As a total beach girl, I always take any chance to chill at local beaches while traveling, and have easily been to hundreds of beaches around the world over my lifetime. 

I can easily say that Zanzibar has some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen.

In fact, the only thing I didn’t really love was the amount of vendors and locals harassing you to buy things while you’re trying to relax. 

I understand they’re trying to make a living, but after a while it feels repetitive and super irritating, especially as my friend April and I couldn’t even walk a few feet on the beach without local men following us to talk or sell something.

Either way, though, the white sandy beaches and calm turquoise waters make up for all the interruptions.

Plus, there are some incredible sunsets, and delicious restaurants and bars along most of the beaches here, making hanging on the beach an all-day affair.

If you’re a total beach bum like me, you need to check out the spots on my list of the best beaches in Zanzibar while you’re visiting the island.

Best Beaches in Zanzibar

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1. Paje Beach

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My all-time favorite beach in Zanzibar is Paje Beach.

My friend April and I spent about a week in Paje, spending almost the entire time only hanging out on the beach.

There are a ton of cute cafes, bars, and restaurants, plus little markets, and even massages on the beach.

It’s a great scene during the day, laying out and watching all the kiteboarders in the ocean. If you’re feeling adventurous, it’s a popular spot to take lessons.

We only went out on the beach one night during our trip because we were afraid of walking back too late solo on the beach, but boy was it a fun night filled with dancing, lots of locals, a crazy group of other travelers our age, plus delicious drinks.

Whenever I do another trip to Zanzibar, a stay in Paje is the first thing I’m booking.



2. Kendwa Beach

Since Kendwa has deeper water, that’s perfect for swimming any time of day and a big party scene, many people chose to stay here.

We didn’t make it to Kendwa Beach while we were in Zanzibar, but a few friends have gone and said they had a great time. 

They said the beach is absolutely stunning, commenting that the only downside is it can sometimes be tough to find anywhere with shade to sit.

This beach also is home to an epic full moon party.

We were disappointed to miss it while we were there. If it’s a party you want to go to, factor the full moon into your scheduling.



3. Nungwi Beach

Nungwi Beach was the very first beach my friend, and I hit up after arriving in Zanzibar.

We were skeptical after being driven down an incredibly rough road with lots of potholes, but wow does Nungwi Beach impress!

Every afternoon we’d walk from our hotel over to the beach for an afternoon of reading and tanning.

And every day we’d both continue to marvel about how we had never seen a beach with waters this color of turquoise.

When we sat down for dinner on our first night on a beachside terrace, we didn’t think things could be any more beautiful— then the sun began to set on the horizon.

We couldn’t believe just how stunning the sunset was here. In fact, we made it a point to be on the beach for sunset every night we were in Nungwi.

This is another part of Zanzibar that I would absolutely go back to the next time I’m on the island, hopefully with a boyfriend, because the sunsets here are insanely romantic. 



4. Kizimkazi Beach

Like most beaches in Zanzibar, you’ll find beautiful white sand and stunningly clear water on Kizimkazi Beach.

You’ll also see lots of local fishing boats and local dolphin tours. 

If you go in the mornings, you’ll catch the local fish market, which I’ve heard can be interesting to walk around. 

I’ve also heard they get beautiful sunsets, which I’m assuming are like Nungwi Beach’s.



5. Michamvi Beach

If you’re looking for a beach that offers shade under palm trees, check out Michamvi Beach on the east coast of Chwaka Bay.

Since this is more of a local beach, you won’t see too many shops, so bring supplies with you when you go. 

The tide can get low, but it’s a brilliant spot to swim when the water levels rise, since the bay keeps the waves calm.



6. Bwejuu Beach

Not too far from Paje, you’ll find Bwejuu Beach.

This is another spot where the low tide can make it hard to enjoy swimming in the water, so only hit this one up if you want to sit on the beach reading. 

You’ll find the beach dotted with restaurants, bars, and hotels, making it easy to find a spot for lunch or dinner.

The sunsets on this side of the island aren’t the best, so if you’re looking for a nice sunset, head in the other direction. 



7. Matemwe Beach

The color of the Indian Ocean is especially beautiful on Matemwe Beach. 

It’s one of the most popular snorkeling and diving spots on the island. You’ll also see a bunch of fishers here at high tide. 

This spot is about 60 minutes away from Stone Town, so it’s best to do as a little day trip.


FAQ’s

Which part of Zanzibar has the best beaches?

Which part of Zanzibar has the best beaches?

Nungwi and Paje both are areas with great accommodations and amazing beaches. 

What are the best beaches in Zanzibar for swimming?

What are the best beaches in Zanzibar for swimming 2

Nungwi, Mneba, and Kendwa all have amazing beaches for swimming.

What are the best beaches in Zanzibar for snorkeling?

What are the best beaches in Zanzibar for snorkeling 2

Kendwa Beach, Pingwe, and Kizimkazi Beach are all great for snorkeling.

Final Thoughts

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Writing this has made me so excited for the day I end up back in Zanzibar at the beach.

I especially cannot wait to hit up Paje and Nungwi beaches again.

Let me know in the comments below which beautiful beach you’re most looking forward to checking out when you visit Zanzibar.

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