A beach on Zanzibar, Tanzania

Guide to Zanzibar Beaches

A guide to the Indian Ocean beaches of Tanzania’s spice islands and mainland coastal gems

A beach on Zanzibar, Tanzania

© Atosan,Shutterstock

A Travel Guide to Zanzibar Beaches

About 25 miles off the coast of Tanzania in East Africa, the archipelago of Zanzibar consists of various small islands and two large ones - Unguja (known simply as Zanzibar) and Pemba. It is perfect for an escape after a safari in Kenya or Tanzania, or just as a gorgeous place to chill out.

It’s known as the world’s spice island, but Zanzibar is, of course, also famous for images of deserted beaches of white sand, fringed by palms and bordering turquoise water.

So how do you decide which island or area of Zanzibar, or indeed, nearby islands or mainland coast, is right for your holiday?

In essence, your choice comes down to the type of beach you’d like to be based on or close to, and the style or level of accommodation you want. We hope this guide can help you make the decision that’s right for you.

Christine MacDougall - Travel Consultant

Born and bred in Africa, Chris travels to explore and drink in nature in the wild. Chris is diligent, caring and a bit bonkers.

Call:  01473 890499


Tanzania’s Islands & Coast

On a Zanzibar beach, Tanzania © DSukhov,SHutterstock

The two main islands of the Zanzibar archipelago are Zanzibar (correctly but rarely called Unguja) and Pemba.

Various smaller islands, such as Mnemba and Chumbe, are accessed from the main island.

For the sake of completeness, and to help you choose the best Tanzanian beach holiday, we have also included information on two islands south of here, namely Mafia Island and Fanjove Island, and the mainland coast.


  • Zanzibar Island
  • Pemba Island
  • Mafia Island
  • Fanjove Island
  • Tanzania mainland coast