Where To Stay in Zanzibar [Best Places to Stay for 2024]

Aerial view of umbrellas, green palms on the sandy beach at sunset. Summer holiday in Zanzibar, Africa. Tropical landscape with palm trees, parasols, white sand, blue water, waves, people. Top view

While officially named Unguja, the largest island in the Tanzanian archipelago is more commonly known as Zanzibar Island after the island’s main city. It’s located in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa and is a hugely popular tourist destination for many reasons. 

It offers incredible beaches, diving spots, and historical towns. Zanzibar, Tanzania can also be quite affordable for many travellers, as you’ll realise when you’re looking for where to stay in Zanzibar.

Zanzibar offers beautiful coral reefs and incredibly diverse and plentiful marine life. Pair these traits with warm, clear water and you have a diver and snorkeller’s paradise. Zanzibar also has a wonderful tropical, sunny climate almost year-round with soft, white sand beaches for those looking for a truly exotic escape. 

Stone Town, the most historic neighbourhood of Zanzibar City, is where you’ll find spice markets and narrow cobblestone streets lined with sandy-coloured houses. There is no shortage of things to do and places to visit in Zanzibar!

❤️ Best Area first timersZanzibar City
💸 Best Luxury HotelNungwi Dreams by Mantis
👪 Best Hotel for For FamiliesAzao Resort & Spa
🏨 Best Mid-Range HotelZanzibar Ocean View Hotel
🛏️ Best Budget HotelHiliki House
✨ Best HostelShoki Shoki Hostel

So, which part of Zanzibar is the best to stay in? Well, Zanzibar offers several towns and areas to suit many different travel styles and budgets on all four of its coastlines. This guide will show you which is the best area to stay in Zanzibar for you.

It covers the best hostels, guesthouses, resorts, bungalows, apartments and best hotels Zanzibar. Everything is broken down by neighbourhood so you can choose the best option for your needs and have a fantastic vacation!

Below are 13 of the best neighbourhoods in Zanzibar to help you make the right decision when trying to work out best area to stay in Zanzibar for you. We have tried to make the guide as easy to follow as possible.

We have also included some things to do or places to visit as well as some eatery suggestions of either our favourite places or some funky places to eat at within the areas in Zanzibar so you can use this as a go to guide.

Plan your trip?

Avoid hidden fees in the exchange rate while withdrawing from millions of ATMs abroad, paying in restaurants and shops, and buying your accommodation and flights using the Wise Card. You can hold up to 40+ currencies at once to spend in in over 150 countries, and convert them in real time with the free Wise app.

Need help planning your trip from start to finish? Check out these helpful links:

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy. You can also read our content/editorial policy here.

Stone Town – Where To Stay in Zanzibar on a Budget

Want to visit Zanzibar but don’t want to break the bank? Stone Town is the best choice for where to stay in Zanzibar on a budget.

Why Stay in Stone Town

Stone Town is the oldest part of Zanzibar City right on the coast in the centre of the island. This is where you’ll find Zanzibar port with boats to Dar es Salaam on the Tanzanian coast and most of the island’s top cultural attractions. 

Due to the fact that most of this neighbourhood consists of narrow, dusty streets, there isn’t a lot of space for large, fancy resorts. If you’re looking for where to stay in Zanzibar on a budget, Stone Town is the best choice!

Though you can find some four and five-star resorts on the coastline, there are lots of budget guesthouses and hotels within the city itself.

With the immense choice of restaurants, cafes, eateries, and grocery stores nearby, you’re sure to find food on your budget. Plus, Stone Town is closer to Zanzibar Airport which means you won’t have to spend as much on transfers.

Things To Do in Stone Town

  • Darajani Bazaar

Like other Muslim regions, Stone Town has a bustling Bazaar market where you can buy souvenirs, clothing, and spices.

Spice is Zanzibar’s main industry and is often referred to as Spice Island. In Darajani Bazaar, you can also buy clothing, accessories, jewellery, and much more.

  • Freddie Mercury Museum

Frontman of the legendary rock band Queen is by far Zanzibar’s most famous resident. He was born in Stone Town in 1946 and lived there on and off until he was 18.

This museum focuses on his early life with lots of photographs and memorabilia from his childhood as well as anecdotes from the people who knew him as a young man.

