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Tanzania beach holiday

Tanzania Beach Holidays

Plan your Tanzania safari and beach holiday

Best beaches in Tanzania

Tanzania and the Zanzibar archipelago are the perfect destinations to combine a dream safari and a tropical beach retreat in one trip – for when you want to celebrate life and enjoy the good times.

Thanks to the plethora of national parks, diverse regions and a coastline full of stunning beaches, you can choose from a range of safari and beach holiday packages to Tanzania. Below are a few examples of the best beaches in Tanzania.

The Zanzibar archipelago, located 35km off the coast of mainland Tanzania, is home to some of the most sought-after beach destinations. Not only are they easily accessible via a short flight from the mainland, but they also offer a unique experience to visitors. The area is a melting pot of Arabian, African, and European cultures, reflected in its distinct architecture, fusion cuisine, and long history. The archipelago comprises over forty tropical islands, with Zanzibar and Pemba being the two largest islands.

Zanzibar Island is an iconic destination with countless stunning beaches. Start your tour by exploring the ancient city of Stone Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. En route to your beachside retreat, enjoy a fascinating spice tour to discover where some of your favourite spices come from. After settling into beachside accommodation, such as an intimate guest house, five-star luxury retreat, or isolated tropical island, board a traditional Dhow to snorkel or dive in Zanzibar’s beautiful clear waters.

Like Zanzibar, Pemba Island has pristine beaches, ancient Arabic remains, tidal sandbanks and beautiful lagoons. However, Pemba is smaller, greener and less developed, giving you the feeling of leaving the world behind. An absolute highlight is the Pemba Channel Conservation Area, which spans the entire west coast of the island. Seize the opportunity to scuba dive and snorkel in this incredible habitat to spot rare species such as dugongs, dolphins, humpback whales, and five sea turtles.

Mafia Island is a secret tropical paradise 130km south of Zanzibar, which remains unknown to most of the world. Moreover, reaching this beautiful island is much easier than expected and worth the little extra effort. Thanks to being a protected marine reserve since the 90s, abundant marine life and beautiful coral gardens offer some of the best diving and snorkelling experiences in East Africa. The highlight here is swimming with beautifully patterned Whale Sharks during certain seasons.

For those wishing to journey where others have yet to explore, there are multiple mainland beaches to discover. Bagamoyo, a short distance north of Dar es Salaam, has a fascinating ancient history and a beautiful beach. Here, you can stay in a beachside lodge that will make you feel like a castaway on a luxury island.

Another mainland gem is a relatively young national park called Saadani National Park, where the savannah meets the beach.  Although wildlife numbers are still increasing, you can enjoy a morning game drive or boat safari and then relax on a long white tropical beach in the afternoon.

The best time for Tanzania beach holidays is during Tanzania’s two dry seasons, June to October and December to February. No matter where you go, you will receive warm Tanzania hospitality and delicious food whilst staying in world-class accommodation. By day, there are multiple activities, ranging from spice tours, scuba-diving and snorkelling, to keep even the most active people entertained.

Zanzibar beach palm trees


The Zanzibar archipelago, a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania, has an ancient history forged from the spice trade. Zanzibar beach holidays have it all: Visit Unguja Island, the largest island commonly known as Zanzibar, and explore the ancient city of Stone Town, with its incredible architecture and dark history that involved the trade of enslaved people as well as ivory and spices.

On your way to your beachside accommodation, take a spice tour to discover, taste and learn about numerous tropical fruits and spices. At your accommodation, enjoy delicious food and warm hospitality. During the day, relax on beautiful beaches whilst watching traditional dhows riding the waves on distant reefs.

Ideal for | Families, Culture Enthusiasts, Tanzania Newbies
Dhow boats off Pemba Island

Pemba Island

Pemba Island, known as the 'Green Island', is home to forested hills, mangrove lagoons, and lush greenery. Despite its beautiful beaches, it receives fewer visitors than its well-publicised sister island, Zanzibar. However, with its own airport, reaching Pemba is just as easy.

Millions of clove trees are scattered throughout the island, earning it the nickname 'Clove Island'. While out to sea, the Pemba Channel Conservation Area is home to a diverse range of marine life and corals, making it a paradise for divers and snorkelers. Visitors may even be lucky to spot turtles or migrating humpback whales.

Ideal for | Serenity Seekers, Tanzania Returnees
Mafia Island beach view

Mafia Island

Mafia Island is a lesser-known tropical paradise 130km south of Zanzibar. With long stretches of deserted beaches, Arabic ruins, and a chance to spot resident hippos, this island offers a unique experience you won't find anywhere else.

One of the reasons why Mafia Island is so unique is thanks to the marine reserve established in 1995. The long-term protection has created some of the best scuba diving and snorkelling in East Africa. But the ultimate highlight is swimming with beautiful patterned Whale Sharks, the world's largest fish that feeds on krill. Visit Mafia Island and experience the untouched beauty of Tanzania's coast.

Ideal for | Active Travellers, Serenity Seekers, Tanzania Returnees


Tanzania boasts stunning natural ecosystems, mountains, and coastlines, offering endless opportunities for an unforgettable safari and tropical beach getaway.

Tanzania coastline map
Lion paws closeup
Arno Snellenberg Tanzania Travel Expert
Tanzania-Experience safari vehicle

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