Running along the western coast to the northern tip of Zanzibar is Nungwi Beach, known for its sugary white sand and clean water. Stay nearby or plan a daytrip from elsewhere on the island for many hours of enjoyment of the sun, sand and warm ocean.
Zanzibar’s waters are known for tidal extremes, but Nungwi offers a pleasant stretch of sand all day. Get some shade underneath the banana palms, mangroves and coconut trees lining the shore of the beach or stop at one of the many thatched huts for a drink or snack.
Nungwi Beach faces west, providing amazing sunset views. Photograph silhouettes of fishing boats in front of an orange sun, watch weather changes over the vast horizon or sit at a terrace or rooftop bar to enjoy a cocktail as the light fades.
Interestingly, the beach offers a variety of wildlife. Expect to see cows in a southern section of the beach enjoying their break in the sunshine. Watch for colorful shells and small marine animals, including brilliant red starfish, as you stroll along at low tide. Local residents may be gathering that evening’s dinner from the pools created in the coral beyond the beach.
Walk toward the lighthouse at the north end of the beach to visit the Mnarani Natural Aquarium. Here you’ll see hatchling and adult green and hawksbill turtles and may have a chance to swim with them in their protected lagoon. Local residents operate this conservancy site to rescue endangered turtles and return them to the sea in February.
Fishermen operate in this part of Zanzibar. See them at work on their nets in wooden outriggers and sailboats. Watch or participate in building a dhow or ride in one for a snorkeling or sunset cruise.
Enjoy freshly caught fish at one of the oceanfront restaurants. Select from numerous accommodations choices ranging from small bungalows to luxury hotels along the length of the beach.
Nungwi Beach is at the northwestern part of Zanzibar, beginning just over a 1-hour drive north of Stone Town. Expect very warm temperatures year-round with excellent weather for enjoying the beach.