Best Snorkeling Beaches in Zanzibar

by Ray Roman | Last updated on November 30, 2023

Zanzibar has some of the best snorkeling destinations on the planet. From the stunning Nungwi Beach to the picturesque Mnemba Island, there’s no shortage of breathtaking spots to dip beneath the surface and discover a whole new world.

Snorkeling Zanzibar

So grab your gear, and let’s get ready to explore an unforgettable underwater experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Nungwi Beach, Kendwa Beach, Mnemba Island, Paje Beach, and Bwejuu Beach are some of the best snorkeling beaches in Zanzibar.
  • Kizimkazi Beach offers a vibrant underwater world with colorful coral reefs and fish species, as well as boat trips to witness humpback whales and dolphins. It is suitable for both experienced snorkelers and beginners.
  • Chumbe Island is a designated marine protected area managed by Chumbe Island Coral Park. It is home to diverse marine life and offers educational programs on marine conservation. It supports conservation efforts and promotes the protection of natural resources.
  • Matemwe Beach, located on the northeastern coast of Zanzibar, has crystal-clear turquoise waters and powdery white sands. It is a great spot for snorkeling, especially during the dry season, as it offers the best visibility to witness vibrant coral reefs and tropical fish.

Nungwi Beach

To experience incredible snorkeling opportunities, head to Nungwi Beach in Zanzibar. This stunning beach is renowned for its crystal-clear turquoise waters and vibrant marine life. As you dive beneath the surface, you’ll be greeted by a kaleidoscope of colorful fish, majestic sea turtles, and even the occasional friendly dolphin.

The warm, tropical climate and calm waters make Nungwi Beach the ideal destination for snorkeling enthusiasts of all skill levels.

But it’s not just the snorkeling that makes Nungwi Beach so special. The beach itself is a sight to behold, with soft white sands stretching as far as the eye can see. As the day draws to a close, make sure to stay for the breathtaking Nungwi beach sunset.

The sky transforms into a mesmerizing palette of oranges, pinks, and purples, creating a truly magical atmosphere.

When it comes to accommodation, Nungwi Beach has a range of luxurious resorts that cater to every need. Whether you’re looking for a private villa with direct access to the beach or a cozy beachfront bungalow, you’ll find the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of snorkeling adventures.

Kendwa Beach

Continue your snorkeling adventure in Zanzibar by exploring Kendwa Beach, another stunning destination that offers incredible underwater sights. Kendwa Beach is known for its crystal clear turquoise waters and pristine white sandy beaches. As you dip into the warm waters, you’ll be greeted by a vibrant marine ecosystem teeming with colorful fish and coral reefs. The beach is also famous for its breathtaking sunsets, where the sky transforms into a palette of oranges, pinks, and purples, creating a mesmerizing backdrop for your snorkeling experience.

But Kendwa Beach is not just about snorkeling. It offers a wide range of water activities that cater to all adventure seekers. Whether you’re into jet skiing, parasailing, or simply lounging on a banana boat, there’s something for everyone. The beach is always buzzing with energy, with locals and tourists alike enjoying the freedom and thrill of the water.

To make the most of your visit, here’s a table showcasing the various water activities available at Kendwa Beach:

SnorkelingExplore the vibrant underwater world
Jet SkiingFeel the rush of adrenaline as you speed across the water
ParasailingSoar high above the beach for a bird’s eye view
Banana BoatHold on tight as you’re pulled along the waves

After a day of exhilarating water adventures, it’s time to head to our next destination, Mnemba Island, where more snorkeling wonders await you.

Mnemba Island

Explore the wonders of Mnemba Island, an idyllic snorkeling paradise in Zanzibar.

Snorkeling at Mnemba Island, Zanzibar | TANZANIA

Mnemba Island is a hidden gem nestled off the northeast coast of Zanzibar. If you crave the freedom of exploring vibrant marine life in crystal-clear waters, this is the place to be. Embark on snorkeling excursions around the island and prepare to be amazed.

