The most popular areas to stay in Zanzibar are Nungwi, Kendwa, Paje, Jambiani and Stone Town, its capital, and there are other areas with paradisiacal beaches that are also worth considering.Take a look at the best places to stay in Zanzibar and make your choice.
Zanzibar is located in Tanzania, on the east coast of Africa and facing the Indian Ocean.It is also one of the jewels of the continent, as it is dotted with more than 25 kilometres of evocative beaches with fine white sand and translucent waters, like a real postcard.
Its almost wild landscapes include coconut forests, incredible mangroves, coral cliffs, atolls and remote islands, the closest to heaven on earth, and home to the red colobus monkey, the only place it lives.
Zanzibar exudes an atmosphere in which the Indian, English, Swahili and Omani influences are perfectly appreciated.</Its capital, Stone Town, retains the essence of the past and shows the influences of all the peoples who have passed through it, both in the architecture and the prevailing customs, as well as in the character of its inhabitants.It is the treasure of the island, a privileged place to take shelter from the incessant sun that gives light and warmth to its beaches.
Villages such as Nungwi, where the traditional dhows float on its waters and tranquility invades everything, end up forming the essence of this destination.
Zanzibar cuisine is the result of British, Indian and Arab influences. Spices are the protagonists of countless fish, seafood and meat dishes; but also intense sauces, the most common being coconut and sweet potato puree.Among the most traditional dishes are the samosa, the ugali, the urojo or the nyama choma.
Zanzibar is one of the most magnificent islands on the African map, where life has changed very little.
If you have in mind to visit this little piece of paradise and you are looking for information about the best places to stay in Zanzibar, read on.
The best places to stay in Zanzibar
Zanzibar is one of the favourite destinations for couples looking to enjoy their honeymoon or romantic getaway; for sun, beach and tropical destination lovers; for sea sports devotees or for those interested in African culture.
An exotic destination that has gradually caught the attention of the traveller and holds incredible surprises.
The range of accommodation on offer has been increasing in recent years and includes a good variety: bungalows, beachfront resorts, hotel complexes on islands, mid-range hotels, traditional cabins…
The prices of accommodation are not expensive, although it depends on the season.The most expensive areas to stay in Zanzibar are Nungwi and Jambiani. The cheapest are Kendwa, Paje, Stone Town or Bwejuu.Like the rest of the zanzibari map, its great attraction is the beach, which has a very calm environment. It also has the perfect waves for the practice of surfing and kiting, and has rich coral funds that make it ideal for diving and snorkeling.
However, the local environment of the village also attracts a good number of travellers, since traditional trades such as algae gathering, the construction of traditional boats -dhows- or working with coconut fibres can be seen there.
Its unpaved streets are decorated with Swahili style houses, some traditional shops and stores, so walking through them is a real opportunity for those who want to get into the local culture.
It is a highly recommended area to stay in Zanzibar for travellers who intend to practise sea sports and also avoid overcrowding.
The number of hotels is not too generous, although it has increased substantially in recent years.The good news is that prices are lower than elsewhere, and it is possible to sleep in a 4-star hotel for about £50 a night.Pongwe
This bay is located between Kendwa and Nungwi, at the southern end of Kiwengwa beach.
Staying in Zanzibar here means sleeping in one of the most special and spectacular parts of this African destination.
Due to its small size, there is not much accommodation available, and the hotel complexes predominate. The prices are a bit high, although it is also possible to find some with low prices. A 4 star hotel does not cost less than 70 euros per night.
ACCOMMODATION IN PONGWE
This tiny fishing village is located on the south-east coast of Zanzibar, and is one of the oldest and most traditional.Traditionally dedicated to the breeding and harvesting of seaweed, it has more than five kilometres of beaches with crystalline waters, around which are located a good number of hotel complexes, bungalows and medium category hotels.
Its beaches offer the ideal swell for the practice of maritime sports such as surfing or kitesurfing, and have rich coral beds that allow you to enjoy diving, panoramic navigation or snorkelling in the broadest sense.
It can also boast of being one of the most authentic, being a magnet for lovers of ethnology and African cultures. Among its streets you can see the locals walking barefoot, flirtatious shops, local workshops and some restaurants, where you can taste the traditional delicacies of the zanzibari cuisine.
It is one of the most privileged areas to stay in Zanzibar, as it allows you to have contact with the locals, experience the local culture and also enjoy the beach and different maritime disciplines.’, «However, for about 70 euros you can stay in a hotel of 4 stars.
ACCOMMODATION IN JAMBIANI
This small village is located in the south-eastern part of the island, between Paje and Michamvi and about seven kilometers from Jambiani.It has gone from being one of the quietest to welcome many travelers who seek to enjoy its beaches, embraced by coconut palms and tropical vegetation, and the incredible natural areas it treasures.
The tranquility invades all its corners, so it is a paradise for those seeking peace, walking on the beach you can see the locals fishing or picking red algae, activities that are the basis of its economy.
There are not many hotels here, but if you want to sleep in a quiet, beautiful and traditional area, it is one of the most recommended areas to stay in Zanzibar.Stone Town
Stone Town is the main town on the island, which was once the epicentre of the spice trade, making it the most important city in East Africa and even the largest producer of cloves in the world, although it also stood out for its cardamom and nutmeg plantations.