  • Old Slave Market/Anglican Cathedral

Delve into Zanzibar’s dark past at the Anglican Cathedral which was also the slave market during the height of the slave trade.

There are memorials to the stolen people of Zanzibar as well as information so you can learn about the atrocities that took place here.

Top 5 Favourites Accommodation Options for Stone Town

Best places to stay in  Stone Town

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Stone Town

Budget accommodation in Stone Town

Mid range accommodation in Stone Town

Family Friendly accommodation in Stone Town

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Stone Town

Aerial Shot of Crowded City Market in Stone Town, the Capital of Zanzibar, Tanzania. Active Trade on a Market at evening

Ng’ambo – Where To Stay in Zanzibar Close to the Airport

Do you have a late-arriving flight or need to wake up early to catch one? You don’t want to stay too far away. This neighbourhood is perfect if you want to stay close to the airport.

Why Stay in Ng’ambo

You might not feel like taking a long transfer to a resort or hotel on one of the far corners of the island if you’ve just arrived in Zanzibar during the wee hours of the night.

If you’re wondering where to stay in Zanzibar that gives you easy access to both Zanzibar Airport (and also the port!) then Ng’ambo is the best choice.

This neighbourhood/district comprises the rest of Zanzibar City which isn’t Stone Town. It’s much larger and with a more local feel as there are more apartment and office buildings here.

It covers three main roads: Nyerere Road, Karume Road and Malawi Road and you can easily travel to the airport from Mg’ambo in 10 minutes or less.

There are fewer hotels in Zanzibar in this neighbourhood but there are still restaurants, parks, and supermarkets. Everything you could need is within a short drive anyway.

Things To Do in Ng’ambo

  • Michenzani Mall

Due to the fact that Ng’ambo is a more residential area, you’ll find more residential amenities here. It’s perfect if you need some retail therapy as the Michenzani Mall is a huge shopping centre that all the locals love to visit.

You’ll find a huge range of affordable, international brands as well as phone shops, nail salons, and everything else you could possibly need.

  • Peace Memorial Museum

Situated on the coastline, the Peace Memorial Museum is an elegant white-washed, Arab-style building dedicated to educating visitors on the history of Zanzibar.

It was built in the 1920s with delicate stained glass windows and ornate wood carvings on all of the door frames. It’s well worth a stroll around to escape the bustle and hustle of the city.

  • Kariakoo Theme Park

Travelling to Zanzibar with your kids? Take them to Kariakoo Theme Park during your stay in Ng’ambo!

There are lots of fairground rides here to suit children of a range of ages including Ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds, Dodgem cars, rollercoasters, tube slides, and more.

Top 3 Favourites Accommodation Options for Ng’ambo

Best places to stay in  Ng’ambo

Budget accommodation in Ng’ambo

Mid range accommodation in Ng’ambo

Family Friendly accommodation in Ng’ambo

Above The Building Roofs Aerial View Of Zanzibar, Stone Town. Tanzania. Sunset Time Coastal City

Zanzibar City – Where To Stay in Zanzibar for First-Time Visitors

Zanzibar is a huge, diverse island and it might be difficult to choose where to stay for your first few nights. Zanzibar City is the island’s capital and is close to the airport so it’s a great place to start your first trip.

Why Stay in Zanzibar City

Otherwise known as the Mjini District, Zanzibar City is the main town on the land and where you’ll find the most hotels Zanzibar Tanzania.

It comprises many neighbourhoods (Stone Town and Ng’ambo being two of the main ones) as well as Zanzibar Port and Abeid Amani Karume International Airport. If you’re looking for where to stay in Zanzibar for first-time visitors, this is a great option.

There are plenty of things to do in Zanzibar city including museums, restaurants, and even some beach resorts.

Just off the coast of Zanzibar City are lots of small islands with turtle sanctuaries and remote sandy beaches where you can take a day trip. 

Plus, Zanzibar City has accommodations to suit all types of travellers from budget three-star guesthouses to incredible five-star resorts.

Even if you want to move onto a different part of the island after a few days, booking your first one or two nights here will allow you to acclimatise yourself to Zanzibar’s pace.

