Beach Holidays

The beaches of East Africa are lapped by the Indian Ocean; blazingly blue and beautifully warm, creating beaches to dream about. The coral sands of the mainland and islands are soft, white, and sandy and the sea abounds with colorful marine life. These are excellent beaches and the ideal complement to the excitement and adventure of a Tanzania safari.

Where else should we believe, but one of the world’s most prestigious paradise islands? 85% of Tanzania beach accommodation is found on Zanzibar Island, just forty-five minutes to an hour flight from Arusha, just two hours from the Serengeti.

Zanzibar Island is endowed with miles of magnificent white sand beaches, preserved by the coral reef that rings the majority of the island. There are isolated coves, working shores where the dhow fisherman leave their ships, private stretches of virgin sand, and, correspondingly, stretches of sand with sun-beds as far as the eye can see. This Zanzibar is an island with something for everyone.

The western side of the island has little to offer in beach terms save in the far north and south. As you move anti-clockwise around the coast from Stone Town the first lodge of note is the Residence, on the western side of Zanzibar’s southerly tip. The beaches here tend to take the form of small coves flanked by rocky cliffs – they’re ok, but there are better beaches elsewhere.

Rounding the south of the island towards the bottom half of the east coast, an almost continuous beach stretches all the way to the Michamvi Peninsula. Some parts are better than others, but in places, this is one of Zanzibar’s best beaches. There are many good hotels here including some of our favorites to the north. The central village of Paje on this southeast coast has become a world center for kite surfing.

Crossing Chwaka Bay towards the upper half of the eastern coast, this area is dominated by the beaches of Kiwengwa and Matemwe. Kiwengwa is the region of some of the island’s largest retreats (generally best avoided!) but Matemwe is a great stretch of sand with several high-quality boutique lodges.

At the northern tip of Zanzibar island, generally considered as the most attractive part of the island, lies the village of Nungwi. This once sleepy fishing village is now a travel hotspot, with some great resorts to the east and a lively backpacker’s area on the western side.

Staying around the coast to the west and south brings us to the beach area of Kendwa, home to Zanzibar’s finest beach. Zuri Zanzibar is a new opening and a firm favorite; although less intimate than we usually like it is simply superb.