The Top 8 Beaches in Tanzania

The Top 8 Beaches in Tanzania

Waking up to the sound of the waves crashing onto the shore from your bed is what real luxury is all about – and, it is very easy to make it happen through the top 8 beaches in Tanzania.

The country has more than 1,000 miles of coastline, much of which is graced with beautiful beaches. Although, sea beaches aren’t the only in the country. Tourists tend to flock to Lake Victoria, and Lake Tanganyika to get different favor of the gorgeous freshwater beaches in Tanzania.

While the goal of vacationers traveling to Tanzania is to see the country’s major tourist attractions like Kilimanjaro Mountain & Serengeti national park, it’s always enjoyable to end your adventurous trip in one of Tanzania’s spectacular beaches.

And with the hundreds of miles of coastline available in this land of Ngorongoro, Serengeti, and Kilimanjaro, you can choose to sunbathe on urban beaches pulsing with people or unwind along isolated swaths of silky sand, anything you think of, there are the top beaches in Tanzania to give you a fantastic experience and relaxation.

Nonetheless, not all beaches are created equal, and just because one summer hotspot is popular doesn’t mean you’ll be a fan of it. If you’re planning a summer vacation to Tanzania and you’re a beach lover, knowing which beach is the best fit for you and the people you’re going to travel with.

Choose the wrong beach…. you have a tour to forget.

Yes, that is why it is so important to know the top beaches in the country. That will definitely help you and your travel companions have unforgettable Tanzania safari.

From the beautiful Indian Ocean beaches in Zanzibar to the coolest Tanganyika & Lake Victoria beaches in Tanzania mainland, Tanzania will provide you with the full package when it comes to top beaches in Tanzania.

Check out our picks for Tanzania’s finest beaches;

Mafia Island

Mafia claims a list in our top 8 beaches in Tanzania.

Mafia is said to have derived its name from Swahili words “mahali pa afya” a phrase that means a healthy dwelling place. Either way, some studs say the name is derived from the Arabic word ‘group or archipelago’.

Mafia isn’t poor in history!

The island is known to be exposed to the oversee trades as early as the 8th century.

During this period Mafia became the important harbor for Arabia boats to facilitate the trades between the people of East Asia and those of East Africa.

In the mid of 1820s Mafia suffered the decline of its population after one of its towns was under the attack of cannibals from Madagascar.

With over 200 cannibals arriving with about 80 canoes, many locals were eaten while others were taken to slavery.

Beach experience in Mafia

If you have ever visited any of Mafia beaches, you may then be surprised that I have included Mafia in our top 8 beaches in Tanzania.

Well, Mafia has no finest beaches, to be honest.

However, it is the other water activities in Mafia that make this Island claims the name on our list.

If you’re a lover of beach activities such as;

  • Scuba diving
  • Spot fishing
  • Snorkeling

Then Mafia is the place for you and you won’t regret your time there.

You won’t find the best beaches to do the above activities in the entire Tanzania than in Mafia.

Matema Beach

Matema beach which is a freshwater beach in Lake Nyasa is another beach you should give a visit among the top 8 beaches in Tanzania.

Lake Nyasa, which is the host of this beautiful beach is the fourth largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, the ninth largest lake in the world by area—and the third largest and second deepest lake in Africa.

Also known as Lake Malawi, this is the home to more species of fish than any other lake.

One thing I like about Matema beach though is its big waves in the afternoon which makes it much fun to swim in.

It is also at this time when the sun is very wild to the extent that sands get hotter making an escape to swimming even more enjoyable.

Resorts at the Matema likes to keep their beaches very clean so you can expect the clean and very cool sand to relax in the evening

If you’re looking for the scenic beaches in Tanzania, make Matema your choice. The views of the Livingstone Mountains, for example, is simply out of this world.

Go in the Waterfall in Matema

Also, this one is what makes Matema even the best. It has a lot of things to do to refresh.

