Nungwi is the prettiest and most popular beach in Zanzibar, chosen by CNN as one of the best beaches for 2018. There are tourists all year round, and most businesses stay open through all seasons.
Unlike other parts of the Island which have big tidal effect, Nungwi beach allows you to swim at any hour of the day. Also, while other parts of Zanzibar have all-inclusive hotels, restraining you to stay within the hotel and its beach, Nungwi is different. Staying in Nungwi gives you the ability to try different restaurants, bars, beaches, activities, etc…
You can stay close to the main beach with its hustle and bustle, or choose Ras Nungwi (10 minutes away) for a more secluded place to unwind.
Need information about Visa, ATM’s, money, safety, Swahili, transport and more? Visit our Travel Information page.
Our personal recommendation for things to do in Nungwi:
Most restaurants close their kitchen around 21:30. An average dish around Nungwi will cost $7-$15. There are many good restaurants in Nungwi, so you can try a different one each day.
Langi Langi has been here for more than 20 years. The restaurant offers great atmosphere and delicious food with reasonable prices. It specializes in spicy Indonesian cuisine. Best plates are fish and seafood in Curry or Masala. Langi Langi is situated on a deck above the ocean which makes it a great place for romantic dinner.
If you don’t mind spending a bit more, you will get the best quality here. Excellent food and fine selection of wines just in front of the ocean. With big variety on its menu, everyone will find something they like. Elaborated seafood and meat, cooked to perfection.
Located right next to Spanish Dancer Divers. Great place for having lunch on the beach with you feet in the sand, as well as for a candlelit romantic dinner. Offering good sea food plater, burger, pizza, pasta, pork schnitzel, club sandwich and more.
Offers a great fish and seafood grill with rice and vegetables for dinner. Very cheap and tasty. Tables are on the beach, fish and sea food are on display for you to choose from. Excellent choice for dinner. Prepare for a long wait.
Mama Mia offers good Italian dishes, and it is great for both lunch and dinner. They also have the best Gelateria in Nungwi where you can grab some homemade ice cream to go.
Great option for vegetarian or vegan. Cozy environment, for a romantic dinner. Good selection of wines. Our top picks are Samurai Tuna, Bodicea and The Yogi.
If you fancy a pizza, they make the BEST one in Nungwi!
Capricciosa, Diavola, Quatro formaggio, Napoli and many more.
Passion and Thyme
Great option for a quick bite. Delicious sandwiches, salads, quiches, pastries, coffee, and juices.
If you want to taste some real local food, check out Nungwi roundabout at night. Try some street food like Chipsi Mayai (omelette with fries), Zanzibari Pizza or Mishkaki (beef or chicken skewers) at one of the stands. This is where all local hang out for street food in the evenings.
Mama Africa and Cocoa also serve a variety of local food. Located just outside the Nungwi Inn hotel. Try the Pilau Samaki or Nyama (spiced rice with fish or beef), Mchicha (local spinach) or Makande (corn dish).
In most days, bars in Nungwi get empty before midnight. So, don’t get there late! On average, a beer will cost 6,000 shillings and a cocktail 15,000 shillings.
One of the first bars in Nungwi. This is where you’ll find many of Nungwi’s expats. Great place for a sunset drink on the beach. Spontaneous parties happens often and Mangi will stay open until the last man leaves.
Z Hotel Rooftop Bar
Best place for a sunset drink. Let the day end in style with a breathtaking view. Watch the sun set over the ocean while enjoying a Dawa – our favorite cocktail.
Seaview rooftop bar with chilled atmosphere. Many expats like to hang out here in the evening for drinks. Good music, cold beers, and a nice selection of cocktails. Fresh seafood BBQ is offered every evening. There is a dartboard in the bar where you can pass the time playing.
Looking for a place to party? Twice a week (Wednesday & Sunday) Coccobello opens its doors to make your body move to some of the best African rhythms. Club gets filled with locals and tourists dancing the night away.
If you are looking for a crowded party this is obviously the place. Every Saturday from 22:00 until the morning. It is located on Kendwa Beach. Taxi costs 20,000t Shillings each way and entrance fees are 20,000 Shillings.
Spending time relaxing on the beach is great. But, if you are getting restless, there are many things to do around Nungwi. It is safe to walk around and Nungwi is quite a big village to explore. When the tide is low, you can even visit Kendwa beach, located 20 minutes walk along the beach.
Diving or Snorkeling
Mnemba Atoll, located just a boat ride from Nungwi, is Zanzibar’s famous marine park. It offers rich variety of aquatic life as well as frequent Dolphin encounters. This makes it a great place for spending a day out on a boat, snorkeling or even diving . In fact, if you have never dived before but can swim, there is no better place to try Discover Scuba Diving.
The fish market
The local fishermen leave for their night fishing around 4pm everyday, dotting the horizon with tens of dhows and their white-sails. Its just a gorgeous moment that you’ll want to make sure you have your camera for.
The next morning at around 07:00, the fisherman are back with their catch of all shapes and sizes. See fish and sea creatures you have never seen before on the market ready for sale. Watch as the locals bid for the best catch, or if you feel like cooking, try to snag a tuna or snapper for grilling.
Dhow Boats Building
Next to the fish market you can see the local craftsmen building the dhows boats. Watch the techniques that have been used for decades and centuries.
Everyday at around 16:30 to 18:30 you can enjoy a sunset cruise organised locally. The local guys will entertain you with some drums and songs. It’s the perfect way to finish your day.
Nungwi is a vibrant village where you can walk along its main street. Buy some fruits, local food, paintings and souvenirs from the local shops. Please be advised that when going to the village you should keep your shoulders and knees covered to respect the local culture.
Volleyball & Football
Every day at the beach of Nungwi Inn Hotel, around 17:00, locals and tourists are playing volleyball until sunset. Everyone is welcome!! Also, football is a common game played on the beach by locals. Anyone can just join in and have some fun!
$10 entrance fee. The Mnarani Aquarium offers a chance for the non divers to see and feed turtles. The turtles swim in a natural coral pool.
Supposedly, turtles that are injured or caught by fishing nets are brought here by local fishermen in order to rehabilitate. Once a year some of the turtles are released back into the sea. We are in doubt regarding how this business helps conserving Zanzibar’s turtles. In fact, the turtle population around Nungwi is decreasing every year. Many healthy turtles are brought to the aquarium and kept there for long periods of time, mainly for business reasons.