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Why Visit Zanzibar?

Zanzibar, an exotic archipelago nestled in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Tanzania, is renowned for its idyllic tropical beauty and rich cultural heritage. Covering around 2,461 square kilometers, it comprises several islands, with Unguja, often referred to as Zanzibar Island, and Pemba being the largest.

Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, serves as the cultural heart of Zanzibar, where narrow alleyways wind through historic buildings, showcasing its Swahili, Arab, and European influences. The archipelago’s culture is a vibrant blend of traditions, including music, dance, and the distinct flavors of Zanzibari cuisine, influenced by the spice trade.

Where Should You Stay in Zanzibar?

Zanzibar, an archipelago off the coast of Tanzania, is famed for its stunning white sandy beaches, rich cultural heritage, and aromatic spice farms. From the historic streets of Stone Town to the serene beaches of its many islands, choosing the right place to stay in Zanzibar is key to experiencing the enchanting blend of African, Arab, and Indian influences that define this unique destination.

Vector map showing where to stay in Zanzibar featuring the best areas in graphical format

Whether you’re seeking the historic allure of ancient architecture, the tranquility of beachfront retreats, or the adventure of exploring marine life, Zanzibar’s regions offer a diverse range of experiences for every traveler. Let’s embark on a journey to discover the best places to stay in Zanzibar, ensuring your visit is not only unforgettable but perfectly in tune with your desires.

Stone Town

  • Best For: Rich history, cultural tours, architectural beauty.
  • Attractions: Forodhani Gardens, House of Wonders, Old Fort of Zanzibar.


  • Best For: Pristine beaches, vibrant nightlife, water sports.
  • Attractions: Nungwi Beach, Mnarani Marine Turtles Conservation Pond, traditional dhow building.


  • Best For: Kitesurfing, beach relaxation, local culture.
  • Attractions: Paje Beach, Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, kite surfing schools.


  • Best For: Tranquil beaches, sunset views, luxury resorts.
  • Attractions: Kendwa Beach, full moon parties, nearby Mnemba Atoll.


  • Best For: Secluded beaches, snorkeling and diving, serene environment.
  • Attractions: Matemwe Beach, Mnemba Atoll, local seaweed farming.


  • Best For: Traditional village life, coral reefs, laid-back atmosphere.
  • Attractions: Jambiani Beach, local village tours, coral lagoon.


  • Best For: Dolphin watching, historical sites, quiet beaches.
  • Attractions: Dolphin tours, Kizimkazi Mosque, diving and snorkeling.

Mafia Island

  • Best For: Marine life conservation, scuba diving, tranquility.
  • Attractions: Mafia Island Marine Park, Chole Island, whale shark excursions.

Finding the Right Area

Selecting the perfect location in Zanzibar depends on your personal interests. If you’re fascinated by history and culture, Stone Town offers a wealth of architectural and historical treasures. For beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts, Nungwi and Paje provide beautiful beaches with vibrant activities.

Alternatively, for those seeking a more peaceful and secluded beach experience, Matemwe and Kendwa offer tranquil settings with luxurious accommodations. No matter your preference, Zanzibar’s diverse offerings ensure a stay as enchanting and diverse as the Spice Island itself.

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AI Disclaimer Disclaimer: This page was created with help from AI | Reviewed by: Andrew Helling, Editor-in-Chief