Here is what makes Mnemba Island a must-visit destination for snorkeling enthusiasts:

  1. Abundance of Marine Life: Dive into the turquoise waters surrounding Mnemba Island and discover a kaleidoscope of colorful fish, vibrant coral reefs, and even the occasional sea turtle. The island is teeming with marine biodiversity, offering a truly immersive experience.
  2. Unspoiled Snorkeling Sites: Unlike other popular snorkeling spots, Mnemba Island remains relatively untouched. With limited access to protect its fragile ecosystem, you can expect pristine snorkeling sites that are brimming with life and free from overcrowding.
  3. Expert Guided Tours: Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced snorkeler, professional guides will accompany you on your underwater adventure. They possess extensive knowledge of the area and will ensure your safety while pointing out the most fascinating marine creatures along the way.

Now that you’ve explored the wonders of Mnemba Island, it’s time to venture further and discover the beauty of Paje Beach. But don’t worry, the snorkeling adventures continue there too!

Paje Beach

As you explore the best snorkeling beaches in Zanzibar, let’s now delve into the wonders of Paje Beach. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters and pristine white sand, Paje Beach is a paradise for those seeking to immerse themselves in the vibrant marine life that lies beneath the surface.

One of the highlights of Paje Beach is the opportunity to explore its magnificent coral reefs. Strap on your snorkel and dive into the underwater world teeming with colorful corals of all shapes and sizes. As you swim through the warm waters, you’ll be greeted by a kaleidoscope of marine creatures, from dazzling tropical fish to graceful sea turtles.

The coral reefs surrounding Paje Beach are a haven for biodiversity, providing a home to a wide array of marine life. Snorkeling here offers a unique chance to witness these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat. Glide alongside schools of shimmering fish, marvel at the intricate patterns of the coral formations, and perhaps even spot a majestic manta ray gliding gracefully by.

As you bid farewell to the captivating underwater world of Paje Beach, get ready to explore another breathtaking snorkeling destination: Bwejuu Beach.

Bwejuu Beach

Now let’s explore the wonders of Bwejuu Beach, where you can continue your snorkeling adventure and discover the vibrant marine life awaiting beneath the surface. Bwejuu is known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters and pristine white sandy beaches, making it an ideal snorkeling destination.

Here are the best snorkeling spots at Bwejuu Beach:

  1. Coral Gardens: Dive into the enchanting Coral Gardens, where you’ll be surrounded by a kaleidoscope of colorful corals and tropical fish. Get up close and personal with parrotfish, butterflyfish, and clownfish as they swim gracefully in their natural habitat.
  2. The Lagoon: Explore the calm waters of the lagoon, perfect for beginners and families. Discover a variety of marine creatures, from starfish and sea cucumbers to rays and even turtles if you’re lucky. The tranquil atmosphere of the lagoon will make your snorkeling experience truly unforgettable.
  3. Mnemba Atoll: Embark on a boat trip to Mnemba Atoll, a marine reserve known for its incredible biodiversity. Dive into the crystal-clear waters and be amazed by the vibrant coral reefs teeming with exotic fish species. Keep an eye out for dolphins, as they often make appearances in this area.

If you don’t have youn snorkeling gear, don’t worry! Bwejuu Beach offers snorkeling gear rental options, allowing you to explore the underwater world hassle-free. So grab your snorkel, mask, and fins, and get ready to dive into the wonders of Bwejuu Beach.

Now, let’s transition to the next section and discover the beauty of Kizimkazi Beach, another incredible snorkeling destination in Zanzibar.

Kizimkazi Beach

Exploring Kizimkazi Beach, you’ll be amazed by the abundant marine life and stunning snorkeling opportunities it has to offer. But that’s not all – Kizimkazi Beach is also known for its incredible whale watching and dolphin encounters.

