Spice Islands & the Tanzanian Coast

The Spice Islands: an Overview

Enjoy miles of unspoilt white sand beaches and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, on a holiday on the Tanzanian Coast and neighbouring Spice Islands. Here you'll find a handful of idyllic beach retreats where barefoot luxury and total relaxation are the order of the day. The Tanzanian Coast offers a multitude of beach options for those looking for a pre- or post-safari break, whether it's for some R&R on the beach, or time to explore the vibrant reefs and marine life under the waves.

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Why we think you’ll love it

  • The Tanzanian Coast and Spice Islands are so much more than just a 'beach add-on' to a safari (although that works too). The turquoise seas, white sand beaches and variety of islands make it a fantastic luxury holiday destination in itself.

The Detail on Luxury Holidays to the Tanzanian Coast

The fabulous archipelago of Spice Islands - namely Pemba, Zanzibar and Mafia Island - are all different from each other but equally fantastic. If you don't fancy island life, keep to the mainland where we can recommend some great sandy hideaways.

Just south of Zanzibar is Mafia Island. Home to some of the richest coral reefs in the world and to Tanzania's first Marine Park, it has great snorkelling and diving. With only a handful of hotels, including one of our favourite's Pole Pole, and less than 1000 visitors each year, it is one of those well kept secrets we want to keep to ourselves. Luckily for everyone else, we're not that selfish.

For the ultimate Robinson Crusoe experience, Pemba Island is the place to go. Fundu Lagoon is one of just three hotels. A constant favourite with honeymooners, there is little chance of distraction.

The mainland coast hides some stunning white sand beaches, many of which are pretty low key, and less developed than the more popular Zanzibar island. Pangani beach was voted one of the worlds best by the Sunday Times, or for a quick chill before you fly home, head to a beach that lies just 20 minutes south of the capital, but that feels worlds away.

For those feeling a little more energetic, the waters around the Spice Islands archipelago host a rich variety of marine life, with whaleshark sightings virtually guaranteed off of the coast of Mafia island from October to February each year.

Other watersports available include fishing, kayaking, windsurfing and waterskiing.


Top picks for Spice Islands & the Tanzanian Coast

Lodge overlooking the ocean at Chole Mijini, luxury hotel in Africa

Chole Mjini

Spice Islands & the Tanzanian Coast

Chole Mjini is one of the tiny islands that makes up the Mafia archipelago, south of its larger cousin Zanzibar, and home to a luxury island lodge where guests sleep in tree houses.

Where to stay

Sunset at Thanda Island

Thanda Island Private Marine Reserve

Spice Islands & the Tanzanian Coast

The private island escape of Thanda is located just 16 nautical miles off the coast of mainland Tanzania. This luxurious eco-retreat can sleep up to 19 guests on an exclusive use basis within its luxurious villa.

Where to stay

The exterior at Pole Pole, luxury hotel in Africa

Pole Pole

Spice Islands & the Tanzanian Coast

Pole Pole means ‘slowly, slowly’ in Swahili, and this laidback bolthole on Mafia Island is set in a shady, breezy spot facing the sea and overlooking the islands of Chole, Juani and Jibondo.

Where to stay

Aerial View of Tides Lodge, luxury hotel in Tanzania, Africa

Tides Lodge

Spice Islands & the Tanzanian Coast

Tides Lodge is a small and intimate beach lodge 40 minutes flight north of Dar es Salaam and situated on the endless white sands of Pangani beach, voted one of the best beaches in the world by the Sunday Times.

Where to stay

Fundu Lagoon

Fundu Lagoon

Spice Islands & the Tanzanian Coast

Located on Pemba Island, just to the north of Zanzibar, Fundu is the epitome of a ‘bare-foot paradise’ – a secluded and peaceful retreat with over 2 miles of private beach and ocean views.

Where to stay

beach zuri zanzibar

Zuri Zanzibar

Spice Islands & the Tanzanian Coast

Due to open in May 2018, Zuri Zanzibar is a luxurious resort in the Zanzibar Archipelago. With 350 metres of white sand beach, and at only an hour’s drive from Zanzibar airport, this is an ideal relaxation spot.

Where to stay

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