Apart from laying on the beach & swimming all day, you can take a very fun and challenging hike to Mwalalo falls and explore the stunning waterfall to make your experience even more rewarding.

Lake Victoria Beach

When it comes to freshwater beaches, look no further, Lake Victoria is the place to go to. Lake Victoria has among the best beaches in Tanzania that will leave your vacation memorable.

In the 1850s John Speke and Richard Burton were in an expedition to locate the source of the longest river in the continent, the Great Nile River.

As they found this beautiful lake, locals used ‘Nyanza’ name to try and describe Victoria to John Speke who later renamed it Victoria, after the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901.

Victoria is the largest Lake in Africa by area and the world’s largest tropical lake while it is also the second-largest freshwater lake by surface area after Lake Superior in North America.

As if that wasn’t enough, In terms of volume, Lake Victoria is the world’s ninth-largest continental lake.

Having said so, seeing Victoria Lake is itself an experience worth visiting.

With beach holidays, boating and canoeing as well as fishing, Victoria is among the best especially if you’re looking to explore the western parts of the country.

Kendwa Beach

Kendwa is, without doubt, a beach among the top beaches in Tanzania

With its clean water, sand and fantastic nightlife, fantastic tides for swimming. Many beach lovers who have visited this beautiful beach usually acknowledge that Kendwa beach is among the best place to visit in Zanzibar.

With its fantastic nightlife, Kendwa is probably the best in the world and on top of that its one of the two locations (alongside Thailand) where you can experience a full moon party at its best.

A review on Kendwa Beach;

We took a day trip from Kiwengwa to Kendwa beach, roughly a 45-minute drive coupled with a well worth it 10-minute walk to the beach. I am quite a beach junkie and have been to many nice beaches around the world, I would probably liken this to a Mexican beach on the Caribbean coast (it’s similar to some of the Cancun beaches), the sand is white and powdery, the kind of sand you’d pick up in a DIY store to brush into the cracks on your block paving, its stunning.

There are many restaurants and bars and also plenty of activities to get involved in via beach vendors if you wish, some people get annoyed by the beach vendors, at the end of the day, they are trying to earn a living and simply say you don’t want to have a trip you’re just chilling on the beach!

The beach is very clean, huge, and the waters are crystal clear, don’t be afraid to approach any of the resorts on the beachfront, they will all happily serve you food and let you use the toilets, I found that when we went in June, they would even let you use their facilities such as pools, just because its low season and a tourist in a pool generally also buys either a drink or snack or two…..

For the party-goers, they also have a full moon party during the full moon only, but don’t worry too much, it’s not like the hedonistic event in Thailand on Koh Phagnan Island (I’ve been to this), it’s actually a family friendly event…

— Spencer G; Source: TripAdvisor

Kendwa Beach

Do you have an idea of the Zanzibar temperature?

We, I will give you an idea, Zanzibar knows how to get hotter

Temperatures in this magnificent island are high throughout the year. The warmest period is, from October to March.

During these months the maximum temperature hovers around 31/33 degrees Celsius (88/91 °F) and the humidity is considerably high.

With the kind of that temperature, imagine finding a bit cold water, in fine white sand and in low tides.

That is ideally how your beach experience will go down in Kendwa beach. The beach has colder water than most in Zanzibar.

A review on Kendwa Beach

Kendwa beach is on great location, because has no low tide if you compare to the other parts of Zanzibar. The beach is clean, has a lot of bars, restaurants and you can also find the place just for yourself. You can swim here at any time of the day. In my opinion, this beach offers definitely the best sunset on the island. It’s famous for the sunset boat cruises, but I prefer staying on the beach and take the sunset pictures of those boats too. I recommend to go all the way up to Nungwi, a nice beach walk with an amazing ocean sightseeing.

— Tadeja K; source: Tripadvisor

Saadani National Park

There is no place like Saadani in Tanzania, so is its beaches.