Imagine yourself standing on the warm golden sand, gazing out at the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. As you step into the water, you’ll be greeted by a vibrant underwater world teeming with colorful coral reefs and a variety of fish species. Snorkeling here is like entering a different realm, where time seems to stand still and worries are left behind.

But the magic of Kizimkazi Beach doesn’t stop there. Hop on a boat and embark on an unforgettable adventure to witness magnificent humpback whales and playful dolphins in their natural habitat. These gentle giants gracefully glide through the water, captivating you with their beauty and elegance. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave you in awe.

Whether you’re an experienced snorkeler or a beginner, Kizimkazi Beach offers something for everyone. So grab your snorkel gear and dive into a world of wonder, where you can swim alongside dolphins, explore vibrant coral reefs, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Chumbe Island

When you venture to Chumbe Island, you’ll discover a snorkeler’s paradise with its pristine coral reefs and diverse marine life. Chumbe Island, located off the coast of Zanzibar, isn’t only a stunning destination for snorkeling but also a beacon of conservation efforts and marine biodiversity. Here’s what makes Chumbe Island a must-visit for any nature enthusiast:

  1. Conservation efforts: Chumbe Island is a designated marine protected area, managed by the Chumbe Island Coral Park. The park’s focus on sustainable tourism and conservation ensures the preservation of the island’s fragile ecosystems. From eco-friendly accommodations to strict visitor guidelines, every effort is made to minimize the impact on the environment.
  2. Marine biodiversity: Beneath the crystal-clear waters surrounding Chumbe Island lies a vibrant underwater world. The coral reefs here are teeming with an incredible variety of marine life, including colorful reef fish, turtles, dolphins, and even the occasional whale shark. Snorkeling in these waters allows you to witness the beauty and diversity of the Indian Ocean firsthand.
  3. Educational opportunities: Chumbe Island also offers educational programs, allowing visitors to learn about the importance of marine conservation. Guided snorkeling tours provide insights into the delicate balance of the ecosystem and the threats it faces. By experiencing the wonders of Chumbe Island, you become a part of the conservation narrative and gain a deeper appreciation for the need to protect our natural resources.

Chumbe Island is more than just a snorkeling destination; it’s a place where conservation efforts and marine biodiversity come together, offering an unforgettable experience for those who seek to explore and protect our planet’s precious ecosystems.

Matemwe Beach

To experience the pristine beauty of Matemwe Beach, head to the northeastern coast of Zanzibar. This stunning stretch of coastline offers an idyllic setting for snorkeling enthusiasts. As you arrive at Matemwe Beach, you’ll be captivated by its crystal-clear turquoise waters and powdery white sands. The underwater world here is a true wonderland, teeming with vibrant coral reefs and an abundance of marine life.

If you don’t have your own snorkeling gear, worry not! Matemwe Beach offers convenient snorkeling equipment rentals. You can easily get everything you need to explore the underwater treasures, from masks and snorkels to fins and life jackets. With the right equipment, you’ll be ready to embark on an unforgettable snorkeling adventure.

When it comes to the best time of year to visit Matemwe Beach for snorkeling, the dry season from June to October is highly recommended. During this time, the visibility is at its best, allowing you to witness the vibrant colors of the coral reefs and the diverse range of tropical fish. The water temperature is also pleasantly warm, making your snorkeling experience even more enjoyable.


As the waves caress the shores of Zanzibar, these snorkeling beaches reveal a hidden world beneath the surface.

Nungwi Beach and Kendwa Beach offer vibrant coral reefs, while Mnemba Island and Chumbe Island invite you to dive into colorful underwater gardens.

Paje Beach and Bwejuu Beach showcase a kaleidoscope of marine life, and Kizimkazi Beach offers a chance to swim with majestic dolphins.

Matemwe Beach is a tranquil paradise where snorkeling becomes a mesmerizing dance with nature.

Embark on this aquatic adventure and let the ocean whisper its secrets to you.