Today it is a special city, whose corners and buildings are a faithful reflection of all the cultures that have inhabited it, such as the Moorish, Swahili, Persian, Indian, European and Arab cultures, a true melting pot of cultures that make the visit a very special experience.
Its old town has been declared a World Heritage Site, as it treasures very beautiful and valuable buildings such as the Sultan’s Palace, the House of Wonders or the Old Fort.
But the attractions of this Zanzibar city do not remain in the mentioned ones. It treasures the small Livingstone Palace, the Anglican cathedral, the Persian baths, the Forodhani gardens or the palace museum.
The architecture of the houses that decorate it is another of the differentiating elements.Most of the doors of the buildings contain pointed pieces of metal, which were included to prevent the elephants from destroying them, giving them a great aesthetic uniqueness. In addition, they are carved and show a rich decorative profusion, which indicated the status of its inhabitants.
When buying local products the reference place is the city market, one of the largest open-air markets in the country.In its stalls you will find everything from avocados to elephant garlic, which are only grown on the island.
The seafront area shows the seafaring side of this charming city overlooking the Indian Ocean. Its pier has some recommended restaurants to enjoy fresh fish and seafood, as well as local dishes.», ‘
It is less than 10 km from the Zanzibar International Airport, which is connected to the city centre by bus, and it has a pier where the ferries to other nearby towns and villages and to the mainland depart.
Stonte Town is one of the best options to stay in Zanzibar, as it is the perfect refuge from the incessant heat of the nearby towns and villages or to enjoy a unique multicultural atmosphere.
In addition, it has access to the main services and is excellently connected with the rest of the regions of Zanzibar.
As you would expect, there is a very generous offer of accommodation of all types and categories.By booking in advance, it is possible to access a 4-star hotel for 50 euros or 60 euros.
ACCOMMODATION IN STONE TOWN
This village is located in the north of Zanzibar Island, and is one of the biggest of all the villages on the island.
The reason is that it is dotted with one of the best beaches in the world, which many call the jewel of the East African coast, ideal for swimming and various water activities such as snorkelling and diving.
In the surroundings of the beach there is a wide range of restaurants, bars and entertainment venues where you can enjoy the fun and nightlife of the area, as well as the fish market.
Next to this is the dhow-making centre, where you can see in situ how the locals build these typical fishing boats. Not far away is the Mnarani and Baraka turtle aquariums, which offer the experience of swimming with or feeding them.
The village is also an excellent starting point for a trip to the Mnemba Marine Reserve, where you can enjoy diving, the sea and the sun.
It is very well connected with the rest of the areas by bus Dala Dala 116 from Darajani or Creek Road in Stone Town.
It is an excellent area to sleep in Zanzibar, especially for those who want to enjoy the benefits of the sea and at the same time have contact with the locals.
As the main tourist destination, Zanzibar has a very extensive range of accommodation, including hotels and bungalows on the beachfront.Prices vary depending on the time of year, but the average for a 4-star hotel ranges from 100 euros to 120 euros per night.Kendwa
This village is about three kilometres from Nungwi, from where you can go for a nice walk along the coast at low tide.
Smaller and with a more local atmosphere than its neighbour, it has a beautiful beach that attracts more and more travellers, especially those looking to enjoy swimming and water sports such as snorkel, diving, parasailing, flyboard or jet ski, among others.
Full moon parties on the beach are becoming increasingly popular, offering the opportunity to get into the festive side of Zanzibar.
To get to this Zanzibari village you can take a bus or private taxi in Stone Town.There is also the option of arriving by private boat from Nungwi
It is an area that should be taken into account when accommodating in Zanzibar by those who seek to enjoy the sea, beauty and tranquility or to stay in a bungalow overlooking the sea, as there are a good number of them.
As it receives less tourism than its neighbour, it has a more limited hotel offer, but with economic prices.In fact, it is one of the most chosen places by backpackers to sleep in Zanzibar, where it is possible to stay in a 4-star hotel for about 50 or 60 euros.Matemwe
This village on the northwest coast of Zanzibar still retains its traditional charm, in fact it continues to live on fishing and algae farming. This evocative environment and its beach paradise make it one of the most special places to stay in Zanzibar.</
The beach is also an excellent opportunity to connect with nature, to enjoy sea sports, its sea beds or its warm and transparent waters.The village also offers the opportunity to go into the most local and traditional Zanzibar.
The surrounding area is home to incredible places such as the coral reef and the Mnemba lagoon, which is a paradise for diving and snorkelling lovers, as its sea bed is home to numerous species such as giant turtles, snappers and trumpet fish.Between July and November, it is possible to see humpback whales on their annual migration route.
It is acceptably connected with other nearby towns such as Nungwi, which can be reached by taxi; or Stone Town, where you can take a taxi or a private bus.
The offer of hotels is a little bit limited to a few bungalows, small hotels and country houses.The prices are not too high if we compare them with other more touristic villages. For one 70 euros it is possible to sleep in a hotel of 4 stars.
