Zanzibar Beaches Vs. Kenyan Beaches : Africa’s Best Beach Destinations . Here is our guide to Safari Africa’s best beaches, where we contrast Tanzania’s well-known island of Zanzibar with Kenya’s more sedate coast, which includes the beaches of Mombasa, Diani, and Watamu.

Your honeymoon is the ideal justification for going on a vacation you’ll want to tell your grandchildren about in the future. It ought to be chock full of passion, excitement, and breath-taking moments. There are three things that Kenya and Zanzibar both have in abundance. For the beaches, you might want a spade. There is no doubt in my mind that you will return as a skilled sunbather.

At the end of your Tanzania and Kenya Wildlife safari, choosing between Zanzibar and the Kenyan Coast for some R&R has always been challenging. It used to be that those who went on safari in Tanzania would fly to Zanzibar beaches, while those who chose Kenya for their wildlife viewing would fly to the Kenyan Coast. However, with the advent of more low-cost airlines and new routes, this choice has become more difficult than ever.


Both are ideal relaxing and Unwinding destination after your long day in a Wildlife safari either in Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Maasai mara or Amboseli National Park. Here are some hints that will help you choose one over the other


After a busy week on Kenya wildlife safari pursuing Africa’s big game across dusty savannas, everyone needs time to unwind and recharge. Kenya may very well be one of the “capitals” of the world for safaris. Of course, one of Kenya’s many stunning white-sand beaches would be the ideal place to accomplish this. Kenya is a fantastic destination for both watersport and diving enthusiasts. The shoreline is lined with beautiful coral reefs and is bordered by swaying palm trees on one side and the warm Indian Ocean on the other.

The coastline, however, consists of more than just endless miles of beaches. Additionally, if you really miss the wildlife or don’t have the time or money for a thorough safari in a national park, you can visit historical ruins, Swahili culture, mangrove forests, or even go on a day safari to a game reserve nearby.

The Kenyan coast is a great option whether you want to combine a beach vacation with a Wildlife safari or just want a pure beach vacation with nothing to do but relax and enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. Here are some of the best beaches to consider after your Kenya wildlife safari:


Mombasa, which is situated close to the equator and is a popular destination for package holidays, has long been connected to a Kenyan beach vacation. Mombasa Island, which is divided from the mainland by two creeks but connected by bridges that cross to the northern coastline and by a ferry crossing to the southern coastline, is home to Kenya’s oldest city (believed to have existed around 900 AD according to Kenya school history books) and second-largest city (after Nairobi).

East Africa’s largest port, Mombasa Island, is where holiday cruise ships dock, but Moi International Airport (airport code MBA), which is located on the mainland, is where you should fly into and out of if you are only looking for a Kenya beach vacation. There are numerous airlines that fly into and out of Moi Airport every day, including Ethiopian, Kenya Airways, Lufthansa, and Turkish Airlines.

A Mombasa city tour’s highlights include the historic Fort Jesus, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century; exploring the ‘Old Town’s bazaars and winding alleys in search of mementos and historic buildings; and seeing the Mombasa Tusks, which are two enormous sets of tusks over each side of the road leading from the port into the town’s center and were constructed to honor Queen Elizabeth II’s visit in 1952. Tsavo National Park, which is less than 100 kilometers from Mombasa, is ideal for anyone looking to quickly combine one or maybe two nights on safari with a longer beach stay on Kenya’s coast.

Watamu Beach

A two-hour drive will take you to the small fishing town of Watamu, which is located north of Mombasa. Watamu is situated close to a creek, just like the majority of coastal towns. Some of Kenya’s most picturesque beaches are located here, which are spread out along a few protected beaches in coves. As a seasonal settlement, Watamu is heavily reliant on the tourism industry provided by the Nairobi residents, who own many homes in and around Watamu.

Lamu Beach

East Africa’s oldest and best-preserved town is Lamu. It was founded in 1370 and has always had residents, making it the only town that has never been abandoned. Lamu’s history, beaches, and islands are all fascinating, lovely, and completely breathtaking in turn. It’s a gem of a place with a lot to see and do, but it’s off the beaten path these days. Private beaches abound on the island and nearby, offering some of the most exclusive and private properties found anywhere along the coast of East Africa.

