide is high. It is ideal for families, honeymooners and solo travelers as well. Daily live music, happy hour or barbeque are arranged on a day to day basis to entertain travelers. Activities in Jambiani include biking tours on the beach, big game fishing, scuba diving in the coral reef that host some of Africa’s finest corals, kite surfing, boat trips on a dhow, and walks on the pristine beaches.

Getting To Jambiani From Stone Town

From Stone Town, you can hire a car or book a shuttle to pick you up from your location. The distance is about 55 km and will take you about 1 hour 30 minutes to get there.

Kendwa Beach. Beaches In Zanzibar How To Choose Based On Your Interest. Leadwood Expeditions


Kendwa beach is a beautiful white sandy beach with turquoise waters located down the western coast about 3 km South of the tip of Zanzibar island. It boasts a wide range of activities that are more suited to singles as it is popular with tourists and locals mainly because of its atmosphere of full moon parties. Kendwa beach is ideal for a variety of water sports including kite surfing, diving or snorkeling. Snorkeling tours to Mnemba islands are very popular with tourists and many of the beach bars that can be found here have volleyball facilities.

If you prefer to relax during the day, there are so many sun loungers and hammocks in which you can enjoy a good massage or a fruity cocktail. The tides here are quite gentle and there is no coral reef in front of it, so you can swim well on low tides as well as high tide. The beach is over 130 m wide in some places and the southern part of the beach is relatively narrow and often deserted. Kendwa beach is perfect for romantic sunsets and is well frequented throughout the year.

Getting To Kendwa From Stone Town

From Stone Town, you can hire a private taxi to get you directly to Kendwa and it takes about 1 hour 30 minutes.


Located at the south eastern corner of Zanzibar, Bweuju beach is an exclusive retreat. While walking by the shores of the 12-mile long white sand, you are likely to encounter a timeless idyll, unique to Zanzibar, lots of fishermen returning from sail with their wooden dhow boats, a bunch of women scooping seaweed, and kids racing around the seashore. The beach itself is pristine and endless with its ocean tamed for swimming. It is sheltered by coral reefs and the tide is dramatic. At low tide, it is impossible to swim but, but you can catch a glimpse of the islands colorful marine life by taking a walk to the reef without even getting your feet wet. 

It is perfect for couples and honeymooners as it is quite remote. It has a lovely beach for most of the year, but at Christmas, the beach could be heavily covered with seaweed. South of Bwejuu is Dongwe and Pongwe. Nearby Michamwi village is also great for sunset trips on a clear day, while Dongwe is a starting point to cheaper snorkelling in the lagoon nearby.

Getting To Bwejuu From Stone Town

From Stone Town, Bwejuu is just about 56 km away. You can hire a taxi from Stone Town to Bwejuu beach directly.


Located along the coastline Northeast of Zanzibar, Matemwe is the longest beach in Zanzibar. This idyllic beach has some of the finest sand on the island amongst the palm trees and at the back of the beach, you will find traditional fishing villages which offer a fascinating insight into the local culture. Swimming is impossible in low tide, but it is a great starting point for diving trips to archipelagos best reefs. It is ideal for family and honeymooners. 

About 2 km offshore, just beyond the main reef is the world’s famous island Mnemba Atoll. A popular scuba diving spot surrounded by pristine and very accessible coral reefs. Nearby areas around Matemwe beach have the best diving and snorkeling on the island, plus some excellent sailing and kitesurfing.

Getting To Matemwa From Stone Town

From Stone Town, Matemwa beach is approximately 50 km / 30 miles Northeast of Stone town. You can enter public transport from Stone Town to Matemwe village. The dalla dalla will drop you at the end of the junction before the village where the tarmac ends. You could also hire a taxi directly from Stone Town to Matemwe beach.

Pongwe Beach. Beaches In Zanzibar How To Choose Based On Your Interest. Leadwood Expeditions


Pongwe beach is an idyllic place and a tropical paradise known for its calm waters for swimming. It is quite remote, making it a great place for you to unwind. You’re most likely to be the only one on the beach if you choose to take a walk and if you plan to do a trips around Zanzibar from Pongwe, bear in mind it is not the location as all snorkeling or dive trips take at least an hour to get to the nearest snorkeling and diving location. Pongwe is the perfect beach for those looking for privacy and intimacy. Guests are mainly couples and romantic honeymooners. A great option to celebrate a romantic occasion

Getting To Pongwe From Stone Town

From Stone town, Pongwe beach is 46 km / 29 miles from Stone Town. for public transport, take a dalla dalla directly to Pongwe. Be careful not to mix Pongwe with Mwera Pongwe as this is an entirely different place. It is easier to take a taxi and you can hire one from Stone Town to Pongwe beach.

If Zanzibar is your next getaway in Africa,  get in touch with us today by calling or filling out our contact form. We’ll be happy to make your Zanzibar dream adventure a reality. 

Check out some of our tours below that will take you to Zanzibar:

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