Zanzibar Island (Unguja) is the main island of Zanzibar. It’s well-known for its historical Stone Town, beautiful beaches, and spectacular nature and wildlife, both on land and in the surrounding coral reefs.
There is also a variety of beach destinations, suitable to all different tastes. The main options are the Zanzibar City area (including Stone Town), the northern beaches (Nungwi and Kendwa), the northeast (Matemwe, Kiwengwa, Pwani Mchangani), and the east coast (Michamvi, Bwejuu, Paje, and Jambiani)
There are also several lesser-known beaches, like the Fumba and Makunduchi areas. On the coast, especially on the western coast of Zanzibar, there are some smaller islands with hotels as well.
Zanzibar Island is home to most of Zanzibar’s population. Stone Town is the main port and commercial center of Zanzibar and hosts many cultural events and festivals.
Unguja is very easy to reach. Many international airlines fly to Zanzibar Airport. There are also local flights from Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Nairobi, and Mombasa. Many travelers coming from mainland Tanzania prefer to take a passenger ferry — it takes less than 2 hours. Please contact us for more advice on this.
The other main island of Zanzibar is Pemba Island, which is much less visited by tourists but equally beautiful, in its own unique way.
Check out our short guides to some of the main destinations.
Towns and villages on Zanzibar Island (Unguja)
This is the historical city of Zanzibar and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a beautiful and culturally rich city, straight from 1,001 Nights. You’ll find palaces, a fort, narrow streets, and parks, along with shopping, high-end hotels, and international cuisine.
Stone Town is the center of Zanzibar City, but there are many things to see and enjoy beyond Stone Town. Many of the sultans’ palaces are outside the town, as are some of the most amazing beach resorts.
Kendwa is a popular beach destination with stunning beaches where you can swim even during low tide. Kendwa is also known for its happening nightlife, especially on weekends. It offers some good budget accommodation options.
Nungwi is a bigger village, close to Kendwa. It has all the facilities a holidaymaker might need: activities, relaxing pools, and many restaurants to choose from. The village is lively and has a few natural aquariums used as sanctuaries for turtles that have been trapped in fishing nets.
Matemwe is a small village and therefore offers a more peaceful option for experiencing Zanzibar. From Matemwe, it’s very easy to access diving and snorkeling on Mnemba Island.
These are neighboring villages on the east coast of Zanzibar. This is a good place to learn about local culture. It’s also the windsurfing hub of Zanzibar! Traveling east from Stone Town, you’ll find many interesting stops — most notably Jozani Forest.