5 Best Beach Destinations in Tanzania

Most visitors come to Tanzania for prime game-viewing in northern reserves like the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. But when you have had your safari fill, the country’s coastline beckons with the promise of an idyllic beach holiday. Tanzania is blessed with some of the best beaches in Africa – making it a top choice for those seeking a safari and beach combo.

We’d also recommend starting your journey in Southern Tanzania, in the remote wildernesses of Ruaha National Park and Nyerere National Park. It’s a mere two-hour flight from the southern safari parks to exclusive island getaways – making it a seamless transition from the heart of the wild to serene shores.


1. Zanzibar: The Island of Spice

The crown jewel in beautiful Tanzania’s coastal treasure chest and most famous for its idyllic setting and boutique beach hotels (not to mention outstanding scuba diving and other fantastic things to do), Zanzibar is a popular destination while on a Tanzania beach holiday.  Stone Town, the historical quarter of the island’s capital Zanzibar Town, offers the inquisitive traveller the chance to explore twisting alleys, mosques and markets. Scattered around Zanzibar are tiny, off-the-beaten-track islands, offering an incredible location for those seeking a romantic honeymoon or a get-away-from-it-all vacation. This tropical island is good to visit at most times of the year, thanks to regular sunshine, however the best time to visit Zanzibar would be during the dry season from June to October.

2. Fanjove Private Island: An Exclusive Escape

Fanjove Private Island is a tiny island paradise lying a kilometre north-east of Zanzibar Island. Host to the celebrated Fanjove Private Island Lodge and spectacular beaches, this intimate island is the epitome of exclusivity and privacy off the Tanzania coast. Beyond its natural beauty, Fanjove Private Island is committed to positive impact tourism, striving to contribute to the well-being of local communities and the environment. The island’s initiatives include sustainable practices, community engagement, and conservation efforts, ensuring that your visit leaves a positive mark on both the destination and its people.

3. Pemba Island: Honeymooners' Paradise

Set 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Zanzibar and long in its shadow, those who do travel to the wonderful island of Pemba are seldom disappointed. Not many know of the wonderful island off the Tanzania Coast, but it offers a spectacular experience all of its own with a unique topography and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to stay at The Manta Resort – an underwater hotel. Covered in forest and spice plantations and ringed by great beaches, it’s still early days for tourism to Pemba which makes it perfect for people looking for a Tanzania beach holiday without the crowds.

4. Mafia Island: A Hidden Gem

Imagine discovering pristine beaches in Tanzania that haven’t yet been overrun by the crowds of sun-seekers. Located 160 kilometers (99 miles) north of Zanzibar, Mafia Island has successfully eluded the tourist rush for decades, making it a true hidden gem. Part of a sprawling archipelago that promises an authentic and budget-friendly beach holiday, Mafia Island boasts one of the world’s top dive sites. It’s an off-the-beaten-path destination geared for the adventurous, offering a handful of comfortable accommodations, providing the ideal retreat to unwind after a day of exploration and swimming in its crystal-clear waters.

5. Chumbe Island: A Protected Coral Reef Sanctuary

If the crowds of Zanzibar or Dar es Salaam aren’t your cup of tea for a Tanzania beach holiday, then perhaps an uninhabited island 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) south of Zanzibar Town will grab your attention. Home to a pristine coral reef and private marine reserve, Chumbe makes an ideal day trip for keen divers and snorkellers looking to escape busy holiday goers. And, if you’re looking to stay a night or two, make sure to visit the eco-friendly Chumbe Island Coral Park. The small, state-of-the-art eco-lodge offers accommodation in unique thatched bungalows right on the beach.