Zanzibar the name includes the main island, Unguja and its sister island Pemba. It has for centuries attracted seafarers and adventurers from around the world. Now it welcomes new generation of explorers those who have come to marvel at the rich heritage reflected in the architecture and the culture of the people. Visit Zanzibars historic stone town, where the sultans once ruled. Relax on one of 25 dazzling white, palm fringe beaches where the azure waters of the Indian Ocean beckons swimmers, divers, fisherman and water sports enthusiasts alike. Breath in the fragrant scents of cloves, vanilla, cardamom and nutmeg and discover why Zanzibar is called “The spice Island”. Explore the forests, with their rare flora and fauna. Or visit some of the ancient archaeological sites. Zanzibar beaches reflects the lifestyle and pace of East Africa. They tend to be warm, serene, and largely unpopulated. What’s more, they are often fringed by giant palms and border on blue water.
North of Zanzibar Town is where you find industrial areas and fuel depots, as well as armed guards posted to look after buildings and property. Fuji and Bububu beaches are good, and conveniently close to town. Mind the sea urchins though.
The North Coast:
Further afield, the beaches of Nungwi have increased in popularity over the last few years. Nungwi is one of the first spots to be visited by travellers exploring the regions beyond Stone Town. It’s strength lies in clean sands, shady coral outcrops, a gentle breeze to take the edge of the mid day heat, an azure blue ocean and the fact that it’s always deep enough to swim as the tide only recedes a few metres. There are several restaurants to choose from, as well as accommodation of varying standards and prices. Also towards north, the beaches around the eastern village of Kiwengwa are distinctly Italian in flavour.
East Coast Nights
Less populated by the tourist, the southern East coast has become more of a hideaway than it used to be. Accommodation and food are more basic, the water is relatively shallow, but the beaches go on for miles. If you time your stay to a night when the tide is low and the moon is up, prepare yourself for that Zanzibar spell. With the rumbling waves bashing against the coral reef in the distance, the moon and the star s adorning the sky, and the palm leaves swishing softly in the permanent breeze, the scene is ‘a distinctly magical affair’.
Kizimkazi is where beaches are even less populated and offers highly appropriate sundowner spots.
Prison Island also known as “Changuu” offers a smallish lip of the beach, just fifty meters or so from a good, shallow reef. It’s just a right size for a handful of island visitors, perfect for sun bathing, swimming, snorkelling or a nice rest after an exhausting historical tour of the prison ruins and tortoise watching found on the island.