10 Best Islands in & Around Tanzania

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A Taste of Island Paradise in Tanzania

Tanzania boasts an assortment of islands, scattered around its coastline and in the Indian Ocean. Whether you are looking for an island with eco-friendly adventures, indigenous culture or white sandy beach, you’ll surely find the best one that will suit your style in Tanzania. For an ultimate East African island escape, here are 10 of the best islands in and around Tanzania:

1. Zanzibar Island

Widely known as “the Spice Island”, Zanzibar is a laid-back tropical paradise steeped in history and culture. With pristine white sand beaches, turquoise blue ocean waters, and beachfront luxury hotels, this island will steal your heart. You can explore its capital, Stone Town and its attractions, explore the bustling markets, have a taste of the freshly prepared seafood garnished with Swahili spices or even indulge in a wide range of fun activities. After experiencing the island and all it offers, you will discover that one holiday in Zanzibar can never be enough.


Zanzibar Island

View Our Travel Guide on The Zanzibar Islands

2. Pemba Island

Located in the north of Zanzibar, this beautiful island is one of the best dive destinations in the world. Pemba Island is part of the Zanzibar archipelago and features dense vegetation, hilly landscape and powdery soft pristine beaches with clear waters. You can explore the Ngezi forest, underwater activities or simply laze around soaking up the sun with cool tropical drinks. It is a calm place for a relaxing holiday.


Pemba Island

3. Mnemba Island

Located off the north-eastern coast of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean, this exclusive tropical hideaway features private and luxurious beachfront accommodation, amazing dive sites and beautiful beaches. It is surrounded by atoll of stunning coral reefs and it’s a delight to anyone with interest in water activities. The tropical island is perfect for romantic holidays, where you can enjoy simple pleasures like beach walks with your loved one. Fresh fruit, fish, lobsters, crabs and prawns or candlelit dinners by the beach with soft breezes will give you unforgettable memories.


Mnemba Island

4. Mafia Island

Mafia Island is part of the Zanzibar Archipelago, located off the coast of Tanzania. The tropical paradise has some of the richest reefs in the world, antiquities from centuries ago, diverse marine life and miles of white beaches and clear waters. It’s relatively unknown compared to Zanzibar Island but it’s one of the well-preserved islands in the country.


Mafia Island

View Our Travel Guide on Mafia Island

5. Chumbe Island

Chumbe Island is a small coral island located about six miles from Zanzibar. The island features undisturbed forests, small sandy beach and coral reef and skilfully designed eco-friendly bandas. Here you’ll enjoy the wonderful Robinson Crusoe experience. Don’t forget to visit the island’s marine park; Chumbe Island Coral Park for a memorable underwater experience. The aquatic world boasts a wide range of marine species such as dolphins and turtles. With a wide range of activities such as boat trips, snorkelling as well as guided forest walks, you will have an exclusive experience in Chumbe.


Chumbe Island

6. Changuu Island

Also known as Prison Island, Changuu Island is often regarded as a “Small Paradise on Earth” due to its white powdery beach surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, crystal-clear waters and coral reefs of the Indian Ocean. The island is located about 30 minutes by traditional dhow from Zanzibar Island. It is home to a former prison and tortoise sanctuary, which are the major attractions of the island. Changuu features a wide range of facilities including luxurious and sea-facing accommodation, café, restaurant and library.


Changuu Island

7. Bongoyo Island

The beautiful island of Bongoyo lies off the coast of Dar es Salaam, about 30-minute boat ride. It is a popular island for day trips, snorkelling and sunbathing. You can trek across the island to the Shark’s lagoon, visit the magical beaches or explore the diverse marine life and coral on the island. Don’t forget to have a taste of fresh and delicious seafood at the beachfront restaurant on the island. It’s an ideal place with beautiful scenery, where you can relax and enjoy the tranquillity of nature.


Bongoyo Island

8. Mbudya Island

Located about 20-minute boat ride from Dar es Salaam, Mbudya Island features turquoise waters, white sand beaches, thatched huts, and green palms. The uninhabited island is a delight for anyone, offering a wide range of water activities such as sunbathing and snorkelling. You’ll see locals selling freshly prepared barbecued seafood, which you can enjoy with some chilled drinks.


Mbudya Island

9. Ukerewe Island

Located in the north of Mwanza, this island is the largest in Lake Victoria and also the largest inland island in Africa. The shoreline is carved into numerous bays and the rocky terrain and tiny patches of forest, which make for interesting views. The key attractions to see and explore are the Rutare Hill, the Rubya Forest, and a beach to relax and unwind. You can indulge in local fishing, canoeing and village tours during your visit.


Ukerewe Island

10. Pangavini Island

Also known as Snake Island, Pangavini is a small island located about 1.5km off the mainland, north of Dar es Salaam. It is an uninhabited island with rocky coastline with no beaches. It’s a major breeding place for reptiles including snakes, a variety of rats, birds and insects. It’s no wonder researchers like the island.

Plan your Tanzania Island Escape

Pack your bathing suit and sunblock, and start exploring these wonderful Islands around Tanzania.

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!

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