Tanzania is known for its rich cultural diversity, with more than 100 distinct ethnic groups and tribes. The majority of Tanzania’s tribes come from Bantu origin, which represents about 95% of the country’s population. The rest of the tribes comprise Nilotic speakers and indigenous hunter and gatherer descendants. A small percentage of Tanzanians is from Arabic […]
10 Best Beaches in Tanzania
Located on the southern half of the African continent, Tanzania is a truly versatile holiday destination. Whether you’re someone who prefers to spend their vacation time in a more active way or someone who just needs a good book and a spot on the beach to relax, this beautiful country has something to offer you.
And speaking of beaches – did you know that Tanzania is home to some of the most breathtaking white sand beaches in the world? Let’s discover the best beaches of Tanzania now.
Top 7 most beautiful beaches in Tanzania
Paje Beach and Jambiani Beach
Paje Beach and Jambiani Beach are, by many, considered to be Zanzibar’s most beautiful beaches. White sand, crystal blue water, a number of bars and restaurants at your disposal, and many accommodation options to choose from definitely make it hard to pass on. However, that’s not really its main selling point.
Paje Beach is a real paradise for those interested in kite surfing, as every year, thousands of enthusiasts from all over the world visit this beautiful place due to favorable winds, lack of sea urchins, and shallow water. If you too enjoy kitesurfing, it would be best to plan your vacation from June to August or December to February, as that’s when you can expect the best winds. Besides, wouldn’t it be great to escape the cold and darkness winter brings to most places?
Our insider tip: be sure go to at high tide to enjoy those beaches to the fullest.
Located in the north of Zanzibar, Nungwi Beach is arguably one of the most popular beaches in Tanzania – and why wouldn’t it be? With white sand and crystal clear waters, it is an ideal destination for anyone who appreciates relaxing surrounded by beautiful views.
The coastline is more rocky here, which means at high tide there is only a few places where you can still sit on the beach. But the views make it all worth it! From Nungwi, you can see both sunset and sunrise over the ocean.
Since there are no coral reefs close to the beach, it’s a good place for surfing and windsurfing enthusiasts. It’s also a good place to start snorkel and dolphin trips from.
Combined with a number of restaurants serving traditional food, bars, as well as several sleeping accommodation options in surrounding areas, Nungwi Beach is definitely a destination you should consider when you’re looking for the best beaches in Tanzania.
Ras Kutani Beach
Ras Kutani Beach, located on Tanzania’s mainland, is a beautiful beach located in the proximity of Dar es Salaam – Tanzania’s biggest city. If you are looking for an ideal location for a quick gateway when the buzz of the city becomes overwhelming or when you want to fully immerse yourself in Tanzania’s beauty, this high-end lodge is the place to be.
And for those who prefer a more active vacation, Ras Kutani Beach offers a number of activities for you to choose from, including snorkeling, during which you’ll have the opportunity to explore The Chyko’s shipwreck, bodyboarding, or trip to the tropical forest located nearby where you can admire different monkey species.
Fanjove Island, the smallest of the islands making up the Songo Songo Archipelago, is a great destination for anyone who’s looking for a truly remote adventure. There are only six bandas on it, which means that you’ll be surrounded by (almost) nothing but nature!
Fanjove Island used to be uninhibited, with the exception of a handful of fishermen who used it as a fishing base from time to time. This allowed all of the island’s flora and fauna to survive. Today, visitors can marvel at the prolific wildlife, which includes green turtles, spinner dolphins, sea birds, coconut crabs, tropical fish, and humpback whales, just to name a few. Not to mention the miles of preserved coral reefs, which are home to striking marine life.
Saadani National Park
If you’re unsure whether you want to spend your days in Tanzania exploring the wildlife or relaxing on the beach, Saadani National Park might be the ideal location for you. Being one of the few places where the bush meets the beach, this national park gives you the opportunity to spend the day observing the fauna and flora and relaxing on the beach right after.
The park itself is surrounded by several villages, which you might want to visit if your interest lies in history. One especially worth mentioning is the namesake of the national park – the Saadani village, which used to be a crucial harbor town, as well as East Africa’s slave trading center.
