Zanzibar and Tanzania Beaches
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Tanzania isn’t all about safaris, it has some incredible coastal regions too, and spending some time at the beach is the perfect way to end your wildlife adventure. The pristine Indian Ocean beaches of the mainland and offshore islands are some of the best in the world, and resorts here offer a range of activities, from snorkelling and diving to fishing and cultural excursions.
Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia
The spice islands of Zanzibar provide a perfect combination of beautiful sandy swathes, adventure activities, and exotic nature to keep any individual or group content on a Tanzania beach holiday. Stone Town is a favourite with those interested in history and culture, and strolling the ancient streets taking in the bustling markets, 17th century fort and palace museum is one of the best things to do on Zanzibar. Running the length of the main island, a coral reef offers spectacular diving and snorkelling, with boat trips, forest excursions and spice tours also recommended. There is an impressive variety of Zanzibar hotels to choose from including rustic beach lodges and all-inclusive luxury Zanzibar resorts.
Pemba Island sits off the coast of Tanzania and forms part of the Zanzibar Archipelago. The island is a tropical, little visited paradise renowned for its lush, green and tropical vegetation, clove plantations and idyllic beaches. The Pemba Channel, is abundant marine life that live amongst incredible coral reefs. Chake Chake is the island's largest town and has a ruined 18th-century fort with a museum. Unlike its more crowded sister island of Zanzibar Pemba is a wonderful tropical escape for those seeking little more than peace and tranquility. Snorkelling and diving off of Pemba Island is regarded as some of the best in the world.
Mafia Island forms part of the Mafia Archipelago, in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Tanzania. There are a number of paradisiacal white sandy beaches dotted across the island. The southern coastline of this tropical paradise sits in the protected Mafia Island Marine Park. Within these waters some of the best snorkelling and diving can be enjoyed alongside species such as the sea turtles and seasonally migrating whale-sharks. Of the 3 most commonly visited islands off Tanzania's east-coast, Mafia is the smallest and least visited. For those seeking a beautiful African beach destination where mingling with the locals, divine fresh seafood and uninterrupted peace is an everyday occurrence, Mafia cannot be overlooked.
Dar es Salaam
Most visitors to Tanzania make a bee-line for the popular islands of Zanzibar when it comes to getting their beach fix, but the tranquil mainland coastline shouldn’t be overlooked. With palm-fringed beaches and few tourists, the shores north and south of Dar es Salaam boast sparkling white sands, historic Swahili ports and some incredible underwater life. It’s really easy to get here too! There are several boutique hotels perfect for families and honeymooners, with an impressive range of activities suitable for all ages.
Best Time to Visit Tanzania's Islands
The best time to visit Tanzanian islands like Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia is between June and October. These months tend to be cool and dry. December to February is another popular time to visit when they islands are hot and dry but humid. There are two rainy seasons, from mid-March to late May and again in November.
For those eager to enjoy the incredible diving off the coast of Tanzania's island travelling at the right time of year is important: In Zanzibar diving off the north coast is particularly good from June to October and off the south coast between November and March.
As a general rule, Pemba's best months for underwater visibility are September to November, once the monsoon winds have settled and the climate is hot and dry.
Mafia Island offers good diving all year round apart from April and May when the dive shops are shut for the rain season
Weather During the Year
How to Book a Tanzania Beach Holiday
Take a look at our recommended Tanzania safari and beach itineraries and hand-picked beach hotels and resorts for a bit of inspiration to get you started.
To discuss your Tanzania safari and beach itinerary, Zanzibar holidays and coastal excursions, speak to one of our Tanzania experts today by contacting us here.