6 More Private and Peaceful Alternatives to Zanzibar

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Zanzibar is one of the most beautiful and exciting tourist destinations in the world. However, some people might seek a more private or peaceful alternative. These people can choose to visit other secluded East African islands near Zanzibar and enjoy an unforgettable holiday!

While Zanzibar is an exciting and promising destination, these alternatives may be preferred by tourists seeking more relaxation or a more private experience. The following island and coastal destinations are affordable, welcoming, and beautiful, and offer a unique, remarkable vacation!

1. Lamu Island, Kenya

Lamu is an island smaller than Zanzibar. It is a better option for those who wish to visit a place with lesser tourists. It is home to 23 mosques, a donkey sanctuary, and the Lamu fort which was built in the early 1800s. Tourists can visit many heritage sites, look at the wonderful Swahili architecture, and visit the Lamu Museum which displays great examples of Swahili culture. There is no motorised transport on Lamu.

Sea Turtle Hatchlings

Baby Sea Turtles or Hatchling

2. Mafia Island​

Another option is Mafia Island, also known as Chole Shamba, which can easily be reached by flight or boats. This is a great destination for those seeking either adventure or relaxation. It is home to the Mafia Island Marine Park, a protected nature reserve. Guests can enjoy diving, cultural tours, whale watching, snorkelling, boat tours, or witness the incredible birth of turtles. Those who wish to relax can sunbathe on the sandy beaches. 

3. Kilwa

Kilwa Masoko is a great tourist destination that offers displays of Swahili culture, beautiful views of nature, safari opportunities, and relaxing beaches. The island can be found on the UNESCO World Heritage List because of its ancient palaces, mosques, and fortresses. Tourists who love nature can view many species of birds and butterflies, go snorkelling, taste exotic fruits, and visit secluded coves!

4. Mnemba Island

Mnemba Island is perfect for swimming and snorkelling. Scuba diving among the protected coral reef is a unique and memorable experience! The beautiful beaches are ideal for relaxation and romance. At Mnemba Island lodge, guests can relax and enjoy massages on the beach. The lodge also provides facilities for kayaking, windsurfing and fly-fishing. Animal lovers can find green sea turtles, dolphins, humpback whales, and many different species of sharks!

5. Pemba 

Pemba Island is a remote island which offers wonderful food, breathtaking views, fabulous diving, and serenity. Vumawimbi Beach is an untouched stretch of white sand where tourists can enjoy the sweet smelling air and a cooling swim in the crystalline waters. The isle is greener and more peaceful than other islands. For tourists who wish to relax and escape the crowds, this destination is ideal! The island is home to many different animals such as the Pemba flying fox (a unique fruit bat), violet breasted sunbirds, miniature antelopes, and many species of monkeys.


Enjoy the chill life on Pemba Island

6. Peponi Beach, Pangani Tanzania

Pangani Beach acts as a good alternative to Zanzibar for visitors who are looking for a more relaxing destination. Peponi resort has private and comfortable tents. Guests can enjoy breathtakingly beautiful views and explore the mangroves and tidal flats. Tourists can walk or run on the beach, have a great snorkelling experience, interact with locals, go kayaking, book a dhow trip, or enjoy local seafood. 

Sunset Dhow Tanzania

Dhows docked close to the coast at Pangani Beach.

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