Things To Do in Zanzibar City

  • Fuerte Viejo de Zanzíbar

Zanzibar has a long and varied history, and that includes military history. One of the top things to do in Zanzibar City is to visit Fuerte Viejo de Zanzíbar which is an old 17th-century fort.

You can take guided tours of the fort but it’s also an events venue, hosting film festivals, music festivals, and other fun events. 

  • House of Wonders

Next door to Fuerte Viejo de Zanzíbar is the House of Wonders museum. It’s the former palace of Barghash bin Said, a Grand Sultan who built this home in 1883.

He built the door extra wide so he could enter the building on the back of an elephant! Today, the museum is a wonderful blend of Portuguese, English, Omani, and Swahili exhibits including explorer David Livingstone’s medical chest and Swahili clothing.

  • Mtoni Palace Ruins

The Mtoni Palace Ruins are completely free and open to visit in Zanzibar City at any time of day. The palace was built by Seyyid Said, the sultan of East Africa and Oman from the late 1700s to the early 1800s.

The ruins are right next to a little patch of the beach in Stone Town so they’re in a beautiful spot too.

Top 3 Favourites Accommodation Options for Zanzibar City

Best places to stay in  Zanzibar City

Budget accommodation in Zanzibar City

Mid range accommodation in Zanzibar City

Family Friendly accommodation in Zanzibar City

STONE TOWN, ZANZIBAR -Historic buildings surround courtyard and water fountain in center of  Stone Town, Zanzibar

Nungwi – Where To Stay in Zanzibar for Nightlife

Zanzibar might be a beach bum’s paradise during the day, but it comes alive at night! At least, in certain parts of the island.

If you’re looking for where to stay in Zanzibar for nightlife, Nungwi on the north coast of Zanzibar is the best option for you.

Why Stay in Nungwi

Nungwi is a thriving beach village with lots of resorts on its beautiful Nungwi Beach. It’s a busy, friendly spot with lots of restaurants and bars as well as those available at the resorts too.

If you don’t want a quiet, secluded, and remote beach vacation then book one of the three to five-star resorts or hotels here. You’ll find many branded hotels as well as independent guesthouses.

Things To Do in Nungwi

  • Nungwi Beach

Named as one of the World’s Top 25 Beaches in the TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards, Nungwi Beach is a can’t-miss if you’re in the area.

It’s a dreamy soft white sand beach surrounded by palm trees with calm, turquoise waters perfect for snorkelling. What more could you want?!

  • CHE Rock Bar & Restaurant

Nungwi is the best place for nightlife in Zanzibar, so make sure you check out one of the best bars and clubs while you’re there. The CHE Rock Bar is a fun, lively club with live rock bands playing almost every night of the week.

  • Zee Bar

Is drinking a cocktail or two in a cool beach bar your idea of a good night out? Zee Bar is right on Nungwi Beach with traditional beach shack decor. They serve delicious cocktails that you can enjoy as you watch the sunset.

Top 5 Favourites Accommodation Options for Nungwi

Best places to stay in Nungwi

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Nungwi

Budget accommodation in Nungwi

Mid range accommodation in Nungwi

Family Friendly accommodation in Nungwi

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Nungwi

View of tropical sandy Nungwi beach on Zanzibar, Tanzania

Jambiani – Best Place To Stay in Zanzibar for Couples

Which area to stay in Zanzibar for couples is the best area? Encompassing lots of small villages, the district of Jambiani is on the eastern side of the south coast of Zanzibar and is perfect for a romantic getaway.

Why Stay in Jambiani

There are lots of beach resorts to choose from in this area but because it’s a lot smaller than somewhere like Nungwi, it’s perhaps the best place to stay in Zanzibar for couples.

Jambiani Beach is not a wide beach but it certainly is very long and very beautiful with lots of palm trees, crystal clear water and soft white sand.

Though there are lots of restaurants and bars in Jambiani as well as some local caves you can explore you can choose to hide away in your resort for the entire trip if you like.

Things To Do in Jambiani

  •  Swahili Cave and Kuza Cave

Zanzibar doesn’t only have great beaches for swimming in, but its caves in Jambiani are fun to explore too. Swahili Cave and Kuza Cave are just a short taxi ride from any of the resorts on Jambiani Beach.

Both caves have wooden platforms so you can walk through them safely and you’ll feel like you’ve found a secret paradise.

