Located just below the equator in the tropical belt, Tanzania Beaches are scattered with consistently stunning white beaches and turquoise waters, offering year-round sunshine. It’s risen to become the African haven for beach lovers, who are drawn to its pristine shores to experience a little piece of Paradise.
As you prepare to ‘pole pole’ (meaning ‘slowly slowly’) and take it easy in Tanzania, I’ve put together a list of the top 15 Tanzania beaches to help you live your best laid-back life.
- Related: Best Islands in Tanzania
1. Jambiani Beach, Zanzibar
Jambiani Beach is one of the best white sand Beaches in Zanzibar with a beautiful crystal turquoise lagoon in between. The broad lagoon of swallow water is perfect for wading, snorkeling and diving and offers an excellent view of the marine.
Thanks to its steady sideshore winds, Jambiani is also an ideal spot for wind- or kitesurfing. A high tide it’s nice to swim in the Indian Ocean and at low tide you can enjoy a nice beach walk.
2. Paje Beach, Zanzibar
Located off the coast of Tanzania, Paje is situated on the island of Zanzibar, which can succinctly be summed up as Indian Ocean amazingness (yes, I’m using that word!)
Situated on the east coast of this fabulous island, Paje is essentially a huge, long strip of white sand bordered by a small village on one side and a collection of beachfront accommodation services and eateries, as well as turquoise waters on the other.
Yes, right now, Paje is delightfully peaceful and quiet; and while it is on the map many tourists prefer the busier, more developed north beaches of Zanzibar.
3. Kendwa Beach, Zanzibar
Kendwa beach is one of the most popular beaches in Zanzibar. Located just a few miles before Nungwi village, the beach is slightly laid back compared to Nungwi beach. This top island beach does not have to deal with as much high and low tides, so the clear waters make it perfect for snorkeling, diving, and swimming without having to chase the ocean a mile away.
There are lots of fun activities to engage in like volleyball on the sandy beach, beach soccer, and so on. Kendwa beach is also famous for its active nightlife and party atmosphere. The sunset accompanies loud beach parties. There are restaurants and bars dishing out mouth-watering cuisines and beverages. Aquatic creatures like the colorful starfish also take refuge on the beach just offshore.
4. Prison Island Beach, Zanzibar
just off the coast of Stone Town, Zanzibar. Now a tourist attraction, Prison Island was once a place where slaves were detained and at one point, it also served as a place of quarantine.
The small sandy beach on Prison Island Zanzibar is a a quiet place where no one will bother you and you can peacefully relax or sunbathe.
If you would like to snorkel, the boat will take you a few meters off shore where you can disembark into deeper water with an small area of coral. The time I went, the snorkeling was’t that great as the current was quite strong.
A quick walk to the end of the wooden bridge and a look back at Prison Island is a charming view to cherish! It’s a view that almost makes you wish that you were arrested and thrown onto Prison Island Zanzibar!
5. Nungwi Beach, Zanzibar
One major beach destination on the island is Nungwi Beach situated at the north-western tip of the island. It is home to powdery white sand, crystal blue waters, and exotic flora and fauna. Here are eight other reasons why Nungwi Beach is your next island paradise destination.
Tourists can enjoy a drink on the rooftop bar as the sun sets over the tropical horizon. Locals also offer a sunset cruise on a Dhow boat. This is one of the reasons that make Nungwi a popular romantic destination for couples.
A trip to Nungwi beach, Zanzibar will not be complete without tasting the local cuisine. Nungwi beach offers various restaurants that will cater to everyone’s tastes. Nungwi Beach Restaurants vary from French Fusion dishes, classic Italian, to local dishes tourists may want to try. The best place to try some local food is by the village market where Chef Bakery and Munira Restaurant is located. They are known for serving the best Zanzibar food in the village.
6. Nakupenda Beach, Zanzibar
Nakupenda (In swahili means I LOVE YOU) is the name of an amazing sandbank located just off Stone town.
Snorkel and swim with dolphins at Nakupenda Beach, a wide stretch of white sand gently sloping into turquoise waters. Rent equipment from the beach’s diving center and venture into the waters to see the multicolored marine life. Alternatively, take a boat cruise or go reef game fishing. You can play with and feed tortoises and watch peacocks in the lush greenery behind the beach. Tents on site prepare fresh seafood dishes.
7. Matemwe Beach, Zanzibar
White sandy beaches, palm trees and the Indian Ocean as far as you can see, that’s Matemwe in north-eastern Zanzibar. The small village is loved by locals and travellers for its seemingly never-ending wide and romantic beach.
If you are looking to reconnect with nature and relax far away from it all, Matemwe is your spot to be. Here you will find pristine fishing communities, hosting few tourists and more fish markets. At the stalls, you can try local dishes.
While all of Matemwe is very secluded, the northern part is even more dreamy, with less accommodations than the southern part of the village. Here you will find a few more hotels and thus an increasing offer of restaurants and cafés.
8. Kiwengwa Beach, Zanzibar
Kiwengwa beach, one of the most beautiful beaches of Zanzibar, located along the east coast of the island. This beach has a unique beauty, thanks to the fine white sand and the rich vegetation that surrounds it, such as coconut palms. If you are lucky you will also have the chance to meet cute exotic animals that live in the area, such as monkeys and chameleons.
During the high and low tide periods, the beach undergoes continuous metamorphosis, shrinking and widening up to 200 meters, thus giving a unique view of the Indian Ocean. Being exposed to east, from here you can watch the early morning light reflecting off the crystal clear waters of the sea, creating an exciting color spectacle.
9. Coco Beach, Dar es Salaam
Coco beach is a stretch of coastline that is located in the Oyster bay area of Dar es Salaam – Tanzania. It is one of the more famous beaches in the city that is frequented by locals and even hosting several holiday beach parties and festivals. Due to this, there are several establishments on the beach, such as restaurants, food stands and shops renting beach equipment such as floaters.
There also are several municipal structures such as toilets and bathrooms (for pay), and a secure parking space. The downside to its fame is that it is not particularly the cleanest or the safest of beaches and as of late (early 2017), there are no lifeguards, police or dust bins. Although some effort is being made to regularly clean it up, there still remains some litter scattered here and there.
10. Matema Beach, Lake Nyasa
Matema beach is a brown sanded lake side shore that is located on the northern tip Of Lake Nyasa, in a town (also district) called Kyela in Tanzania. ‘Brown sanded’ because, unlike most sandy beaches in the country which are white in colour, the sand at Matema beach is brown and notably heavier in weight. It is also one of the cleanest and tranquil beaches in the country, particularly because of is remote location.
Matema beach is bordered on the south-western side (right side when facing the lake) by several creeks, where some of the rivers in the region meet the lake, however, the beach goes on for as long as you can cross the first few creeks.
On the north eastern side (left side when facing the lake) is a mountain range where some go hiking in. However, this is not actually a mountain but rather the walls of the rift valley of which the lake itself is situated in.