In recent years, Tanzania has become widely known as a beach destination. White sand and clear blue ocean line Tanzania’s main shores and the country has numerous island destinations.
In this article, we will explore Tanzania’s best beaches. We’ll include everything from the world-famous beaches of Zanzibar, to some hidden gems scattered across this African nation.
Best Beaches in Tanzania
Let’s get right to it. Here are our favourite beaches in Tanzania. We’ll start with some of the more obvious tourist hotspots, and then dive into some lesser-known destinations.
Located on the northern tip of Zanzibar’s main island is Nungwi, which is connected to the picturesque Nungwi Beach. Nungwi Beach is certainly one of the most “touristy” beaches in Tanzania. The beach is lined with world class hotels and resorts, and the town of Nungwi has plenty of options for eating, drinking, and shopping.
Nungwi Beach, like most of Zanzibar’s beaches, is a vast expanse of soft white sand and clear blue ocean. The beach is a lot livelier than many of Zanzibar’s other beaches, and it can get quite crowded during peak season.
Paje Beach is located on the eastern shore of Zanzibar’s main island (most of Zanzibar’s popular beaches are located on this island). Paje Beach is very popular with the young backpacking crowd. Many hotels and hostels line the beach and it’s a great place to go for a lively beach vacation.
Many restaurants, cafés, and bars line the beach. It’s also a popular beach for watersports, and you’ll see people kitesurfing, paddle boarding, and snorkeling.
Saadani National Park
Saadani Park is a great beach to visit if you’re visiting Tanzania and are strapped for time. It has everything you need including a beautiful beach, safari, and a national park. Saadini is actually the only national park in East Africa that borders the Indian Ocean, making it great to see wild animals and game.
You can spend your day at Saadini by enjoying the beach and seeing lots of wildlife including lions, elephants, buffalo and even giraffe’s. Saadini also offers a river cruise that allows you to spot crocodiles and hippos.
Located in between Saadani National Park and Pangani, Sange Beach is a great place to visit for those that want a more quiet and quaint area to enjoy. Sange Beach offers beautiful coconut palms and silver sand beaches for the perfect photos and moonlight walks. You can also stay at the Kijongo Bay Beach Resort if one day isn’t enough. The resort offers a variety of rooms, from bungalows and villas to private rooms – great for families that want the beach experience.
Bongoyo Island Beach
We could fill this list strictly with beaches from Zanzibar’s main island, because there are so many fantastic beaches here. But we’d rather give you a taste of all that Tanzania has to offer. So, let’s talk about Bongoyo Island.
Bongoyo Island is in Dar Es Salaam Marine Reserve, located just 2.5 km off the coast. Bongoyo Island is a protected island, which means it is uninhabited and unspoiled.
The main beach area is on the northern tip of the island, and is a sandy white beach with excellent views of the ocean and Dar Es Salaam. You’ll find many tour companies offering day trips to this beach, and it’s a great place to spend a sunny afternoon.
Mafia Island – Utende Beach
Mafia Island is a large island to the south of Dar Es Salaam. This island is becoming increasingly popular among tourists.
The entire island is packed with gorgeous beaches, but we recommend Utende Beach. Utende Beach is located on the southeastern side of Mafia Island, directly across from Chole Island.
The beach is a popular destination for tourists, and is especially renowned for its marine and underwater life, which attracts scuba divers from around the world.
There are many hotels, resorts, and places to stay in Utende, and the entire area is very tourist-friendly.
Mbudya Island Beach
Mbudya Island is another island just off the coast of Dar Es Salaam, just north of Bongoyo Island.
Mbudya Island is also uninhabited, and is an ideal destination for a laid-back afternoon. The sandy beaches are quiet, tranquil, and serene.
It’s slightly less popular than Bongoyo Island, and is an ideal spot if you want a more low-key experience. Mbudya is surrounded by a gorgeous coral reef and an abundance of tropical fish, which makes it a great location for snorkelling.
Jimbizi Beach is unique because it’s actually found on the Tanzania mainland, far from many of the popular tourist destinations. Jimbizi Beach is located in Kilwa Masoka, a port town in southeastern Tanzania.
If you do happen to find yourself here on your Tanzanian adventure, then a visit to Jimbizi Beach is recommended. It features soft sand and shallow warm waters. The water is so shallow that you can wade across the sand bars, spending hours in the water with ease.
Jimbizi Beach stands as proof that the best beaches in Tanzania aren’t just located on the islands.
Thanks for checking out our guide to the best beaches in Tanzania. Narrowing a list like this is tough, because Tanzania is absolutely packed with world class beaches. From the tourist hot spots in Zanzibar, to the quiet tranquility of Mbudya Island, there’s something for everyone in this beach-goer’s paradise.