Zanzibar Beaches

Zanzibar City in Tanzania

Zanzibar City is the capital and largest city of Zanzibar, in Tanzania. It is located on the west coast of Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago, roughly due north of Dar es Salaam across the Zanzibar Channel. It also serves as the capital of the Zanzibar Urban/West Region, and qualifies as a district, formally known as Zanzibar Urban District. In 2002 its population was 205,870. Zanzibar City comprises two main parts, Stone Town and Ng’ambo; the two areas are historically divided by a creek, now marked by a large street called Creek Road. Stone Town is the historical core of the city, former capital of the Zanzibar Sultanate; because of its unique architecture and culture, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Ng’ambo is a much larger, modern area that developed around Stone Town after the Zanzibar Revolution, with office buildings and large apartment blocks such as those of the Michenzani neighbourhood.


Unguja, also known as Zanzibar Island, is the main island in the Tanzanian archipelago of Zanzibar. Stone Town, part of Zanzibar City, is an old trade center, with mosques and winding lanes. The 1883 House of Wonders is a former sultan’s palace with a clock tower. The Old Fort now houses a cultural center and a stone amphitheater. Underground aqueducts fed hot water to the late-19th-century Hamamni Persian Baths.
At the early-1900s Darajani Market, locals gather to buy produce, spices and seafood. The Anglican Cathedral stands on the site of an old slave market. Murogo and Pange islands, off Stone Town, are known for their coral reefs and dive sites. The waters around tiny Mnemba Island, off Unguja’s northeast coast, also have diverse sea life. Bottlenose dolphins swim off Kizimkazi’s beaches, in the south. Inland, Jozani Forest Reserve is a habitat for red colobus monkeys and other indigenous wildlife, and includes mangrove swamps. Farther south, Zanzibar Butterfly Centre has a netted tropical garden with native butterfly species.

Pemba Island

Pemba Island is part of Tanzania’s Zanzibar Archipelago, off the coast of East Africa. It’s known for its lush, green hills and clove plantations. The Pemba Channel, with its coral reefs and abundant marine life, separates the island from mainland Tanzania. The main town, Chake Chake, has a ruined 18th-century fort with a museum. Offshore, Misali Island is home to the Fischer’s turaco, a colorful rare bird.
On a peninsula west of Chake Chake, the Ras Mkumbuu ruins include a centuries-old mosque, plus houses, wells and tombs. Southeast, near Pujini village, are the Mkame Ndume ruins, stone remains of a citadel once home to 15th-century ruler Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman. Thousands of Pemba flying foxes gather at the Kidike sanctuary, also home to snakes, tortoises and vervet monkeys. In the far north of Pemba, the wildlife-rich Ngezi Forest Reserve is known for its many types of rare trees.


Matemwe is a village on the north-eastern coast of Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago, between Mwangaseni and Kigomani. Its economy is mostly based on seaweed farming and fishing. The village is the seat of an education project aimed at providing computer literacy to the population of the area, as well as the Dada cooperative that isintended to create job opportunities for Zanzibari women involving them in the processing and preparation of handmade cosmetics and food products such as jam, mustard and sweets that are sold in Stone Town. There is a charity school in Matemwe, Tamani Foundation, which provides the local students with great education. The facilities includes a nursery school, the only one in Matemwe, and an adult education, where English, Math and Computer skills are being taught. The main purpose of coming to Matemwe is the beach, which is the longest beach in Zanzibar. The beach is affected by the tide, so check tide schedules before visiting the beach. If you are staying there, however, that is not a problem as the tide is high two times every 24 hours. The beach is very quiet and you will not be harassed by many papasis.


Jambiani is a group of villages on the Tanzanian island of Unguja, part of Zanzibar. It is located on the southeast coast between Paje and Makunduchi. Jambiani has a strong seaweed culture with many farms dotting the coastline and employing 15,000 locals, mainly women. Most seaweed that is farmed here is sold to the Zanea Seaweeds Ltd company and distributed around the globe. The Island of Zanzibar produces around 11,000 tons of seaweed each year, a large amount of this coming from Jambiani sources.


Paje is a village on the Tanzanian island of Unguja, part of Zanzibar. It is located on the southeast coast between the villages of Bwejuu and Jambiani. The lagoon is used to learn kiteboarding, since a very consistent side-onshore wind is blowing most of the year, the lagoon is shallow during low tide and has a sandy bottom, and the reef protects the lagoon from waves.


Nungwi is a village at the northern end of the Tanzanian island of Unguja, familiarly called Zanzibar. It’s known for the wide, palm-lined Nungwi Beach and a nearby boat-building yard for the production of traditional dhows. The Mnarani Marine Turtle Conservation Pond shelters green and hawksbill sea turtles in a tidal lagoon. Off the coast, coral reefs teeming with colorful fish include Hunga and Leven Bank.


Kendwa is a village on the Tanzanian island of Unguja, part of Zanzibar. It is located in the far north of the island, on the west coast overlooking the nearby small Daloni Island and the larger and more distant Tumbatu Island.

LocationZanzibar, Tanzania
Best time to visitAll Year Around

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