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Quick Guide to the Areas of Zanzibar

As with any country or geographical area, there are distinct differences between the North, South, East and West coasts of Zanzibar. Stone Town on the West coast is the point of entry for all with the port central to the town and the airport a ten minute drive south. The west coast has darker sand and beaches are in rocky coves as opposed to long stretches of powder white sand found on the East coast.

The North coast is home to Nungwi, the second biggest settlement on the Island after Stone Town and as such, the point at which tourism first developed on the Island. The North coast is lined with resorts, lodges and guest houses from back packer’s digs to exclusive hideaway all villa retreats.

The East coast has it all really, from isolated family run lodges to all inclusive family resorts and smaller guest houses dotted around local villages. If you enjoy beach walking this is where you want to be but if you are looking for a place to swim from the beach throughout the day then the South coast will be preferable.

As with all coral islands, tidal patterns make a huge difference to day to day beach life, the East coast at low tide reveals miles upon miles of sand and whilst locals collect offerings from the ocean, some visitors love the long walks out to the water’s edge whilst others prefer the alternative coasts.

The South and South West coastal lodges benefit from more secluded locations and less tidal influence over ocean activities. The sunsets are arguably the best here and families of humpback and bottlenose dolphins live off the Southern beaches close to Kizimkazi.

We tend to recommend a mixture of the quieter locations with Nungwi or Stone Town to get the most from Zanzibar’s charms. However, If you’re relaxing after a Safari or Kilimanjaro climb then a single resort or lodge is often preferable.

To help you narrow down your options please view our selection by area. Please click on an area to find out more info.

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About Us

Pure Zanzibar Ltd
Registered in the UK
Company No. 5905581
ATOL Protected: No. 10212

Pure Zanzibar was started in 2006 and is still owner run and 100% independent.

We favor smaller more intimate lodges and camps and know the island better than anyone else.

Get in touch

Give us a call on:
01227 753 180
New York: (646) 513-4227
Cape Town: 021 300 2166

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