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Zanzibar Map

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Indian ocean Islands - Zanzibar

Discover the Spice Islands

Zanzibar is an exotic cocktail of architectural history, secret hideaways and larger resorts. However the smaller Islands of Zanzibar of which there are 18, offer visitors the chance to journey back to a bygone time and experience the natural beauty of Zanzibar in privacy.

Its many sheltered Islands offer good anchorages from where you can explore countless coral gardens and enjoy Robinson Crusoe beaches. Sail to the Southern Fumba Peninsular and experience the splendor of the Menai Bay Islands. Explore the Zanzibar Channel Islands, which offer pristine beaches and pure white sandbanks, as well as a secret historical monuments and the endangered Giant tortoise.

Sailing in Zanzibar is for people who love to getaway from it all, but also like the excitement of dropping by a trendy beach every other night or so. Cruise to the trendy North through the cultural fishing villages of Mkokotoni and Mangapwani and relax and enjoy nightlife and entertainment at Nungwi Beach Village.

If you enjoy snorkeling, fishing, deserted Islands and heavenly beaches, but you want some entertainment in the evenings, with a bit of culture thrown in, then Zanzibar is an exceptional best place to sail. Sailing attractions include, the Islands of the menai Bay in the South, Bawe Island, Chapwani Island and Ucombe island in the Zanzibar Channel and Mnemba Island in the North. Places to visit and relax onshore include, Kizimkazi, Unguja Ukuu, Fumba, Mbweni, Mangapwani, Kendwa and Nungwi.

In addition a visit to Zanzibar capital Stone Town will satisfy any keen historian and shopping enthusiast. Zanzibar Island’s long and dramatic history can be discovered along Stone Town's narrow winding streets, and behind the impressive carved and studded doors of it's Grand Colonial houses and Palaces.

Visit Shangani Street for some shopping therapy, or wonder into old town to view how ancient carpentry and carving techniques are still used to create intricate pretty curios.


Fact File

Location Off Coast of East Africa Between 39°10'E and 39°35'E
6°30'S and 5°80'S
Capital Stone Town. Former principal port the for ivory, slave and spice trade in the region.
Historical Buildings and Monuments House of Wonders, Palace Museum, The Old For Anglican Cathedral, Slave Market, Hamamni Persian Hamamni Persian Baths, Maruhubi Palace, Mbweni Ruins, Chukwani Ruins, Mtoni Palace
Shopping Shangani (Stone Town), Nungwi (North)
Languages English, French, Italian, German, Swahili
Zanzibar Islands Sume, Nyamembe, Miwi, Bawe, Pungume, Uzi, Vundwe Komonda, Kwale, Tele, Ucombe, Chumbe, Bawe, Changuu, Chapwani, Tumbatu, Mnemba + 5 pristine Sandbanks


Zanzibar Marine Parks

Menai Bay Conservation Area (MBCA)

Menai Bay Conservation Area (MBCA) is situated in the southwest of Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago, and covers an area of 467 km² including 8 islets, with a seaward boundary close to 61 km offshore. It is the largest marine conservation area in Zanzibar, managed locally by the community and government officials with technical assistance by the World Wild Fund (WWF). The area is extensively covered with coral reefs, sea grass beds, and mangrove forest. The average water depth is 10 meters at high tide. The area had remained relatively undisturbed until the mid-1990s, when uncontrolled fishing pressures combined with destructive fishing techniques became a serious environmental concern. It is now home to many tourism - related activities such as dhow cruising, dolphin spotting and diving. This large marine park is a great location for yachting. The fees are $3 per person per day.

Menai Bay Governance Baseline Document from USAID

Menai Bay 4 Page Visit Article from SailVega

Chumbe Reef Sanctuary (CRS)

The Chumbe Island Coral Park is a unique privately managed nature reserve developed and managed by the Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd. (CHICOP). It is a rare example of a still pristine coral island ecosystem in an otherwise heavily overfished and over-exploited area.

The reserve includes a reef sanctuary, which has become the first gazetted marine park in Tanzania, and a forest reserve.

Chumbe Island Website

Mnemba Island Conservation Area (MIMCA)

Mnemba Island is part of a coral atoll formation which supports a bewildering array of reef fish and other marine life. The reef attracts, local fishermen from Zanzibar who exploit considerable quantities of fish providing food and income for the local community. The area also attracts a great number of tourists who come to the area from virtually all over the world for recreational purposes.

The island centre is a cool pine forest, and the eastern coastal aspect feels quite wild and unkempt despite its diminutive size. A walk here is pleasantly lonely, invigorating for all the natural intrigue of forest and beach, with enticing options to trip lightly from the water’s edge to explore coral reefs vibrant with colour and life.

CCAfrica's website


Diving in Zanzibar

Visibility and Temperatures

Good visibility (20 - 60 metres) and year-round average water temperatures of 27'C ensures an enjoyable diving experience.

Reef Structure

Shallow coral reefs, sloping banks and vertical drop-offs with hard and soft corals and over 350 species of Indo-Pacific marine life

Best Dive Spots

Leven Bank, north coast near the deep water of the Pemba Channel. Ucombe Reef, South Zanzibar Channel and Mnemba Atoll East Coast

Expect to see

Tuna, trevally, king fish, Barracudas, wrasses, big Moray Eels and large schools of reef fish. Whale Sharks from August to September and February to March, whilst August also sees the migration of Humpback, and Sperm Whales.


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