  • Duotone Kite Surf Club / School on Jambiani Beach

Jambiani Beach has perfect weather for watersports that require a bit of wine like kite surfing and windsurfing.

If you’ve never kite surfed before, you’ll need lessons and a place to hire equipment! Duotone Kite Surf Club will be able to give you what you need and will guide yo every step of the way.

Top 5 Favourites Accommodation Options for Jambiani

Best places to stay in Jambiani

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Jambiani

Budget accommodation in Jambiani

Mid range accommodation in Jambiani

Family Friendly accommodation in Jambiani

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Jambiani

The white sand and the coconut trees in Jambiani, Zanzibar, Tanzania

Paje – Where To Stay in Zanzibar for Best Beaches

Everywhere in Zanzibar has amazing beaches, right?! They do, but Paje takes the top spot.

Why Stay in Paje

Just up the eastern coast from Jambiani is Paje. It’s an incredibly small neighbourhood but a thriving little town with lots to do.

Plus, like Jambiani, the Zanzibar beaches on this coast are just incredible and if you want to know where to stay in Zanzibar for best beaches then you could choose much worse places than Paje!

Whether you want to relax on the soft white sands and bathe under the sun or grab your snorkel and go swimming every day, you can.

Keep in mind that Paje’s waters aren’t as calm as others, which makes them ideal for watersports like kitesurfing.

Things To Do in Paje

  • Paje Beach

Obviously, you have to visit Paje Beach while staying in Paje since it’s the Zanzibar neighbourhood with the best beaches!

You can try kite surfing, snorkelling, swimming, or simply lounge on the beach as much as you want. No matter where you’re staying in Paje, you’ll only be a stone’s throw away from the coastline.

  • Maalum Nature Reserve

Just a short drive inland from Paje and you’ll find the Maalum Nature Reserve. It’s a lush, dense forest with thick green trees.

Luckily, it’s not difficult to hike through as there are paved paths throughout the entire area that look good enough for those with accessibility issues. There’s also a small, secluded swimming hole for those that manage to discover it to enjoy.

Top 5 Favourites Accommodation Options for Paje

Best places to stay in Paje

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Paje

Budget accommodation in Paje

Mid range accommodation in Paje

Family Friendly accommodation in Paje

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Paje

Aerial shot of a luxury hotel on a Beach first line with Palm Trees Garden at evening time in Paje village, Zanzibar, Tanzania

Kiwengwa – Where To Stay in Zanzibar for Honeymoon

No matter which area you stay in during your trip to Zanzibar, you’ll find luxurious five-star resorts perfect for newlyweds.

However, if you’re looking for where to stay in Zanzibar for honeymoon trips where no expense is spared, then head to Kiwengwa. It’s just further north of Paje on the eastern coast.

Why Stay in Kiwengwa

Kiwengwa not only has amazing beaches, but this is also where you’ll find Zanzibar’s best beach bungalows.

If you were ever going to book an unforgettable resort where you could step outside of your food and straight onto the beach or pool then it will be your honeymoon!

Things To Do in Kiwengwa

  • Zanzibar Quad Adventure

Is there a better activity for newlyweds than to drive with your new spouse on a quad bike through the dirt roads of Zanzibar?!

Seriously, Zanzibar Quad Adventure is the best quad biking tour company on the island and you’ll be so pleased you signed up for a tour.

You’ll see more rural parts of the islands you couldn’t explore in a car and wouldn’t explore on your own.

  • Amour Beach Restaurant

The clue is in the name because the Amour Beach Restaurant is a very romantic eatery perfect for honeymooners wanting to dine somewhere special during their Zanzibar vacation.

They mostly serve seafood with a side of beautiful beach views.

Top 4 Favourites Accommodation Options for Kiwengwa

Best places to stay in Kiwengwa

Budget accommodation in Kiwengwa

Mid range accommodation in Kiwengwa

Family Friendly accommodation in Kiwengwa

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Kiwengwa

A woman dressed in light summer clothes walking on the Zanzibar island low tide sandy beach wooden pier. Careless vacation in the tropical countries concept image. Kiwengwa, Tanzania.

Matemwe – Where To Stay in Zanzibar for Diving

Zanzibar’s quality diving conditions are what bring many people to the island in the first place.

