Unguja Coast, Tanzania

Coast and Islands

Tanzania has over 800km of coastline, most of which are completely ignored by the main tourist trail.

From Tanga in the north to Mtwara in the south there is a huge variety of attractions for the curious traveller exploring the coast of Tanzania. The Tanzanian coast is famous for its wonderful beaches, slave caves and the relaxed and informal atmosphere of its lodges. Here you will find the former capital, Dar Es Salaam, as well as other historical gems, including Tanga, Pangani and Sadani.

The most well-known island off the coast of Tanzania is Zanzibar where you can spend a couple of days exploring the markets and alleys of this old Arab trading town before spending a few more days at one of the really luxurious beach resorts (see separate section). On the other hand, Mafia Island is even more remote with a well-protected reef and some of the best snorkelling on the coast.

Fishermen, Mnemba Island, Tanzania
Mnemba Island, Tanzania

Saadani National Park

Saadani National Park is Tanzania’s only coastal wildlife reserve and the boat safari on the Wami river provides some of the most interesting meetings with hippo in the country. This small Park was upgraded to National Park status and is the closest wildlife reserve to both Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam.

Where to Stay

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Illona Cross

Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management.

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Chris Johnston

Chris is the Conde Nast Traveller chosen Specialist for Africa.

25 years ago, my first trip to Africa took on a life of its own. I planned for three months, I stayed for two years. Whilst there, I was mistaken for a priest, attacked by sharks and arrested. Yet the countless, clattering journeys opened my eyes to the beauty of the landscapes and the grace of the people. My recent trips are undoubtedly more comfortable, but the welcome is as warm as ever and the best experiences are still those I never see coming.

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