Tanzania Beach Holidays with the experts

The shores of East Africa are lapped by the Indian Ocean; brilliantly blue and beautifully warm, creating beaches to dream about. The coral sands of the mainland and islands are soft, white and powdery and the sea teems with colourful marine life. These are fabulous beaches and the perfect complement to the excitement and adventure of a Tanzania safari.

Zanzibar Beaches

Where else should we consider, but one of the world’s most famous paradise islands?  Ninety percent of Tanzania beach accommodation is found on Zanzibar, just a twenty-minute flight east of Dar es Salaam, a forty-minute flight from the Selous and now, thanks to a new fast service from Coastal Aviation, just two hours from the Serengeti.

Zanzibar is blessed with miles of glorious white sand beaches, protected by the coral reef that rings the majority of the island. There are secluded coves, working beaches where the dhow fisherman leave their boats, private stretches of untouched sand and, equally, stretches of sand with sun-beds as far as the eye can see (although our clients usually prefer to avoid these!).  This is an island with something for everyone.
The western side of the island has little to offer in beach terms save in the far north and south.  As you move anti-clockwise around coast from Stone Town the first lodge / hotel of note is The Residence, on the western side of Zanzibar’s southerly tip. The beaches here tend to take the form of small coves flanked by rocky cliffs - they're ok, but there are better beaches elsewhere.
Rounding the south of the island towards the bottom half of the east coast, an almost uninterrupted beach stretches all the way to the Michamvi Peninsula. Some parts are better than others, but in places this is one of Zanzibar's best beaches.  There are many good lodges here including some of our favourites to the north. The central village of Paje on this south east coast has become a world centre for kite surfing.
Crossing Chwaka Bay towards the upper half of the eastern coast, this area is dominated by the beaches of Kiwengwa and Matemwe. Kiwengwa is the domain of some of the island's largest resorts (generally best avoided!) but Matemwe is a great stretch of sand with several high quality boutique lodges.
At the northern tip of Zanzibar, generally regarded as the prettiest part of the island, lies the village of Nungwi. This once sleepy fishing village is now a travel hotspot, with some great lodges to the east and a lively backpacker’s area on the western side.
Continuing around the coast to the west and south brings us to the beach area of Kendwa, home to Zanzibar’s finest beach. Zuri Zanzibar is a new opening and a firm favourite; although less intimate than we usually like it is simply superb. 

Tanzania beaches | Other Islands & Mainland Coast

While Zanzibar is the obvious focal point of Tanzania’s beach scene, the mainland coast and some of the smaller islands should not be forgotten...

Of the islands, the furthest south of these is the incredible Fanjove, a Robinson Crusoe style private island – the stuff of most kids' (and if we’re being honest, most adults!) dreams....
A short flight up the coast is Mafia, the island that time forgot. This is a diving mecca surrounded by thriving marine park, but with relatively poor beaches - one for divers and explorers rather than beach lovers.
One mile off the coast of Zanzibar’s Matemwe beach is Mnemba, one of Africa’s, if not the world’s, finest private islands. The best beach hideaway, with a price tag to match.
North of Zanzibar Island is Pemba, relatively large but little visited. Like Mafia, Pemba's diving is better than its beaches although it does have some stunning sand off-shore, notably from Fundu Lagoon.
The mainland coast is not so developed. There is only one lodge on the mainland coast, but it is one of the best in East Africa. Ras Kutani is all about relaxation and getting away from it all. Owned by a safari company, the experience is personal, intimate and the whole experience is truly spoiling. 

Tanzania Beaches | Accommodation and Prices

Please have a play on our new itinerary builder, Odyssey Explorer. Just click on the photo to the right to launch the site. This is by far the best tool for comparing accommodation prices, and it cleverly instantly costs you out your dream trip. It is not intended to replace our expert guidance, but is a great research tool to see what you can get for your money!

How much does a Tanzania beach holiday cost?

Best value luxury - From $180 per person per night 
Pongwe is without a doubt our favourite best value option on Zanzibar (and Tanzania!). The Pongwe rooms and overall fun atmosphere and excellent experience provides a huge amount of beachy luxury for the money you pay.Their Seaview suite is particularly well priced, as guests can enjoy their own private pool (for an unbeatable price).  
Mid-range luxury - From $300 per person per night 
Zuri Zanzibar is set on Zanzibar’s best stretch of beach. With 55 rooms, it is a bit bigger than we would usually recommend, but the experience is not tarnished by its size. The grounds are leafy and tranquil, while the hotel and rooms provide every comfort you need when you are not lounging on its white powder sand beach. 
Private villa luxury - From $400 per person per night 
Ras Kutani is our favourite Indian Ocean mainland lodge. We say lodge, not hotel, because as it is owned by a safari company it has a special owner-ran, safari-like and personalised feel to it – something you don’t get from hotels in the region. Ask us for a safari and Ras K combination, and the special offers you can get from such a trip!
Xanadu is one of the more luxurious and quirky Zanzibar offerings. With private villas scattered around the grounds, it offers seclusion, romance, privacy, and its huge perk – a chef who is quite literally Michelin star. It is a fantastic option for all different types of parties.
Private island luxury: $1,000 + per person per night 
Mnemba Island is, as previously mentioned, complete isolated Indian Ocean luxury. It is a lodge which sits on its own private island, and is probably one of the most remote and luxurious beach getaways in the world. If you are looking to push the boat out on your special trip, then Mnemba should be at the top of your list. 

