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Stone Town is located on the western coast of Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago. Former capital of the Zanzibar Sultanate, and flourishing center of the spice trade as well as the slave trade in the 19th century, it retained its importance as the main city of Zanzibar during the period of the British protectorate. When Tanganyika and Zanzibar joined each other to form the United Republic of Tanzania, Zanzibar kept a semi-autonomous status, with Stone Town as its local government seat.
Stone Town is a city of prominent historical and artistic importance in East Africa. Its architecture, mostly dating back to the 19th century, reflects the diverse influences underlying the Swahili culture, with the East African culture being preeminent, there is a unique mixture of Arab, Persian, Indian and European elements. For this reason, the town was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.
Due to its heritage, Stone Town is also a major visitor attraction in Tanzania, and a large part of its economy depends on tourism-related activities.
The UESCO World heritage site Stone Town also known as Mji Mkongwe (Swahili for "old town") is the old part of Zanzibar City, the main city of Zanzibar, in Tanzania. (The newer portion of the city is known as Ng'ambo (Swahili for 'the other side').
There are a wide variety of hotels in Stone Town from budget friendly accommodations to the newly opened 5 star Park Hyatt Hotel.
This is generally one of the quieter places and beaches, but also becoming discovered.
There are, however, quite a few benefits to coming down here. The first is that the beaches, when they are accessible, are totally your own. The second is that, with fewer people heading down here, you can have utter seclusion. The last is that, of all the beaches, this is the easiest and quickest to get to in addition to Fumba. This is also where most of the dolphin excursions go out of.
Right on the northern most point of the island, the beach that surrounds this area is truly stunning. Azure waters and white sands are what await those that come here. The only drawback really is that many of the hotels have had to perch on the coral cliffs that run north from the village and, as such, lose their beaches at high tide.
Generally, however, this is not a problem and, with the small backpacker community in the village, this is a great place to head if you like to get out of the hotel for a stroll. At low tide you can walk all the way down to Kendwa.
Only a few properties have managed to locate themselves on the western side of the island. The main reason being that there are relatively few beaches that are worth locating on...Kendwa is the one exception. Looking out to the island of Tumbatu, the beach here is one of white sand dropping off into azure ocean.
Good at all times of day, they don't have the same issues as on the other side of the island where the beach is very shallow and so the tide retreats huge distances. You are able to swim all day here. This area is considered the most happening beach spot on the island with many hotels that have opened up in the last few years. The 1st hotel here Kendwa Rocks started out as small beach bandas and has now grown to host a world famous full moon party every month.
Matemwe village, on the north eastern coast of Zanzibar, looks out to the small and exclusive island of Mnemba. Unlike many of the other beaches on the island it has stayed relatively untouched by tourism until recently and may people like this if they are looking to escape to barefoot beach peace.
It is possible to see why this beautiful and expansive beach has become so popular. As with many of the beaches on Zanzibar, it is true that the tidal range is very large and so the beach really becomes vast at low tide...but it is still possible to swim here throughout the day and, when the tide comes in, it really is of a paradise, but slowly developing into another hidden gem. Keep in mind the road can be bumpy and rough, down father into the village and northern hotels, but tranquility and some nice hotels await if you can take the road, off the beaten path.
Kiwengwa and Pongwe East:
The beach that runs down this part of the island is, as with the Matemwe beach further north, very typical of Zanzibar. At low tide it forms a wide band of white that runs out to the seaweed farms and, finally, to the deep water channel and the barrier reef. At high tide, the waves come right up to the edge of the palm covered land that spreads back to the main road. There are several lager resorts here and also a selection of smaller properties. You can walk the beach for miles.
Bwejuu and Dongwe, and Michamvi South East:
Driving north from the small town of Paje runs you along what is one of the most popular beaches on the island. The range of hotels and lodges along here is probably the most diverse in Zanzibar and, with a great beach pretty much throughout the day, it is very hard to go wrong with your choice.
Paje and Jambiani :
One of the more popular Southeastern beach towns on Zanzibar is Paje and is the 1st town you will enter when coming to the East Coast. It is also the kite capital of the island. It’s a great place to visit if you enjoy swimming in the ocean but also interacting with other travelers. There’s a good selection of bungalows, small restaurants, and beach bars, a super market and Coastal Air office.
Paje is one of the better areas on the island to go if you are interested in diving or practicing other water sports like windsurfing or kite surfing. Just past Paje is the fishing village of Jambiani spread along the coast. This area has a wide range of villas, guest houses and hotels to choose from.
Click the link below to find the perfect Hotel for your stay in Zanzibar, wherever it may be:
The archipelago of Zanzibar consists of 2 main islands: Unguja and Pemba. Unguja is by far the most populous and more famous of the islands, also commonly known just as Zanzibar Island. This list of Zanzibar beaches is from the main Zanzibar Island.
Zanzibar is located in the Indian Ocean, just 25 km off the coast of mainland Tanzania.
Zanzibar is probably best known as a UNESCO world heritage site and for it's beautiful postcard perfect beaches with several waiting to be discovered.