Top Rated Swimming Beaches in Zanzibar

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Zanzibar's Top 10 Beaches for Swimming

With several beaches fringing the shores of Zanzibar, it’s no surprise that the beach culture is deep-rooted in its coastal identity. The island is renowned for its unending stretches of coastline, picturesque beaches, and exciting water activities. The beautiful coastline and the sparkling turquoise water will attract you for a swim. However, it’s important to know which of the beaches is suitable for swimming so that your dream holiday will not turn into a nightmare.

Thus, to inspire an enjoyable sun-kissed beach holiday, here are the best beaches for swimming in Zanzibar.

1. Nungwi Beach

The tide in Nungwi Beach hardly fluctuates, making it one of the best beaches to swim. Nungwi is renowned for its beautiful golden sand beach and it’s listed as one of the best beaches in the world. It’s ideal for a wide range of water sports such as paragliding, Jet Ski, and scuba diving. Swimming at Nungwi beach is amazing and safe because the tide hardly fluctuates. You can swim at any time of day without worrying about the waves.

Nungwi Beach

Nungwi Beach

2. Kendwa Beach

Located just a few kilometres from Nungwi Village, Kendwa has a beautiful beach perfect for an all-day swimming. The beach is lined with bandas, restaurants, and bars, and you can indulge in other water activities including scuba diving. You can spend some time having fun in the sand, play beach volleyball and enjoy some vibrant parties in the evening on the beach.

Fun Fact: Unlike other beaches on the island, Nungwi and Kendwa Beaches have almost no low tides, and that is why they are the best beaches for swimming in Zanzibar.

Kendwa Beach

Kendwa Beach

3. Pongwe Beach

Pongwe Beach is situated on a tranquil cove in a secluded area – at the back of a coral lagoon. The beach features white-powdery sand and turquoise water, and the surrounding is shaded by towering palm trees with loungers and hammocks placed under them.  The beach is perfect for every swimmer because it has high tides almost all the time.  It’s protected by seaside reefs, which keeps the inner water calm and safe for swimming. There is a luxury eco-hotel in the surrounding just in case you want to spend more time relaxing and unwinding in the area. You can indulge in a range of water activities including snorkelling and boat trips.


Pongwe Beach

4. Jambiani Beach

The sleepy fishing village of Jambiani is located on the southeast coast of Zanzibar. It features a beautiful beach with miles of startling white sand and translucent turquoise blue water. The beach is perfect for snorkelling and swimming when the tide is high.  The best time to go swimming is in the morning and in the evening because the water is cooler at this time.  A great way to begin and end your day!

Jambiani Beach

Jambiani Beach

5. Mnemba Beach

Located off the northeast coast of Zanzibar, Mnemba Island is a private beach retreat with beachside bandas overlooking the Mnemba Atoll, a white sandy beach, and balmy ocean waters. The beach is ideal for swimming, kayaking, and snorkelling. However, you can only enjoy the waters if you are a guest of Mnemba Island Lodge.

Kendwa Beach

Kendwa Beach:

6. Paje Beach

You can’t but fall in love with Paje Beach! Located on Zanzibar’s east coast, Page features white sand beaches, turquoise warm waters and it’s a perfect spot for swimming. Although, the beach has better depth for swimming; it sometimes have low tide which is really ideal for swimming.

Paje Beach

Paje Beach

7. Michamwi Beach

Located in the southeast corner of Zanzibar, Michamwi Beach is tranquil and scarcely populated, making it one of the Zanzibar’s beaches perfect for swimming at high tide.  It’s a perfect place for a quiet holiday retreat, where you can relax and unwind while experiencing the lifestyle of the locals.  However, you should keep in mind that swimming at low tide is not ideal at Michamwi because there are seaweeds in the water.

Michamwi Beach

Michamwi Beach

8. Kiwengwa Beach

Also known as the “Little Italy” of Zanzibar, Kiwengwa features a beautiful coastline lined with Italian-run hotels and resorts.  It is located on the North-east coast of Zanzibar and it has a pristine beach perfect for swimming at high tide. However, it is advisable not to swim at low tide. 

Kiwengwa Beach

Kiwengwa Beach

9. Kizimkazi Beach

If you would like to swim with a dolphin, Kizimkazi beach is a great place to go.  The beach features amazing bottlenose dolphins and other amazing creatures. You can indulge in scuba diving and snorkelling if you want to explore the underwater world.  At the highest tides, you may not see the beach, and at low tide, the ocean is usually far away.

Kizimkazi Beach

Kizimkazi Beach

10. Matemwe Beach

The unspoilt beach of Matemwe features fine white sands and warm ocean waters in a quiet atmosphere. Swimming here is fantastic at high tide but at low tide, the beach turns into a desert full of coral flats. The village of Matemwe offers a hearty dose of local cultural experiences that you will not forget in a hurry.

Matemwe Beach

Matemwe Beach

Realax and Work on your Tan on the Shores of Zanzibar

If you looking to indulge in some fun in the sun or just unwind and work on your tan, head down to one of these tropical beaches in Zanzibar. Enjoy paradise at it's best!

We'd love to hear from you If you have anything to add to our list or would like to tell us about your experience give us a shout!

Share your experience with us! Tag @Tripindigo on your social posts #EastAfricaRocks or pop us a line on

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