ACCOMMODATION IN MATEMWE
On the northwest coast, between Pongwe and Pwani Mchangani, is this enclave, one of the most paradisiacal of Zanzibar.The main attraction is its beautiful beaches, which are practically paradisiacal, and are a powerful attraction for those who want to enjoy the possibilities offered by the sea without too much company.
However, the traditional village behind it is an excellent opportunity to enjoy the rural beauty of Zanzibar.
This enclave is not very extensive, but has a fairly interesting range of accommodation at prices suitable for all budgets.Here it is possible to stay in a 4-star hotel for about 70 euros/b> per night, but also in a 5-star hotel from 100 euros/b> per night.
ACCOMMODATION IN KIWENGWA
What is the best area to stay in Zanzibar?
Zanzibar is a unique experience that any adventurer should have in the Indian Ocean, with its fascinating historical beaches of Stone Town and magnificent sunsets, the very name evokes the magic, mystery, idyllic beauty and even the smell of history of this Indian Ocean island.For the modern ear, Zanzibar is synonymous with beaches and coral seas shaped like a splashed lake.
Those who are thinking of going to the exotic island of Zanzibar in Tanzania will find a good offer of accommodation, but if you are wondering where the best place to choose a hotel is, it is important to know a little more about the different areas.You should consider that Zanzibar is much bigger than you might expect, driving from north to south of the island takes about two hours, so the choice of where to stay will be important.
There are more than 25 beaches on the island, but one of the best is in Nungwi , on the north coast.Located 3 kilometers south of it, Kendwa is smaller and less developed, but has become increasingly popular in the last few years, especially for backpackers looking for good atmosphere and beautiful beaches at a lower price.
In Stone Town , a few minutes from the capital, you will find the cultural and culinary heart of the island, with a historic centre that has been declared a World Heritage Site.
If you are interested in knowing where to stay in Zanzibar , you may also be interested in knowing where to stay in the Maldives and where to stay in Mauritius.
Best places to stay in Zanzibar
The north coast where Nungwi is located, is an area known to have some of the best beaches in Zanzibar, so if you are looking to spend time in the sand and crystal clear water it is a good option to look for accommodation.It has a small beach, known as «the jewel of the East African coast» which is of very recent tourist development and offers a great alternative for those who want access to a paradise beach, but at the same time have everything necessary to be comfortable and have a great time.
It is becoming a more vibrant tourist destination, with many bars, restaurants and resorts of different types.As for nightlife, you will find some of the best options on the island here, however, its recent development also brings some disadvantages, such as resellers on the beaches.
The village of Nungwi is becoming more and more remote from the coast due to the developments that have taken place off the coast.’, ‘This small fishing village has its own bars and restaurants and visitors often take trips to the village to get a glimpse of rural life in Zanzibar, however, it should be noted that many locals are Muslims and lead a traditional life, so it can be frowned upon by tourists who wear swimming trunks while drinking and dancing.
Hotels in Nungwi
This small fishing village was until recently virtually inaccessible and untouched by commercial tourism.It is a stretch of approximately 4 kilometers of stunning white sand beach along a classic coral lagoon.
Today the village remains largely undisturbed and as such is excellent for adventurous spirits. In Jambiani, visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the tranquil and private atmosphere of a privileged natural environment; wildlife, tropical plants or the stunning white sand beach that encompasses the turquoise blue ocean.
In recent years, Jambiani has also experienced an increase in visitor arrivals thanks to the practice of kite surfing, diving and snorkeling along the lagoon.
Hotels in Jambiani
Paje is a village on the Tanzanian island of Unguja, which is part of Zanzibar.The protection of the coral reef and the wind make it an ideal destination for wind sports such as windsurfing or kitesurfing.
Located 3 kilometers south of Nungwi, Kendwa is smaller and less developed, but has become increasingly popular in recent years.Kendwa is also known for its moon parties and nightlife which is centered largely around Kendwa Rocks Hotel.Also, Kendwa is a very young destination and can be very noisy, but it’s a great place to look for a hotel if you want to meet people and have fun.Kendwa is a paradise for backpackers, as there are cheaper accommodation options than in other parts of the island.
Hotels in Kendwa
Stone Town or Zanzibar City is the capital of the island and was the former capital of the Sultanate of Zanzibar and due to its unique architecture and culture, it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.
Here you can find several buildings that have been in Zanzibar’s history for years, such as the Beit-al-Ajaib Museum (Palace of Wonders), the old fort, the old dispensary, the Anglican Cathedral of Christ Church, the Sultan’s Palace, the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Joseph.
If you want to try real traditional food this is your place.Stone Town is not only the cultural heart, but also the culinary capital of the island.from the street stalls or the vendors at the Forodhoni Market to five star restaurants, Stone Town has it all.many restaurants are also very special for their panoramic view terraces.
The best way to explore the stone city is on foot.Almost everything within walking distance, plus the city center is predominantly pedestrian, so you should be careful of motorcycles, which have the right of way at all times on all streets.The disadvantage is that the beaches here are not as recommended and it is best to take a short trip to get to a good place to swim.the hotel offer is good in this area, with enough variety.
Hotels in Stown Town