Zanzibar’s cultural diversity, beautiful nature and friendly people make this tropical island the perfect get away. Our favorite place to stay in Zanzibar is Jambiani. If you love beautiful beaches, exciting activities, nice restaurants with delicious food and authenticity, Jambiani is the place to be.
Jambiani is an old fishing village on the southeast coast of Zanzibar. It is still really authentic with only a few small lodges and guesthouses. Jambiani has a laid back vibe with friendly local people who mix with tourists. Their main source of income is fishing and seaweed farming. This is a great place to get an good insight into the local way of life and everything is in walking distance.
There are several good restaurants on the beach where you can eat delicious seafood, but also other dishes. After dinner you can walk on the beach, back to your lodge. Jambiani is a cozy and very safe place.
Jambiani has a beautiful 7 km long beach with swaying palms. In contrary to some beaches in the north, this beach has powdery white sand and hardly any rocks or sea-urchins. The barrier reef lies a few kilometres out, 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.
Restaurants in Jambiani
Discover the many nice restaurants in Jambiani. Most of them you can find at the lodges if you walk along the beach. Enjoy the fresh caught seafood, pizza, meat- or vegetable dishes and so much more delicious meals. If you love seafood go to Casa Del Mar to order Lobster and Sea Cigal (tasteful local lobster). It’s absolutely delightful. Other good restaurants we recommend are Nur Beach, Blue Reef and The Loop. The Blue Reef has a wood-fired pizza oven and serves the best pizza in Zanzibar and also great cocktails.
Since the are so many good restaurants in Jambiani, we advise you to book only bed- and breakfast at your lodge and not full board.
Lodges in Jambiani (all beachfront)
We selected our favorite lodges in Jambiani for you. They all serve delicious food a la carte.
- Blue Reef Sport & Fishing lodge
A nice lodge, located at the beachfront in Jambiani. The rooms are clean with comfortable beds. The lodge is pretty basic and has no pool, but the price per person/per night is only $40 (bed & breakfast). Blue Reef consists of 2 parts that are just 200 metres apart. Blue Reef 1 has a nice bar and restaurant (daily happy hour 5-7pm) and 2 family rooms with ocean view. All rooms at Blue Reef 2 have sea view and their own veranda. This part is a bit more quiet and has a lovely Italian restaurant.
- The Loop
This new lodge offers a bit more luxury and has a modern ‘beach-style’ design including a beautiful swimming pool. Every house has its own veranda with hammock and sea view. The price per person, per night is about $50-60,-
- Nur beach
This lodge has an authentic Zanzibar design with thatched-roof houses. The level of luxury and price is similar to The Loop. Although the rooms are a bit smaller (but large enough for 2 people), the veranda with seat is a bit more spacious. Enjoy the gorgeous infinity pool and great sea views.
- Casa del Mar
If you go to Jambiani as a family, this is a nice place. The rooms are bigger than the other lodges we mentioned above. Casa del Mar is totally renovated and looks really nice and includes a swimming pool.
Live music, food and drinks in Jambiani
All lodges have their own restaurant where everyone is welcome for a drink or nice meal. To entertain the travelers they organize every day live music, happy hour or a barbecue at a different lodge.
Daily: happy hour at Blue Reef (5-7pm), enjoy the music and sunset
Monday: enjoy live music at Red Monkey Lodge
Wednesday: Barbecue and disco at New Teddy’s Place (Paje)
Thursday: Barbecue and live music at Demani (Paje)
Friday: live music at Jambo
Saturday: live music at Before
Sunday: live music at Vuvuzela
Activities in Jambiani
- Biking tour
If you like some exercise and adventure go on a biking tour to explore the village and surroundings. It offers you a nice insight in the daily way of life and beautiful nature. There are also beach bikes available, if you prefer a tour on the beach.
- Big Game Fishing
We can arrange a half or full day big game fishing. The Indian Ocean is famous for excellent game fishing and has a huge variety of fish, such as Tuna, Marlin and Sailfish, Barracuda and Dorado. Sail out to the deep waters to catch some spectacular big fish that can easily weight up to 60 kg.
- Scuba diving
The beautiful coral reefs hosts some of Africa’s finest corals. There are several diving spots and the variety of marine life impressive, such as sea horse, octopus, stingray, frog fish, porcupine, Napoleon fish and turtles. We work together with diving school Nakupenda, located at The Loop.
- Kite surfing
Due to its steady sideshore winds Jambiani is an ideal spot for wind- or kitesurfing. The beaches are quite and the waters are shallow with little sea- urchins.
- Boat trip on a dhow (traditional wooden sailboat)
Go for a sail on the beautiful Indian Ocean and spend some time at the coral reefs snorkeling. You can see starfish, sea urchins, octopuses and many more.
- Walk on the pristine beaches
Low tide is the perfect time to go for a beautiful beach walk and enjoy the fantastic view of the clear ocean.Visit local village
Discover local life by visiting a local school, tailor or boat builder. You can also see how locals make soap or cream out of seaweed or all the products they create out of coconuts.
Activity just outside Jambiani
- Snorkeling at Blue Lagoon
Start the day by driving to Dongwe (15 min), where the Blue Lagoon is located. This is one of the best snorkeling spots in Zanzibar due to its beautiful coral and tropical fish. The visibility is good and the depth range, between 1-4 metres, is perfect for snorkeling. Treat yourself, after snorkeling, to nice food and drinks at The Rock. This restaurant is built on a rock in the ocean. An awesome place to enjoy the views. End the day at Kae Funk in Michamvi where you can experience the most beautiful sunset in Zanzibar.
Distance from Jambiani to Stonetown?
The distance is 55 km and will take you about 1,5 hours.
For more information about Zanzibar Island.