In Saadani national park, it’s the only place in the country you can view animals basking along the Indian Ocean shores. No other wildlife sanctuary in Tanzania borders the sea.

You may be surprised to find out that in Saadani four of the big 5, lions, elephants, buffalo & leopards can be spotted (with a bit of luck).

With other wild animals like hartebeests, waterbucks, monkey, sables, warthogs, hippos and crocodiles, Saadani game reserve is the best mixture of both bush and beach.

Saadani may not have the finest beaches but the scenery make up for that, and rightly so.

After giving it 5 stars, Oluko, had the following to say about Saadani

The Bush and Beach Encounters

Get lost the naturally wilderness and beach mixed feeling f the Saadani National Park where even the wild animals do enjoy and appreciate being on the beach. Saadani is calling for your visitation…

— Ouma Oluoko; source: TripAdvisor

Paje Beach

Talk about white sands, swaying palm trees, gorgeous turquoise oceans and stunning sunsets.

Yes, that is a Paje beach in summary.

And that is what makes it among the top 8 beaches in Tanzania.

Unlike Kendwa, Paje beach has high tides and the most thing I like about Paje is that it has among the coolest places where you can find a cool air & privacy while reading your Pep Confidential: The Inside Story of Pep Guardiola’s First Season at Bayern Munich or whatever the book you may be fond of.

Paje beach is also excellent for kite surfers.

Here is a review to give you the favour of this gorgeous beach of Tanzania;

One of the most beautiful, most culturally interesting beach I’ve ever explored. Great chilled out beach vibe, fantastic food options and night life. Flour white sand, stunning water, seaweed farms, offshore snorkeling, kite surfing and just relaxing.

Watch beach cows, school children, massai and fishermen live out their lives while you hang on the beach.

My favorite spot in Zanzibar

—Yoga Katie; source: TripAdvisor

Nakupenda Beach

Below is a Nakupenda beach scoring by

Sheer Untouched BeautyRemotenessSand and Water QualityAnnual Days of SunshineAverage Annual Temp


Nakupenda is a Swahili word to mean I love you. And really, visitors love this beach

At Nakupenda beach, you can enjoy the following;

  • Sand bathing
  • Relax on Sandbank
  • Motorboat riding
  • Discover marine life around the sandbank
  • Enjoy the seasonal fruits & seafood
  • Brilliant birdlife
  • Snorkeling
  • Visit prison island

Sanchita couldn’t describe Nakupenda beach any better;


Little piece of heaven on earth

This place is what dreams are made of. Nakupenda means “I love u” in Swahili and once you land here you know how aptly it’s named. Stretch of white sand with crystal clear seawater to dip into while your guide puts up a makeshift tent and cuts up fresh fruits to nibble on. When you build up your hunger post-Swim, the serve you the freshest seafood ever, cooked on d beach while you chilled. A must-visit spot indeed

—Sanchita G; source: TripAdvisor

Nungwi Beach

Nungwi was recognized in CNN’s list of “100 best beaches of the world” in 2014

CNN says “Nungwi is one of the rare Zanzibari beaches untroubled by severe undulations of high and low tides, making it perfect for all-day water activities”

You really can’t speak of the top beaches of Tanzania without including Nungwi. This gorgeous beach has a lot of activities to offer including;

  • Walking tours
  • Sunset cruises,
  • Diving excursions
  • Parasailing, to name a few

I think we all agree that Brazilians know good beaches, right?

Here is what Bruna V from Rio de Janeiro had so say about Nungwi beach.

Stunning Beach with excellent options for entertainment

Stunning beach, with excellent hotels to stay and also to have meals or happy hours. It is paradise!

—Bruna V; source: TripAdvisor


There’s no doubt about it; Tanzania is a fantastic destination for beach-seekers,

With many beautiful spots along its shore and between the mainland and Zanzibar Island, there’s a plethora of sandy shores, rocky cliffs and spectacular views for just you to pick from.

So what beach are you going to visit this summer? Let me hear below in the comment.