Tanzania's most famous coastal destination is Zanzibar's main island of Unguja, which has numerous resorts and hotels both on the beach and in Stone Town , the island's fascinating, must-see capital. The pages below detail our top four recommendations for coastal visits. While Zanzibar's Unguja is the most developed island for tourism, visitors wishing to escape the crowds should consider visiting Mafia, Pemba or South Beach. Duma Explorer arranges beach hotels, flights and ground transportation.
Zanzibar, an archipelago off the coast of Tanzania, is one of Africa's best-known destinations. The islands of Zanzibar are surrounded by transparent, blue-green waters, and are bordered by miles of white-sand beaches. A spot of paradise in the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar offers everything from world-class diving to rich local culture.
Zanzibar is primarily made up of the two main islands, Unguja and Pemba, and is surrounded by several other small islands. This page is about the main island Unguja, which will now be referred to as Zanzibar.
The Mafia Archipelago consists of one large island and several smaller ones. Although Mafia is one of the spice islands, it was never part of semi-autonomous Zanzibar – including Unguja and Pemba Islands – and is instead governed by mainland Tanzania. As Mafia Island did not have a single paved road as of 2011, the island is recommended for travelers wanting to avoid Unguja’s crowds. We recommend a stay of at least four nights as it is more difficult to get from Arusha to Mafia due to the stopovers in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. There are two flights a day to and from Mafia and a visit can be combined with a safari or Kilimanjaro climb.
The most northern island in the Pemba archipelago, Pemba offers pristine white sand beaches and amazing diving experiences with lush coral reefs and many kinds of fish. Although Pemba has several world-class attractions, few tourists visit.
Misali Island, one of Pemba's offshore islands, is a favorite among visitors to Pemba. An ecotourism project, the Misali Island Marine Conservation Area uses tourism proceeds to protect the marine ecosystem and support the local communities that depend on the ocean's resources for their livelihoods. Misali attractions include pristine beaches, coral formations, mangrove forests, snorkeling, mysterious caves and several nature trails. The nature trails cover the entire island and provide visitors with information on the ecology and history of the island. When visiting Misali, be sure to check out the caves, where juju doctors and traditional healers performed their magic. On the boat ride to and from Misali, dolphins often jump in the waters around the boat.
A small Swahili town in the center of a virtually undiscovered stretch of coast in Tanga Region. The main attraction is the coastline to the north and south of the town. There are also several attractions in and around Pangani that can be explored on day trips. Many of Pangani's visitors are expatriates living in Northern Tanzania and wealthy Tanzanians. For now, Pangani is the perfect beach destination for travelers seeking to escape the crowded resorts and aggressive street vendors in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. The beaches in Pangani, though nice, are not as pristine as the beaches on the islands or in South Beach.
Talk to Safari Expert if you have any question about your travel to Tanzania. Next African Safaris will be happy to assist you.