When you visit Tanzania, you are treated to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
This East African nation sits on the Indian Ocean and provides visitors with some of the bluest water they have ever seen.
The sand is soft, almost the color of the powder. Every area is full of marine life.
While this may be a lesser-known area for beach vacations, you should add at least one of 16 beaches in Tanzania to your must-see list.
- The Best Beaches In Tanzania
- FAQs About Tanzania
The Best Beaches In Tanzania
Let’s look at what makes these top beaches in Tanzania a must-see.
1. Coco Beach
- Coco Beach Location – Dar es Salaam
- Coco Beach Length – Four kilometers/2.48 miles
- Coco Beach Attractions – Swimming, live music in the evenings, sunbathing.
This is one of the more famous beaches in Tanzania. There are parties hosted at the beach regularly.
Since it frequently hosts parties, there are many food and beverage stands around the area.
You will also find ample parking and public amenities like bathrooms.
2. Tunza Resort
- Tunza Resort Location – Mwanza
- Tunza Resort Attractions – sunbathing, bird watching, kayaking.
Visitors rave about the pure white sand that is found on this beach. Also convenient for tourists is how close the resort is to the airport.
During your stay, you will find affordable food and drink options. People travel from all over the world to bird watch at this resort.
3. Nungwi Beach
- Nungwi Beach Location – Zanzibar Island
- Nungwi Beach Length – 47 km/27.96 miles
- Nungwi Beach Attractions – swimming, snorkeling, diving
Located in the Zanzibar area of Tanzania, visitors can enjoy the perfect white sand and plenty of water.
If you want a break from the beach, there is a nearby aquarium where you can spend the day.
There is also a variety of hotels and resorts to choose from. Sunset boat cruises are another popular activity.
The beach is known for having a party atmosphere, so this is the place to go for dancing and having a good time with other visitors.
This isn’t one of the beaches that are so quiet you could hear a pin drop.
Read: Best Beaches In Senegal.
4. Mbudya Island
- Mbudya Island Location – Dar es salaam Marine Preserve
- Mbudya Island Attractions – snorkeling, sunbathing, hiking
This is one of the many stunning uninhabited islands off the coast of Tanzania. Accessing the island is about a 20-minute boat ride from the mainland.
This makes a day trip here very popular with locals and tourists alike.
5. Bongyo Island
- Bongyo Island Location – Dar es salaam Marine Preserve
- Bongyo Island Attractions – snorkeling, sunbathing, boating
Bongyo Island is another uninhabited island off the coast of Tanzania. Like Mbudya Island, it is also part of the Dar es Salaam Marine Preserve.
This is also another popular location for a day trip by locals and tourists. The island is only accessible by ferry or boat, and it takes about 30 minutes to reach the mainland.
Visitors to the preserve islands are treated to unspoiled views of nature. There are limited beverage options, so bringing your own is best.
And since the island is uninhabited, you can’t stay overnight.
6. Lindi Bay
- Lindi Bay Length – 5 km/3.1 miles
- Lindi Bay Location – southeast Tanzania, Linda region
- Lindi Bay Attractions – sunbathing, swimming, fishing
The small coastal town of Lindi sits at the edge of Lindi Bay and is proximal to the Indian Ocean.
There aren’t a lot of places in town to stay, so visitors will need to travel from elsewhere.
The area lacks other places’ commercialism, so visitors can walk around and enjoy local treasures without interruption.
7. Sinda Islands
- Sinda Islands Location – Dar es Salaam region
- Sinda Islands Attractions– swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling.
The Sinda Islands are composed of Inner Sinda and Outer Sinda. These islands are part of a coral reef formation.
Tourists enjoy all the beauty of the water and nature without the large crowds found elsewhere. This area is also known as a surfing hotspot.
8. Shangani Beach
- Shangani Beach Location– Zanzibar
- Shangani Beach Attractions – sunbathing, swimming
Located in Zanzibar, Shangani is surrounded by many other beaches and towns. Visitors can travel here to experience the sun and surf, but with fewer crowds.
There are also several hotel options if tourists prefer to stay here than some of the other highly crowded hotels found elsewhere.
9. Bawe Island
- Bawe Island Location– Zanzibar Archipelago
- Bawe Island Attractions – private island, swimming, sunbathing.
This island is the ultimate way to relax in style. You can rent parts of the island for your stay.
There won’t be many amenities, but the privacy and views are unparalleled.
Besides being able to swim and sunbathe in peace, you will find some lovely local places to shop.
10. Jimbizi Beach
- Jimbizi Beach Location – Kilwa Masoko
- Jimbizi Beach Attractions – snorkeling, swimming, sunbathing.
Visitors to this beach can relax in style. The area is not very populated or crowded, so that tourists can enjoy their time.
During low tide, the water drops so low that you can see the sandbars and walk on them.
The area is also known for fishing, so expect to see a wide variety of marine life.
For the historically-minded visitor, there are also many ancient Swahili ruins around the area to visit during your trip.
11. Prison Island
- Prison Island Location – StoneTown, Zanzibar
- Prison Island Length of beach – 800 meters/.4 miles
- Prison Island Attractions – snorkeling, private island, marine life
Prison Island is also known as Changuu Island. It is about a 30-minute boat ride from the mainland city of StoneTown.