The Vumawimbi Beach, on Pemba Island, allows you to admire the everyday life of Zanzibarian fishermen as they cycle to their traditional boat and start the day filled with fishing ahead of them. Its rich and thriving coral reef, which is home to several marine species, makes it a great location for snorkeling lovers.
Those who are looking to relax will be able to do so in the company of soft white sand and beautiful crystal blue water, surrounded by swaying palm trees and an ambiance that just screams peace and quiet.
Rather than pointing out an individual beach located on the island, we decided to include it as a whole, as there are too many to choose from. While Mafia Island might not be as popular among visitors as Zanzibar, it’s a dream come true, especially for those who enjoy diving.
If you visit from October to April, you might be able to swim with whale sharks – you might have to try a few days in a row, as sightings are not guaranteed, but it’ll be worth it in the end. After all, how many people can say that they swam with whale sharks? You can also snorkel in the Marine Park, where you’ll have the chance to see incredible coral reefs, as well as marine wildlife, like dolphins, turtles and octopuses.
And for those who prefer more “down-to-earth” activities, there are a few things to do as well – for example, you can visit the nearby Chole Island, where you will feel like time has stopped, or the old lighthouse located on the north part of the Mafia Island.
Other Tanzania Beaches You May Want to Visit
There are so many beautiful beaches to visit in Tanzania that we couldn’t possibly fit all of them into one article. So, here are some additional places, aside from the ones we already mentioned, that you should at least consider visiting next time you’re in Tanzania.
Known also as Oyster Bay, Coco Beach is a place that truly combines the best of both worlds. While you are located within Dar es Salaam, giving you quick access to anything you might need, you can also feel as if you were on a tropical island due to the beautiful scenery all around you. This is not to mention that Coco Beach offers several outdoor activities you can partake in, such as surfing, outdoor concerts and beach parties.
This is the beach where most locals use to go, which gives it a different vibe – local food vendors, music, many people strolling. You want to feel the vibe of local Tanzanian city life ? Go to Coco Beach !
Located close to Pemba Island, Misali Island is a good destination for those who are more active vacationers. Not only is the snorkeling experience amazing, but you can also choose from a plethora of nature trails to truly discover the beauty of this island.
Misali Island is uninhabited due to the lack of fresh water, and tourists are not allowed to camp, so you need to find accommodation on Pemba Island. Still, despite not having any native inhabitants, it was and continues to be an important fishing site.
It also served as a spiritual site due to the belief that the island’s caves are inhabited by the ancestors’ spirits. Even today, some people leave offerings at the caves’ entrances, believing that it will ensure great health and large catches.
The final position on our list is Kunduchi Beach, located, once again, close to Dar es Salaam. This destination will be a good one if you’re traveling with children, as close by is Kunduchi Wet ‘n’ Wild – the largest water park in East Africa.
It’s also a good place for history geeks who can visit the remnants of an XVI-century mosque and XVIII-century pillar tombs adorned with Chinese porcelain, as well as Mbweni graves, although those are located a little further away.
Next to Kundichi Beach, we would like to mention Mbudya Island (close to Kunduchi) and Bongoyo Island (close to Masaki) which are both amazing beaches. A local boat takes you there. These are uninhabited islands where locals go in the weekend. On Mbudya you can even find giant coconut crabs.
Best Beaches in Tanzania – An Overview
Here’s a map with the best beaches in Tanzania – feel free to use it as a reference when planning your itinerary!
The Bottom Line
Tanzania is a diverse country that offers you not only stunning views, beautiful beaches, and impressive mountains but also hard-to-forget cultural experiences. The land is full of history, waiting for anyone willing to uncover it. If you’re lucky enough, you might also experience wildlife encounters that will be stuck in your mind for a very long time.
Still, it’s no secret that one of the reasons why people choose to visit this country is because of its beaches. Tanzania beaches are some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, and the ones on our list certainly prove that.
If you’re planning on visiting Tanzania, don’t hesitate to check out our resources. And if you’re looking for something special for your trip, get in touch with us. Here at Tanzania Specialist, we prepare customized travel itineraries that meet all of your needs. Sounds good, doesn’t it?