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Zanzibar - Tanzania

Nungwi is located in the north of the island of Zanzibar. Small coastal village next to Kendwa, it is the place of relaxation where the most beautiful beaches of the island are. This is also the place to stay when going on a trip to Mnemba Island ! Discover in this article this little piece of paradise and what to do during your stay in Nungwi:


How to get to Nungwi?

From Stone Town : by taxi approximately - $40   

                    in dala dala with the number 116 - 2400 Tsh

From Paje : by taxi approximately - $40.        

             in dala dala first to stone town 2000 Tsh then change in darajani to nungwi 2400 Tsh 


The beaches of Nungwi/Kendwa

Nungwi is known for its white sand beaches and its incredible turquoise water . A real blue pool until sunset, since, unlike Paje, Nungwi is on the west coast. I promise the photo editing does not exaggerate the blue of the water. Nungwi is where I've seen the most stunning gradation of turquoise. Even at sunset, the sea remains a dazzling pool blue.


Take a trip to Mnemba Island

The Mnemba island excursion is my favorite on Zanzibar. White sandbar, turquoise water, dolphins, corals and fishes, does that speak to you?  



It's a boat day to snorkel around an island, stop on a sandbar, potentially see dolphins, enjoy translucent and turquoise water while sunbathing on a boat.

NOTE : Avoid the boat departure from Nungwi! It will take more than 2 hours to go and 2 hours to return by boat. It's a very long time without seeing anything, wastes time that you could spend in the water snorkelling, and if the sea is rough, you'll get really seasick as a bonus! 

Driving to Matemwe,  you leave the beach and you have Mnemba island right in front of you! Find out beforehand, but most tours work like this, and the price includes the round trip by taxi.

The tour I'm going to tell you about is a tour that I negotiated directly with a local. The bad experience of seasickness is when I had booked with my hostel, where you find yourself on a huge boat with more than 30 people... In this case, with the locals directly, you can have a good price for a small private boat. We were 5 and we had paid 20€ per person.  



Most tours start at 9am from Nungwi. You will get on the boat around 10-10:30am. And will be back on the beach around 2:30-3 p.m.

Water and fruit are included.  

You can ask to do the opposite direction of the snorkeling spots to avoid ending up with a crowd of boats in the same place. It's more pleasant.

If the tide is already high, you won't see the sandbar, but you will be right in the middle of the ocean facing an island. And it's just as extra as an experience. Depending on the tides you can have the sandbank dry, which is gradually covered..  

Snorkeling equipment is provided, you only need to bring your towel, sunscreen, and gopro if you have it!  


IMPORTANT ! There are often dolphins around Mnemba. Unfortunately, boats hunt dolphins to satisfy tourists. BOYCOTT AT ALL COSTS! It's awful and stressful for animals. Get surrounded. Escape again. And the boats accelerate to follow them and surround them again.

Enough to say that I hate this kind of practice. It is time for tourists to understand that these are wild animals, and that if we love them, we leave them alone.  


The proof: we categorically said no to our captain who had trouble understanding. Then later in the day, being the only boat at our spot. Dolphins have arrived in the distance. We went into the water, without moving, and they came to us naturally, to play for a little while. It was amazing!!! And it never would have happened if other boats had been around, or chasing them.  

In summary, this excursion is very affordable and amazing. I highly recommend it to you! After the 4th time I'm still not tired!

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What to do in Nungwi / Kendwa?

The number 1 thing to do in Nungwi is: do nothing!

The beach is so self-sufficient that spending the day with your feet fanned out, paddling in this incredible water is already a great activity!



Take a walk along the beach towards the tip of the northeast island , to discover the fishing boats, the women harvesting seaweed at low tide.  

Walk through the villages and observe local life.


Get a massage . On the beach or in a salon.

Eat local at Mama Africa restaurant or try fresh seafood at the restaurants along the beach.


Walk at low tide (very important because at high tide there is no more access) along the beach, from Kendwa to Nungwi (or vice versa).

You will be able to admire the cliffs/rocks at the water's edge, the famous building on stilts, and perhaps admire starfish. NOTE: do NOT touch starfish for fun. It is bad for them. If they are out of the water, put them back in the water quickly to save them. (here I took a picture very quickly before putting them back in the water)


Admire the sunset on the beach, in a bar, a restaurant, from a boat that offers a 2-hour sunset excursion with a percussion group on board.

Ka - Nout

Do the full moon at Kendwa Rocks

How much ?  about $10 entry

Where ? Kendwa rocks hotel 

How to get there ?  by the beach, by taxi ..

Everyone has heard of the full moon party in Thailand right? Well in Kendwa there is one too. Just look at the full moon dates and the Kendwa Rocks hotel website to see if it matches when you are there. Because sometimes the evening is within a day or two of the true full moon.  

It's a great evening full of atmosphere, where you dance with your feet in the sand. You buy your ticket at the entrance, then you have to take a "package card" for the drinks. In other words, you cannot pay directly at the bar. You top up the card with an amount, which you then spend at the bar.

A great event not to be missed during your stay in Nungwi/Kendwa!


Go see the turtle sanctuary - or not

How much ?  $10 entry

Where ? Nungwi marine turtles Mnarani

How to get there ?  by the beach, by taxi, tuktuk..



So I'm pretty mixed on the subject. I didn't know what to expect since the sanctuary was represented as a place of care for rescued turtles before releasing them at sea. I liked this idea and I had already seen similar places in other countries .

In the center of Nungwi it is possible to swim with them. At first glance, it's a great experience since seeing so many turtles so close is rare.  

So I experimented. I went there very early in the morning and I was alone. It was pleasant.

But when the tourists arrived, everything changed . I could see people rushing to take pictures with the turtles, touching them, holding them for a selfie, not to mention tons of sunscreen getting diluted in the pool. The "guides" giving seaweed to the turtles for that they get closer to the tourists for the photos..

Hence my mixed opinion: I think it's more of a tourist trap than a care center for turtles. Since their conditions are not great . So I kinda regret having been involved in that. So, I leave this activity on my blog, suspended; you are free to choose whether you want to go - or not.


Where to stay ?

Nungwi and Kendwa are full of resorts, luxurious and romantic hotels... For smaller budgets there are hostels, airbnbs, small hotels closer to the main road than to the beach...

Personally I tested Makofi Guest House and I LOVED it . This is a hostel that offers dormitories, double rooms, family rooms. Very quiet and safe, next to the beach and restaurants. Twice a week they organize all-you-can-eat barbecues with fire shows! 

(this is not a partnership)


I hope this article on Nungwi has convinced you to spend some time there! Between relaxing, snorkeling, and fun, the north of Zanzibar has everything to please you.

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