Zanzibar Islands Archipelago Beach Holiday Vacation Trips Destination Africa

Zanzibar Islands Archipelago Destinations Boat on the beach 

 Zanzibar beach holiday options are many, but broadly, the island can be divided into six holiday destinations: Stone Town Main capital City, Nungwi in the north, The East Coast, The South-east, The West Coast, and a few offshore islands.

Two or three hours’ drive from Stone Town, the village of Nungwi marks the northernmost tip of Zanzibar. Surrounded on three sides by turquoise-blue ocean, Nungwi has long been a magnet for visitors seeking paradise. Some come for some good diving and beaches, and proximity to a lively village where there's always a lot going on.

Zanzibar’s East Coast is lined with long, powder-white beaches. To the north, numerous small resorts boast similar beaches, yet all are quite different. Offshore you're find the magical exclusive Mnemba Island – the ultimate island lodge for those who can afford it!

Continuing along Zanzibar’s South-East Coast, the beaches remain stunning: powder-white sand with a barrier reef, lots of palm trees and a significant tidal range. The villages become a little sleepier and more relaxed as you head south, and Jambiani, in particular, is very relaxed indeed: for an authentic visit to a friendly village, you can't beat it.

In south-west Zanzibar, the Fumba Peninsula is a very laid-back and friendly corner of the island, with two good lodges, while offshore is the award-winning eco-resort on Chumbe Island.

A 30-minute flight north-east of Zanzibar Island, Pemba Island is comparable in size, but far more traditional in outlook, and tourist numbers here are tiny. Apart from a handful of honeymooners, most come for the diving, which can be excellent – although it’s really best suited to advanced divers.

Equally magical, although not part of the Zanzibar Archipelago, is the Mafia Archipelago. More remote, and quieter, than many places on Zanzibar, Mafia Island offers some superb diving and snorkeling in its own marine park, served by just a few small lodges.

Zanzibar Stone Town Traditional Door 

 Slavery and the spice trade ensured Zanzibar’s early wealth and nowhere are this more in evidence than in Stone Town a fine example of the Swahili coastal trading towns of East Africa and the capital of Zanzibar. The narrow, winding streets are thronging with the descendants of Arab and Swahili traders and it does feel a totally different from the rest of Tanzania, with its own unique cultures, traditions and architecture.

Northern Zanzibar Island Beach


 Two or three hours drive from Stone Town, the village of Nungwi has traditionally been the centre of Zanzibar's dhow-building industry. However, over the last decade the coastline here has turned it into one of Zanzibar's busiest beach areas. What was a ramshackle fishing village has become an increasingly busy place as various guesthouses, bars, shops and restaurants appear. The setting is beautiful, but the number of people in Nungwi town, the noise and the constant stream of apparently uncontrolled development do take the exclusive air off its charm.

Zanzibar Island Scuba Diving


 The East Coast of Zanzibar is home to the island's best and most idyllic beaches, lined with powder-white beaches which look out towards a long barrier reef, about a kilometer offshore. Inland there's a coastal strip of coconut palms within which there are small fishing villages and a variety of places to stay.

South-East Zanzibar / Michamvi Peninsula, Zanzibar Island


 In the southeast corner of Zanzibar, the Michamvi Peninsula and south-east Zanzibar is very similar in character to the east coast which stretches north of Chaka Bay – and is covered on this site under East Coast Zanzibar. It has the same powder-white stunning sandy beaches, barrier reef, palm trees and significant tidal change.

South West Zanzibar Water Sports


 South of Stone Town airport is the Fumba Peninsula. It's probably the most relaxed and friendly corner of the island, but until recently it has really only been used as venue for short few day-trips, to see the famous Zanzibar dolphins at the bay around Kizimkazi or the red colobus monkeys in Jozani Forest.

Mnemba Island Candle Lit Dinner


 Mnemba Island is a serenely private tropical island, almost untouched and amazingly, only 20 minutes from Zanzibar by boat. Mnemba Island is described by some as a “therapy for the spirit”. Pristine beaches wrap around the island's small 1km circumference (less than one hour’s walk) while an outer protection zone surrounds the island, conserving magnificent coral reefs where giant turtles, ghost crabs and spectacular tropical fish drift through the lagoons.  At its centre is a tropical forest, home to nothing more dangerous than cute, spaniel-sized suni antelope and butterflies.

Pemba Island Deep Sea Diving Boat


 Pemba Island is becoming well known for its dive sites, with steep drop-offs, untouched coral and very abundant marine life as well as its world class luxurious hotels and accommodations. The epitome of a tropical paradise, Pemba has green valleys with rice paddies and palm trees and clove plantations that shade the roads. Vistas of the Indian Ocean are pleasant surprises as they are presented through the peaks and depths of Pemba's hilly terrain.

Mafia Island Fishing Dhow


 A classic, off-the-beaten-track tropical island, Mafia provides the discerning visitor with a serene and exclusive hideaway, far removed from the crowds of Zanzibar.  Mafia Island is widely acknowledged as one of the best dive sites in the Indian Ocean Coast Sea. Mafia Island is a fantastic destination for adventurous travelers who seek an active holiday diving, fishing, snorkeling and exploring the offshore islands and sand banks without the crowds.

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