5 best beaches in Tanzania

Holidays to Tanzania usually combine a thrilling safari experience with downtime on the sand. We've tracked down Tanzania's best beaches, to help you create your ideal itinerary
Beach in Zanzibar, Tanzania, (photo by Ariadne Van Zandbergen)
How to discover the best beaches in Tanzania

The best beaches in Zanzibar and Tanzania. Photo: Ariadne Van Zandbergen / APA Publications

 

1. Matemwe, Zanzibar

This is perhaps the most enchanting of all the beaches on Zanzibar's Unguja coast, its white sand framed by jagged coral rocks, looking like mini-Himalayas. Seaweed-drying frames are strung between whispering coconut palms, and children play happily between the blindingly white coral rag houses and the outriggers of the beached canoes. There are several places to stay nearby. 

2. Misali Island, Pemba

Off the west coast of Pemba, and easily reached from Chake Chake or Mkoani, is this tiny place (only 1km by 500 metres/1,100 by 550 yards), ringed by coral and protected as a marine reserve. It has superb diving and snorkelling, while onshore are fine beaches, some set aside as turtle breeding grounds, and forest and mangrove swamps which support a rich array of birdlife. Captain Kidd is rumoured to have used it as a hide-out in the 17th century, but it is now the site of the exclusive Pemba Misali Sunset Beach Resort.

3. Matema Beach, Lake Nyasa

On the northern tip of Nyasa and serviced by a handful of low-key beach lodges, Matema is the closest thing to a resort on this part of the lake, yet it retains a refreshingly unspoilt, rustic African character. To bask in the deliciously warm water that laps Matema Beach, gazing up at the Livingstone Mountains rising to 2,500 metres (8,202ft) within 4km (2 miles) of the shore, is bliss. And there’s plenty in the area to occupy more energetic travellers.

4. Mbezi Beach and Kunduchi Beach, Dar es Salaam

Separated by a lagoon, these two beaches lie about 35km (22 miles) north of the city centre along the Bagamoyo Road. The beaches are lined with resorts and hotels, and offer a variety of excursions to nearby islands, plus diving, windsurfing and snorkelling. Next to the Kunduchi Beach Hotel, and under the same management, Kunduchi Wet ’n’ Wild is East Africa’s largest water park, with 22 slides and seven pools, shops, restaurants, and a go-kart centre. The Kunduchi Ruins, just up the beach from the Kunduchi Beach Hotel, include the remains of a 16th-century mosque and several 18th-century pillar tombs, many decorated with Chinese porcelain plates. 

5. Beaches south of Dar es Salaam

Dar's best beaches, however, are to the south, with white sands, palm trees and clear water. Kipepeo Beach Village is a popular expats’ escape hatch with bandas (hostels), a bar and food. It's extremely cheap. The beach is beautiful and you can swim at high and low tide. A further 15km (9 miles) south, the crown jewels of the Dar area, Ras Kutani and the Amani Beach Club, are both very upmarket and very different. Ras Kutani has luxury beach houses made of natural materials which blend with the area, and a superb outdoor restaurant overlooking the beach. Amani Beach Club has plush bungalows and a good swimming pool.


Ready to take your holiday to Tanzania's best beaches? 

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