How to combine a safari with your Tanzania beach holiday

You can easily combine a safari with beach in any park in Tanzania and Kenya. Most flights will touch down in Dar es Salaam, and then go on to the beaches of Tanzania - it really couldn't be simpler. The shortest flight from safari to beach is from The Selous to Zanzibar, which takes only 45 minutes. It is especially easy from Tanzania, as there is no need to waste time twiddling your thumbs at passport control! You can also combine Zanzibar with Southern Africa itineraries; however, it will take a bit more time with costly flights.

Make your beach holiday special with Tanzania Odyssey

Go on a marine life safari! There are beautiful reefs and a colourful marine life – all you have to do is break into the beautiful Indian Ocean.
Choose boutique hotels instead of big commercial builds – this will give you a more intimate stay, and a more personalised and special all-round experience.
Drink some bubbly on an Indian Ocean dhow cruise. This is a unique experience, which will give you variation in your beach stay. 
Splash out on a private island such as Fanjove, Mnemba and even the completely exclusive Thanda. These options are the unparalleled Tanzania beach experience, and this statement could even extend to the whole of Africa.
Deep sea fishing is fantastic here! Give it a go – you never know what you might catch. 

Tanzania Beaches FAQs

Why go to the beaches of Tanzania?

1)     When combining with a safari (as many do when going all the way to Africa!) with the beach, nowhere is more suited than Tanzania. With world-class wildlife only a short hop away, by holidaying in Tanzania you save precious time and money combining safari and beach. Even if you are not going on safari, the international airports on the mainland are closer to the beach than anywhere else in Africa…  
2)     Accommodation on Tanzania beaches ranges so much in style and price, meaning there are amazing options for a variety of budgets. There are so many boutique hotels on the flamboyant and fabulous Zanzibar Island; you will be spoilt for choice.
3)     Other islands off the Tanzania coast offer world-class options for specific interests… Mafia and Pemba offer world class diving, but there are also completely exclusive and luxurious options for the beach purists out there, such as the absolute Indian Ocean dream that is Mnemba Island.
4)     Also off Mafia Island sits a rare opportunity to swim and dive alongside the incredible whale sharks, which are quite literally, the biggest fish in the sea.
5)     The Tanzania beach gem of Zanzibar is also laced with history in the crumbling yet charming Stone Town. Taking a guided tour around the old town is a very educational and interesting experience. 

When is the best time to go to on a Tanzania beach holiday?

The best time to go to Tanzania beaches is similar to the rest of Tanzania. Generally the dry season is recommended which runs from July to October. However, you will still have a fabulous time just outside these times (October and June), avoiding high season prices, and also from December – March is great – it could rain in short showers, but generally will be sunny and nice (not to mention low season prices…). .  

Tanzania beaches luxury Vs Tanzania beaches adventure

The beauty of Tanzania beaches is that you can have all the luxuries of fabulous accommodation, whilst also enjoying a variety of different activities, especially when staying on Zanzibar. However, if you are mad keen on adventure and an avid diver, you may want to forfeit some accommodation luxuries and stay on the slightly less developed Mafia Island for your knock out diving. There is no reason why you can’t do both though! That is the great thing about a Tanzania beach getaway – everything is so close together! For absolute luxury and seclusion, ask us about the private islands which are on offer – some are not quite as expensive as you may think…

Tanzania beaches Vs Indian Ocean Island beaches

We can’t stress enough how much easier the Tanzania beaches are than the other islands off the coast of Africa such as the Seychelles and Mauritius. It is a far more cost effective and less time consuming option, and unless you have a real yearn to visit these places, the extra money could be better spent on really high quality accommodation off the Tanzania coast. However, if you are seafaring in Southern Africa and definitely looking for beach time then these two other options, as well Mozambique’s coastline are still really attractive options for your Indian Ocean relaxation in the sunshine.  

Client Reviews


Tanzania Safari | Tanzanian Safaris – Reviews

We had a fantastic holiday organised by Tanzania Odyssey. The web site was the best travel website we have ever used - very informative and easy to use and includes the prices of each property. Our travel consultant, Dave, was very pleasant and helpful and gave us useful advice to give us exactly the holiday we wanted. Highly recommended.

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Paul and I would like to thank you for your excellent planning of our safari to Tanzania.

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Tanzania Odyssey is the perfect choice for a perfect trip. They listen to you, give you good advices and always do their best to satisfy your needs. I always ask for their help when I go to Tanzania.

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We had a great safari experience. The organisation of the various flights and accommodation was seamless which really added to the experience. Would definitely recommend Tanzania Odyssey and would use them again.

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Wonderful in so many ways
Tanzania Odyssey arranged an amazing safari to southern Tanzania this summer. All the arrangements worked like clockwork and we all agree this was our best family holiday ever

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