Msambweni Beach

Near the Tanzania-Kenya border, south of Mombasa and Diani, is Msambweni Beach. Due to the lack of tourism, Msambweni is still a much undiscovered beach. The beaches are some of the most serene and spotless in the region, and they feel very private and serene. They are also incredibly gorgeous.

Diani Beach

From Mombasa, travel 30 kilometers south until you reach Diani Beach, also known as Kenya’s very own “Maldives” paradise. Diani has consistently been chosen as one of Africa’s top beach destinations, making it conceivably the most well-known and well-liked beach location in Kenya. Stretch out on a sun lounger and enjoy the endlessly long and stunning 17-kilometer stretch of flawless white sand beach, which is bordered by the warm Indian Ocean on one side and lush tropical vegetation on the other.

Everyone can find a place to stay in Diani Beach, which has a wide selection of beachfront hotels and resorts, whether they are traveling as a couple, on their honeymoon, or with their family, whether they are on a tight budget or seeking 5* luxury.

Zanzibar Beaches Vs. Kenyan Beaches
Diani Beach

Water sports enthusiasts can enjoy windsurfing, kite surfing, water skiing, diving, snorkeling, jet skiing, sailing, and kayaking, among other activities, here. Try your hand at skydiving or use the network of hiking and biking trails to explore the nearby sacred forests if you’re feeling more daring. Foodies will appreciate the local cafes and restaurants serving delectable seafood platters and fresh Swahili dishes.

The nearby Shimba Hills National Park is home to the endangered sable antelope as well as elephants, monkeys, and forest birds, if you want a calm safari experience. Alternatively, you could unwind and take in the stunning underwater world as it unfolds before you while on a dhow cruise or glass-bottom boat. It is simple to include Diani in a Kenya Big 5 safari because the local airport at Ukunda in Diani has daily flights from both Nairobi and the Masai Mara National Reserve.

Funzi beach

This is the place to go for the best form of escape if you have an appetite for adventure. Speedboats can take you to the island, which is encircled by mangroves. It’s teeming with tropical vegetation and has the finest sand, making it ideal for canoeing, sailing, and fishing. A crocodile might even be visible. The green season in Kenya lasts from March to May and November, while the dry season lasts from December to February and June to October.

Nyali Beach

The northern mainland’s Nyali Beach, which is only 5 km from Mombasa Island and home to a number of hotels and resorts, is the closest beach to the island. Water sports enthusiasts are invited to try a wide range of activities in the calm, coral reef-protected waters, including windsurfing, scuba diving, kite surfing, stand-up paddling, jet skiing, water skiing, and sailing. For those who are less adventurous, there is also a glass-bottom boat tour and a sunset dhow cruise. Additionally, you can go to Mamba Village, the biggest crocodile farm in East Africa, which provides daily educational tours.


The diversity of Zanzibar is difficult to convey in a few short sentences. Spice Island unquestionably has what you’re looking for, whether it’s a small, quaint family-run beach hotel or an opulent 5-star beach resort; whether it’s a mile-long beach or a secluded private one. Everything is possible, including surfing, snorkeling, and diving. Visit a farm to learn everything there is to know about spices, vanilla, and other products, or watch monkeys in Jozani Forest in Zanzibar City.

In both ways, Zanzibar is very different. Travelers seeking a busier social scene can find it in the north of the island, while those seeking a more leisurely pace will be very happy on the east coast. The vibe and atmosphere are much more diverse here. Zanzibar offers a much wider variety of activities. The island has many unique and excellent diving locations, and while diving is also possible in Kenya, I personally find Zanzibar’s underwater environment to be much more alluring.

Fresh seafood and exotic spices are two of Zanzibar’s most well-known exports. You might even find yourself salivating when you smell them. Despite being small (about 40 km wide and 100 km long), there is no denying its beauty. The water is calm and clear, and the sand is so fine that it is almost white. The best beaches are on the eastern side, where barrier reefs provide protection.

