Tanzania Beaches & Islands
Tanzania offers some of the best safaris in Africa and has also been blessed with incredible islands and beaches. What makes Tanzania such a great safari destination is that you can easily combine a luxury safari with amazing beaches. From watching the migration in the Serengeti in the morning to sitting on a pristine sandy beach that afternoon.
In terms of beaches and islands, there are so many choices, so we have selected some of our favorites. From Zanzibar to Pemba to Mnemba to Thanda Island, we will find the perfect Tanzania beach for you. Whether you are combining your Tanzania Family Safari with some beach time or looking to relax after your Tanzania Honeymoon Safari, there is something for everyone.
Who should come to Tanzania's Beaches?
With regular access from all the major wildlife reserves in Tanzania, anyone enjoying a safari in Tanzania should enjoy some time relaxing on some of the finest beaches and islands in Africa. With plenty of choices, Tanzania’s islands and beaches appeal to families, honeymooners, divers, and anyone else looking for a bit of sunshine, sea, and sand after their East African safari.
What is there to do along Tanzania's Beaches?
There is plenty to do from any of the beach resorts along Tanzania’s beaches. Whether you want to go snorkeling, diving, looking for dolphins, spice tours, kayaking, dhow sailing, historical tours…the list goes on.
How do I get to the beaches of Tanzania?
It all depends on which option is best for you. There are regular flights to Tanzania’s beaches from all the main safari destinations within Tanzania making it easy to combine. Kenyan Airways flies to Dar es Salaam on a regular basis and so can also be an add-on to your Kenyan safari. There are flights from South Africa, making Tanzania’s beaches a good combination with any safari.
Where to Stay along Tanzania's Best Beaches?
The beaches and islands of Tanzania are plentiful and there are options for everyone, so below are just a couple of our favorites.
Read our Blog about Tanzania’s Best Beaches and Islands
Fanjove Island is a private island off the coast of Tanzania, south of Dar es Salaam. It is one of 6 small islands in the Songosongo Archipelago and has palm-fringed white sandy beaches and shallow turquoise waters. There are just 6 rustic A-Frame eco-friendly bungalows on the beach, all open-fronted to take in the magnificent views of the Indian Ocean beyond. There is a small balcony upstairs for guests to enjoy the views. There is an open-air restaurant where guests enjoy local dishes of curries or freshly caught fish while admiring the views. Getting to Fanjove requires a light aircraft flight from Dar es Salaam to Songosongo and then a 40-minute boat transfer to the island.
Guests staying at Fanjove Island can enjoy snorkeling directly from the beach or from a boat excursion. The undisturbed reef extends for 11kms around the island and so diving and snorkeling are exceptional. Dolphin safaris, bird watching, sea kayaking, sand bank excursions, dhow sailing, island walks, fishing, or just relaxing are some of the other activities guests can enjoy while staying at the lodge.
Why we love Fanjove Island
A small, intimate lodge
Great snorkeling and diving
Rustic bungalows right on the beach
Fanjove Island Conservation Efforts
Fanjove Island belongs to the Selous Safari Company who have camps in the Selous and Ruaha. For them, conservation is at the forefront of what they do. They have been operating in Tanzania since 1988 and have invested heavily in the future of the country, lobbying for policy reforms and wildlife protection as well as community education and supporting local charities. Fanjove has been built in an eco-friendly manner and runs completely off solar power. A percentage of the revenues received is plowed back into community efforts on the islands.
Manta Resort, Pemba Island
Located on the lesser-known Pemba Island, which is one of the smaller neighbors to Zanzibar. Far less developed, this is our preferred option for the area. With regular flights from Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, it is just as easy to get here as it is to get to Zanzibar. From the airport it is a 1½ hour’s drive to The Manta Resort, giving the impression you are getting off the beaten track.
There are just 18 rooms at The Manta Resort, divided between Seafront Villas, Superior Garden Rooms, and Standard Garden Rooms. But the USP of The Manta Resort is its unique underwater room. Anchored just offshore in the blue hole is a 3-tiered floating, underwater room. On the top level is a sundeck, the middle tier is at water level and has a lounge and bathroom and below water is a glass box and a bedroom where you can watch as shoals of fish swim around.
Fresh seafood as well as other Pemba specialties are served on the elevated terrace overlooking the ocean. Often the team will change the location of meals down to the beach or pool deck for variety. The best place to just relax and watch the slow pace of Pemba Island go by is the sandy-floor beach bar. Order a cocktail and watch the sunset into the ocean all with the sound of lapping waves on the shore.
Guests staying at The Manta Resort can enjoy diving on the surrounding coral reefs teeming with marine life or for the non-divers there are snorkeling excursions as well. For those not wanting to look at the fishes there are other activities including dhow sailing, Pemba Island excursions, visits to the sandbank or simply relaxing on the beach in front of the resort.
Why we love The Manta Resort
Off-the-beaten-Track location on Pemba Island
Unique Underwater Room
Excellent diving and snorkeling
The very relaxed atmosphere at the resort
Conservation efforts at Manta Resort
The Manta Resort has its own charity called Kwanini Africa which has built schools in the nearby village, established an organic farm and they have set up a “no fish” zone around the coral reefs in front of the lodge and have been working with the local fishermen on best practices for sustainable fishing.
Mnemba Island, Zanzibar
Just off the northeast coast of Zanzibar is the private island of Mnemba, the ultimate in barefoot luxury and with just 12 rustic beachside bungalows, guests are guaranteed privacy and exclusivity. Getting to Mnemba requires a flight to Zanzibar, followed by a 1 ½-hour road transfer, and finally a 15-minute boat trip across the channel. Once there, kick off your shoes, feel the sand between your toes and enjoy the peace of this private paradise.
The main area is set within the pine trees but is open so that guests can enjoy the views of the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Fresh sushi, locally caught seafood, and other mouth-watering meals are served at the guests’ beach bungalows, under the stars on the beach, or in the dining area.
Guests staying at Mnemba Island can enjoy relaxing on the powder white beaches or in their private beach salas, or they can enjoy snorkeling, diving, dhow cruising, or a bit of beach yoga.
Why we love Mnemba Island
Completely private and exclusive
Small private island
Close to Zanzibar
Conservation efforts on Mnemba Island
Mnemba is owned and run by andBeyond, one of the first eco-tourist companies in Africa with the main focus on communities and conservation in each of the areas where they operate. They have been awarded many accolades over the years for the incredible work. These awards include “Best in Conservation at Responsible Tourism” and “Certificate of appreciation to marine conservation of tourism” awards by the Tourism of Tanzania.