There are lots of fantastic dive spots in Zanzibar, including coral reefs, but Matemwe is one of the best. So, if you’re looking for where to stay in Zanzibar for diving, then it’s the best choice. 

Why Stay in Matemwe

Matemwe is on the northeastern coast of Zanzibar and is home to a seaweed farm on the coastline. Not great news for the casual swimmer but super interesting for divers.

It’s also close to Mnemba island which is a private island that you can stay on and it’s the perfect base for fun diving trips.

Things To Do in Matemwe

  • Zanzibar Dive – Diving Centre

If you want to go diving in Matemwe, you need a dive centre. Luckily, Zanzibar Dive is based in Matemwe and can hook you up with all the gear, lessons, and expert guides you need for an amazing diving trip.

  • Makuti Beach Restaurant

Zanzibar has hundreds of beach restaurants, but if you’re staying in Matemwe then you need to check out Matuti Beach Restaurant. It’s highly rated and serves fresh seafood at affordable prices.

Top 4 Favourites Accommodation Options for Matemwe

Best places to stay in Matemwe

Budget accommodation in Matemwe

Mid range accommodation in Matemwe

Family Friendly accommodation in Matemwe

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Matemwe

Beach near Matemwe village at Zanzibar island, Tanzania

Pongwe – Best Place To Stay in Zanzibar for Family

Taking your kids on vacation and want to choose the best place to stay in Zanzibar for family? Pongwe on Zanzibar’s east coast is a fantastic option.

Why Stay in Pongwe

It’s one of the smaller resort towns on this side of Zanzibar so there will be less nightlife and fewer people to keep you and your kids awake at night! It’s also going to be much safer.

Pongwe has beautiful beaches and because it’s in the centre of the island, it’s a great base for day trips exploring other parts of the island.

There aren’t many resorts here but that’s only because it’s small, there are still lots of choices and many of them are lodges that will accommodate your entire brood.

Things To Do in Pongwe

  • Dolphin Tours

Pongwe might be a smaller neighbourhood but it really does have everything you need if you’re staying in Zanzibar with your family, including wildlife tours!

You can hop on a dolphin boat tour straight from Pongwe Beach. Just remember to give these wild animals enough space if you decide you want to try and swim with the dolphins in their natural habitat.

  • Kichwele Forest Reserve

Just a few km inland from Pongwe is the large Kichwele Forest Reserve. It’s a great place to go hiking and also see some wildlife like lizards and large insects.

Many of the spice farms are located around the nature reserve so you should rent a car to drive past them all and see how a spice farm looks and operates.

Top 4 Favourites Accommodation Options for Pongwe

Best places to stay in Pongwe

Budget accommodation in Pongwe

Mid range accommodation in Pongwe

Family Friendly accommodation in Pongwe

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Pongwe

PONGWE ZANZIBAR - Beach next to one of the resorts in East Zanzibar Tanzania.

Bwejuu – Best Area in Zanzibar for Beach Bungalows

Kiwengwa might be the best place in Zanzibar to enjoy a honeymoon, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only village on the island with beach bungalows.

In fact, if you want to stay in a detached beach bungalow on a budget then Bwejuu is where you should stay.

Why Stay in Bwejuu

Bwejuu is on the southeast coast of the island which is further than most travellers stay, hence why it’s cheaper.

The guesthouses and beach bungalows that you’ll find here are not as luxurious but the beaches, restaurants, and historic village here will make for a more well-rounded cultural experience.

Things To Do in Bwejuu

  • Haji Scooter Rental Service

Scooters and motorbikes are a great way to get around Zanzibar as you’ll be able to nip down the narrow dirt roads where cars can’t travel and it will be much easier to park.

Luckily for you, if you are staying in Bwejuu, you’ll be able to hire scooters by the day at Haji Scooter Rental Service. 

  • Mwani Zanzibar Seaweed Center

One of the best alternative things to do in Zanzibar is to check out the Mwani Zanzibar Seaweed Center. Seaweed grows naturally off the beach in Bwejuu where it is researched and harvested for cosmetics.

You’ll be able to watch the seaweed farmers at work as well as get a guided tour of the entire operation. Plus, their seaweed cosmetics will make great gifts and souvenirs.