A vacation to Zanzibar is perfect after you’re long difficult time in the Tanzania mainland climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or exploring the Serengeti national park and Ngorongoro Crater looking for the great wildebeest migration and African big fives. Some of our favorite beaches in Zanzibar to consider after a Safari in Tanzania Mainland includes:

Nungwi beach

Nungwi Beach is a firm favorite among locals and visitors alike. The beach here is not affected by tides, which brings unprecedented energy to the East African coast. This social hub, located on the island’s northernmost tip, has no shortage of resorts, hostels, restaurants, or watersports centers, and it has the best sunset views. The night comes alive when the moon appears, with regular beach BBQs, rooftop bars, beach parties, and live music.

 If the social scene isn’t your thing and you prefer more laid-back adventures, don’t rule out Nungwi Beach just yet. This beach is suitable for all types of visitors. There are many options available to you, including relaxing sunset cruises on traditional dhow boats, water sports like sunset kayaking, deep-sea fishing, horseback tours, snorkeling, and parasailing so you can see the beach from above.

Paje beach

Paje Beach is your best option if you enjoy kitesurfing. The lagoon is on the southeast coast of the island, and it is thought to be Tanzania’s best kitesurfing beach, let alone Zanzibar’s, because the reef there serves as a barrier against the waves and the area is typically windy all year round. In addition to that, and due to its crystal-clear waters, Paje is a great beach for surfing and underwater exploration.

Jambiani beach

Jambiani is another treasure; it seems to go on forever, has powder-white sand, and provides a window into real Zanzibar life. There are no nightclubs, bars, swimming pools, or even electricity here, aside from the occasional guesthouse. Jambiani makes up for any shortcomings you may think it has by having amiable residents, flavorful food, and a less touristy area, which makes it something of a hidden gem.

There are charming fishing communities everywhere that are not for profit but rather to support the local economy. During low tide, seaweed washes up on the shores. Locals gather this, dry it, sell it, and export it to Japan, where it is used for food, medicine, and cosmetics. The beach is the ideal retreat for unwinding, and the inviting turquoise waters offer the chance to swim with tropical fish, octopus, and sea horses.

Kiwengwa beach

Visitors are treated to the best of both worlds at Kiwengwa Beach. The tides have a significant impact on this beach, which is fascinating to observe because it is on the north-east coast. When the tide is low, the beach recedes and makes way for lengthy hikes to the reef, where you can stop along the way to admire the colorful starfish, sea urchins, and sea cucumbers. Enjoy a swim in the warm, blue waters during high tide and lose yourself in the relaxed atmosphere of the neighborhood. Kiwengwa is frequently referred to as “Little Italy” because of the small Italian eateries and resorts that line the shore.

Matemwe beach

Imagine sitting on a beach, under the shade of a towering palm tree, with a book in one hand and a cold drink in the other. Matemwe Beach is likely what you have in mind. A perfect piece of paradise where you can unwind amidst its charming rustic.

While you eat some traditional Swahili food from a beachfront shack, you can see locals collecting seaweed in the shallows. Mnemba Island, considered a must-see destination for some incredible snorkeling excursions in the coral reefs and sandbank BBQs in the middle of the Indian Ocean, is only a short boat ride away.

  • Kendwa Beach, Pongwe Beach, Bwejuu Beach, and Kizimkazi Beach are some of Zanzibar’s other well-known beaches to consider.


There are numerous spice farms to visit, and as a nod to the island’s past, you are shown around the plantation while tasting all of the herbs, fruits, and spices straight from the tree. Stone Town is another option, where you can get lost in the narrow streets, eat local cuisine at a night market, and tour the former slave trading rooms.


In summary, the Kenyan Coast and Zanzibar will both provide the picture-perfect Indian Ocean you see on postage stamps. Numerous factors, such as the overall experience you’re looking for and possibly even your budget, will most likely have an impact on your choice. The Kenyan Coast would be your best bet if you’re looking for a tranquil, seclusion-filled experience with lots of beach time and seafood. However, Zanzibar is the beach destination for you if you’re looking for some incredible watersports, culture, and spice.

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