The beaches of Zanzibar: Nungwi and its many faces

Zanzibar is a big island and deciding which beach to go to can be quite challenging. Nungwi was the first option that we considered as it was suggested to us by some locals. It is also known as the Zanzibari party destination, but don’t imagine anything like crazy full moon parties because the Tanzanite island is much more laid back and far less crowded with people and bars than other beach destinations around the world.

Since the first day we started exploring the beaches south and north from Nungwi village and we have covered around 3-4 kms of pristine white sands and azure waters.

It is impossible to get bored in Zanzibar basically for two reasons.

  • The first is that the low tide happens twice a day and changes the beach dramatically. It is possible to walk toward the coral reed for hundreds of meters, and even kilometers or just lay on the uncovered sand banks offshore (there is one after the last hotel on the north-eastern side of Nungwi – Ras Beach Hotel). All of this in the beautful company of starfish, corals and sea urchins. *talking about sea urchins, it might be a very good idea to bring with you a pair of water footwear
  • the low tide forms a large and long shallow lagoons with infinite hues of blue. This was the main reason I couldn’t help bringing with me all my cameras, all the time, everywhere. The colours, the clouds, the shades were always different and I couldn’t stop taking photos and saying “E’ bellissimo” every few seconds or so.

The low tide allowed us to walk to any beach around Nungwi but with the high tide we had to be sure to be back or in a place from where we can get a taxi. The back roads exist but they are unpleasant to walk and as Lonely Planet says you never know what could hapen to you #scaredface.

Two final tips:

  1. for the softest white sand beach that doesn’t get all covered during high tide and where you can swim all day head towards head toward south from Nungwi village until you start seeing signs in Italian and a higher concentration of Masai.
  2. for tidal landscapes at their best go in the opposite direction, towards Essque Zulu.

So here is a little glimpse into the infinite beauty of Zanzibar and Nungwi beach in particular.