Top 4 Favourites Accommodation Options for Bwejuu

Best places to stay in Bwejuu

Budget accommodation in Bwejuu

Mid range accommodation in Bwejuu

Family Friendly accommodation in Bwejuu

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Bwejuu

Anchored wooden dhow boats on the amazing turquoise water in the Indian ocean Zanzibar Tanzania.

Kendwa – Coolest Place to Stay in Zanzibar

Just west of Nungwi on the north coast of Zanzibar is where you’ll find Kendwa, arguably the coolest place in Zanzibar. 

Why Stay in Kendwa

Like Nungwi, it has a fantastic nightlife and hosts Zanzibar’s famous Full Moon Party at Kendwa Rocks Hotel every month. Kendwa Beach is stunning and there are also lots of malls, restaurants, and cafes here.

It’s got a more hippie, relaxing vibe. You’ll even find a market on the beach! There’s a great mix of seriously beautiful five-star hotels in Kendwa as well as independent, locally-run guesthouses.

Things To Do in Kendwa

  • Kendwa Beach

Many of the beaches in Zanzibar are long stretches of coastline and aren’t very wide. Kendwa Beach is probably one of the most traditional-looking soft white sand beaches with turquoise waters on the island with enough room for everyone to lounge on and for market stalls to be set up right on the sand.

  • Starfish Heaven Nature Reserve

Zanzibar is a fantastic place to attempt to see starfish in the wild. There are many starfish colonies fitted around the coast of the island but the Starfish Heaven Nature Reserve is off Kendwa Beach.

Try swimming and snorkelling in this area to see if you can see any but remember to not touch them as doing so will almost certainly harm the starfish.

  • Full Moon Party at Kendwa Rocks

Of course, you can’t stay in a cool place like Kendwa and not check out the best party in the neighbourhood! If you’re visiting Zanzibar during the full moon, buy tickets as soon as you book your resort so you don’t miss out.

Top 4 Favourites Accommodation Options for Kendwa

Best places to stay in Kendwa

Budget accommodation in Kendwa

Mid range accommodation in Kendwa

Family Friendly accommodation in Kendwa

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Kendwa

Top View on Beautiful thatch stilt house restaurant at Zanzibar Kendwa beach at evening time in Turquoise Water of Indian ocean

Michamvi – Best Place to Stay in Zanzibar for Seclusion 

There’s no denying it, Zanzibar beaches are popular places. Most of the best resorts surround these beautiful stretches of coastline.

While most travellers like the bustle of meeting locals and other travellers while on vacation, if you’re looking for a more remote break then head to Michamwi. 

Why Stay in Michamvi

It’s on the very tip of a peninsula on the eastern coast of Zanzibar which makes it more difficult to travel in and out of this location. The only people who go to Michamvi are the people who are staying there!

Yes, there are lots of boutique beach resorts here along with breathtaking beaches and stunning natural scenery, there are few restaurants and not much of a village to speak of. Perfect for a serene getaway!

Things To Do in Michamwi

  • Swim in the Blue Lagoon

One of the main reasons why Michamwi is the best neighbourhood in Zanzibar for a secluded break is that there aren’t a lot of things to do there.

You cannot go to Zanzibar without swimming in the sea, however, so you should specifically head to the Blue Lagoon. 

This is part of the sea off the east coast of the Michamwi peninsula where the sea is particularly blue and clear. You’d have to have foggy goggles to not see the abundance of colourful fish swimming in these waters.

  • Michamvi Sunset Beach

On the west side of the Michamwi peninsula, check out Michamvi Sunset Beach. As the name suggests, it’s the perfect place to sit on the sand and watch the sun go down while staying in Michamvi.

Top 4 Favourites Accommodation Options for Michamvi

Best places to stay in Michamvi

Budget accommodation in Michamvi

Mid range accommodation in Michamvi

Family Friendly accommodation in Michamvi

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Michamvi

The rock is an Islet situated along the Michamvi beach Zanzibar Tanzania. It gets surrounded by water during the high tide.

Kizimkazi – Where To Stay in Zanzibar for Nature Lovers

The natural beauty of Zanzibar extends well beyond its coastlines. There are farms and woodland, too.

One of the best places to stay in Zanzibar where you can experience all three of Zanzibar’s natural offerings is Kizimkazi, a fishing village in the southwestern corner of Zanzibar.