As the name indicates, it was once designed for use as a prison. No prisoners ended up housed on the island, and it was used as a disease quarantine instead.
Visitors here can enjoy sunbathing and feeding the marine life that inhabits and walks around the island.
Some of the turtles you will see are over 100 years old. There is a tortoise sanctuary at the end of the island.
You can also spot quite a bit of wildlife while walking on the beach.
12. Vumawimbi Beach
- Vumawimbi Beach Location – Pemba Island
- Vumawimbi Beach Length of beach – 4 kilometers/2.4 miles
- Vumawimbi Beach Attractions – sunbathing, swimming
This beach is a short drive from the nearest town and is a great place to take a day trip. There are no hotels or restaurants, so you must bring your supplies.
This area is popular with locals and not tourists, so that you can avoid the crowds found at other beaches.
13. Jambiani Beach
- Jambiani Beach Location – Zanzibar Island
- Jambiani Beach Attractions – fishing, sunbathing, swimming.
This relaxed village is about an hour from StoneTown by taxi. There aren’t a lot of activities or other things to do on the beach, so this is a great place to come and relax.
Since there aren’t many restaurants or other things to do, tourists don’t have to worry about crowds.
14. Jibondo Island
- Jibondo Island Location – Mafia Island
- Jibondo Island Attractions – marine life, sunbathing, swimming.
You won’t find hotels, restaurants, or other things on this island. It is sparsely populated and doesn’t have its natural water source.
Visitors come here to relax and enjoy the beach and swimming without distractions.
15. Mikindandi Bay
- Mikindandi Bay Location – Tanzania
- Mikindandi Bay Attractions – historical sites, swimming, sunbathing.
The coastal town is situated in the southeastern corner of Tanzania. In colonial times, it was under German rule.
Visitors here can still visit many old colonial homes during their stay. As the area has tried to diversify its economy, some are trying to bring divers to the area.
This still tranquil fishing village allows tourists to enjoy the water and the beach without large crowds.
The few dining locations in the area offer freshly caught seafood in their dishes.
16. Uvinje Island
- Uvinje Island Location – Zanzibar Archipelago
- Uvinje Island Attractions – sunbathing, swimming, water sports
Unlike other islands that are part of the archipelago, Uvinje Island is settled.
The island is undergoing a great deal of development, so you will find many luxury villas and hotels for your stay.
FAQs About Tanzania
Does Tanzania have a beach?
Yes! Tanzania has 885 miles of coastline, and quite a bit of that has 16 beaches.
What is the best time of year to visit Tanzania beaches?
The best time to visit the coast is from June to March. April and May are the rainy season in the country and not the best time to visit.
It is always possible to have a break in the rain during the peak season or rain for a week straight.
What are the top beaches in Tanzania?
What one person considers a top beach will vary based on what that person is looking for.
But these beaches are widely recognized by travel writers and magazines and are the best beaches in the country.
1. Kipepeo Beach
2. Mafia Island
3. Paje Beach
4. Nakupenda Beach
5. Prison Island
How much is a tourist visa for Tanzania?
The cost of a visa will vary based on what country you are entering Tanzania from. There is a list of countries with a relationship with Tanzania that does not require visas.
Most other countries can apply for tourist visas upon entry but are encouraged to obtain their visa before arrival. Prices are $100 for US residents.
Is it safe for Americans to travel to Tanzania?
The country is considered mostly safe, but visitors should proceed with caution. Some areas of the country are more prone to crime than others. Be aware that LGBTQ persons could be the target of violence.
Is it safe to swim at Tanzania beaches?
Research doesn’t show why visitors shouldn’t swim at Tanzania beaches. The risks seem to come more from still water or lakes.
What should you not wear in Tanzania?
The dress code is highly conservative in this country. Men and women traditionally cover their shoulders and knees in public.
Women wear dresses, but foreign tourists can get away with long pants. Avoid tight-fitting clothing.
Are Tanzania beaches expensive?
The cost to stay at a resort each night is highly affordable by Western standards. Tanzania is far more budget-friendly than its neighboring resort Zanzibar.
There are also opportunities to rent some islands off the coast for a private vacation.
Can I travel to Tanzania beaches without a visa?
Unless you are a resident of a predetermined list of countries, you must have a visa to enter Tanzania. It is preferred that you get your visa before you arrive.
However, it is possible to secure one upon arrival.
Where can I surf in Tanzania?
The best places to surf in Tanzania will be the coastline east of Zanzibar. Other options are the reefs that are on the Southeast and Northeast coast. Coco Beach, Sea Cliff, and the Sinda Islands are also known for surfing.
When looking for a spot for your next beach holiday, look at the beaches of Tanzania.
Tanzania and its neighboring territory of Zanzibar offer some of the best views anywhere in the world.
While some beaches offer many amenities like hotels and villas, you can find just as many that are secluded and low-traffic.
Even better, some beaches and islands are uninhabited, meaning you have the place entirely. Some islands are exclusively just for rent.
Whatever you are looking for on your next vacation, Tanzania has it for you.
Book your next beach trip at one of these sixteen beach getaways.