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Visiting Tanzania is a must for anyone seeking diverse experiences that range from climbing atop high mountains to being around exotic wildlife. And if you love spending time at the beach, you can always explore some of the country’s best beaches in Zanzibar. The Tanzanian archipelago, Zanzibar, is in a class of its own. This island in the Indian Ocean is filled with mesmerizing beaches and deep-sea waters.

Here is a list of the 10 best beaches in Zanzibar:

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1. Nungwi Beach

Nungwi Beach—one of the best beaches in Zanzibar for nighttime partying
A distant view of a bustling restaurant located on Nungwi Beach.

Nungwi Beach is an outdoor enthusiast's dream vacation spot. The beach offers endless nighttime entertainment options, including a variety of pubs, hotels, and restaurants catering to those looking to let loose and have a good time. There is always the option of exploring the nearby marine life through diving activities.

2. Matemwe Beach

Matemwe Beach—one of the best beaches in Zanzibar for fishing.
Fishing boats as seen in Matemwe Beach.

Matemwe is Zanzibar's longest beach. Its beautiful white sand, crystal clear waters, and colorful coral reefs look postcard-perfect at all times. Here you can enjoy a relaxing beach vacation while soaking in the sights and mixing with locals coming from fishing communities. Matemwe Beach is also one of the best beaches in Zanzibar for kite surfing and sailing—perfect for a family vacation with kids.

3. Kendwa Beach

Girl snorkeling in Kendwa Beach.
A young girl wearing snorkeling gear and catching a starfish in Kendwa Beach, Tanzania.

The burst of colors at Kendwa Beach, especially in the evening when the sun begins to set, is fascinating. The ocean's emerald, the sun's orange hues create an unforgettable sight. Kendwa Beach is also home to one of Zanzibar’s most pristine and calm waters, making it the best spot for snorkeling and diving.

4. Kiwengwa Beach

Pier on Kiwengwa Beach.
A wooden pier extending out into the crystal blue waters of Kiwengwa Beach.

Kiwengwa Beach is a perfect spot to enjoy a relaxing beach holiday. Also known as “Little Italy” due to its many resorts and hotels run by Italians, Kiwengwa has just about everything going for it to become an ideal beach resort. Swim and sunbathe all day and head to any of the pubs on the coastline in the evening. What more could you ask for?

5. Paje Beach

A turtle swimming in a beach.
A turtle gracefully glides through the crystal clear waters of Paje beach.

A limitless expanse of white sandy beach, palm trees swaying gently in the wind, and waves of emerald waters lapping the coastline—that is Paje Beach for you! Inarguably one of the nicest beaches in Zanzibar for water activities. You can do everything from snorkeling to scuba diving and sailing at Paje Beach. The crystal clear waters make it easy to spot turtles, starfish, and other marine animals.

6. Jambiani Beach

Sea weed plantation at Jambiani Beach.
The lush seaweed plantation at Jambiani Beach—a vital source of livelihood for local communities.

Located on the South East Coast of Zanzibar Island, Jambiani Beach has some of the whitest sand you will ever see. Beyond that is an exquisite body of water that appears to touch the sky at the other end. The view is other-worldly. Just a little distance from the shore are local restaurants where you can meet with locals and seaweed farmers. Kuza cave is a special attraction at Jambiani Beach. It is an ancient limestone cave with dazzlingly clear mineral waters, known for its healing properties.

7. Uroa Beach

Two tourists cross paths walking alongside Uroa Beach.
Two tourists cross paths walking alongside Uroa Beach.

Uroa Beach is the perfect place for you if all you want is some peace. You can get plenty of alone time here. No loud music from pubs or beach parties, no madding crowd around to disturb your holiday. Just sit back, meditate, take a walk, and relax. By the time you leave Uroa, you will be fully recharged to take on the world anew.

8. Mtende Beach

Scenic view of Mtende beach.
Scenic view of Mtende Beach.

Located in Mtende Village, Mtende Beach is one of the smallest beaches in Zanzibar. It is undoubtedly different from any other of the best beaches in Zanzibar. It is a small cozy space between two huge rocks, offering peace and seclusion. This is where you can enjoy the serene getaway from the hustle and bustle of the world outside.

9. Nakupenda Beach

Seafood served at Nakupenda Beach.
A variety of seafood served at Nakupenda Beach.

Nakupenda in Swahili means "I love you." On this beach you will find abundance of love and of positive energy. Its soft sand feels like a gentle caress, and the sound of the ocean can soothe your soul. Besides beach and water activities, Nakupenda Beach also offers some of the best cuisines. And do not forget to greet the giant turtles going about their lives on the beach.

10. Muyuni Beach

Wide shot of Muyuni Beach.
The beauty of Muyuni Beach captured in daylight.

Muyuni Beach is the ideal destination in Zanzibar if you want to mix with the locals while also enjoying the perks of a beautiful beach. Enjoy a fun day at the beach or go see the local fishing community going about their daily life and learn more about their culture. After sundown, head to local pubs and restaurants where you can kick back and relax. 

If you’re planning a trip to Tanzania anytime soon, we suggest you go through our Tanzania travel guide to get an idea of how many days to spend, what is the best time to visit, and what destinations to visit. 
You can also fill out our customizable trip to Tanzania form to get the best Tanzania tour deals that include Zanzibar beaches as well.

Published by Supriya Rayamajhi, updated on November 28, 2023

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