Why Stay in Kizimkazi

It’s a quieter spot than most of the other beach towns but there are still plenty of resorts and guesthouses for visitors.

From here, you can go on dolphin-watching tours, swim in the sea, or hire a car and check out the caves and Muyuni Forest.

Things To Do in Kizimkazi

  • Salaam Cave Aquarium

If you visit the Salaam Cave Aquarium expecting fish in tanks then you’ll be very disappointed! This cave aquarium is literally a cave in Kizimkazi which has many species of sea life swimming in its waters.

You can either sit on the edge of the cave and watch the fish do their thing or put on your swimsuit and join them in the water.

  • Muyuni Forest

Close to Kizimkazi is Muyuni Forest, a national forest. It’s full of palm trees, hiking trails, and wildlife (including monkeys!) that you will love if you enjoy exploring the outdoors.

Top 4 Favourites Accommodation Options for Kizimkazi

Best places to stay in Kizimkazi

Budget accommodation in Kizimkazi

Mid range accommodation in Kizimkazi

Family Friendly accommodation in Kizimkazi

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Kizimkazi

coastline beach seaside of Kizimkazi in Unguja aka Zanzibar Island Tanzania East Africa

Added Extra: Areas to Avoid in Zanzibar

There really is no particular area that you should avoid staying in whilst on vacation in Zanzibar. Due to the fact that it receives so many tourists and it’s an island and therefore more remote, Zanzibar is one of the safer places to visit in Tanzania.

It’s more important that you stay alert and use your common sense wherever you are at night, particularly in Stone Town.

After dark, stick to your hotel or resort complex. If you are walking around anywhere in Zanzibar City after dark, only do so with another person and stick to well-lit streets and places you’re familiar with.

There are also some slum areas of Ng’ambo that you should avoid but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay in this district at all.

As long as you book a hostel, hotel, resort, guesthouse, or short-term rental in any of the neighbourhoods listed in this guide, you’ll have a fantastic time. 

STONE TOWN, ZANZIBAR - Boats in a port of Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania

FAQ for Where to Stay in Zanzibar

Which side of Zanzibar has the best beaches?

Where the best beaches are in Zanzibar is a hotly contested topic! Back in 2018, Nungwi Beach on Zanzibar’s northwest coast was named one of the World’s Top 25 Beaches in TripAdvisor’s Travellers Choice Awards. 

It does seem that Nungwi beach is an anomaly because most of the best beaches in Zanzibar are found on the south and southwest coasts. Kizimkazi is a fantastic beach, and Paje Beach is perfect for sports like kitesurfing.

Jambiani Beach is popular with the locals in Zanzibar and you can find all these beaches on the southern coast of the Island.

Aerial Shot on Zanzibar a beautiful sunset with people Walking on the Nungwi beach in Zanzibar in Tanzania

How many days in Zanzibar is enough?

For most travellers, Zanzibar is at least one long-haul flight away. It wouldn’t be worth the travel time and jet lag to pop in for a 48-hour city break and then leave straight afterwards!

Fortunately, Zanzibar is a destination that requires more time to explore. You should plan to spend at least seven days in Zanzibar, especially if it’s your first trip.

If you spend seven days in Zanzibar, you’ll have time to stay in different parts of the island. For the first few days, arrive and take a transfer up to Nungwi on the northernmost point of the island.

You can explore the beaches, try watersports, visit the aquarium and stroll through the towns up there. Visiting Kendwa and Mnemba Island should also be on your list.

Then, on day five, take a transfer to Stone Town and explore the island’s main city. Visit Prison Island, Freddie Mercury’s birthplace, and take a walking tour.

Staying in Stone Town will make it easier to visit east coast beaches and check out Jozani Forest. You can also take spice and food tours and shop at the markets before heading back home.

If you’d like to save it for later, please save it to Pinterest.


  • Katie Barker

    Katie, a dynamic travel expert and photographer, is dedicated to exploration and sharing her adventures through travel and lifestyle blogging. With a global perspective shaped by residences in Cape Town and beyond, she offers insights into off-the-beaten-path destinations and budget-friendly travel tips. Katie's expertise spans digital nomad living, travel planning, and empowering solo female travelers.

Similar Posts