Kiwengwa and Pongwe

The sleepy village of Kiwengwa lies on Zanzibar Island’s north-eastern coast, roughly half way between Nungwi and Chwaka. Large, all-inclusive hotels and stylish upmarket lodges dot Kiwengwa’s long, immaculate beach, which runs nearly unbroken all the way north to Matemwe. A few breezy kilometres to the south, the even sleepier Pongwe supports around a dozen, mostly stylish, mid- to upmarket resorts with little else to do but kick back and enjoy.

Shooting Star Lodge is the epitome of Zanzibar luxury


Learn kitesurfing in Kiwengwa: With its year-round, stable winds and beautiful wide lagoon, Kiwengwa is a great place to learn to kitesurf. A handful of friendly kite schools dot the beach – simply wander in, have a chat, and book an impromptu lesson if the place grabs you.

Peaceful Pongwe: There really is nothing to do in Pongwe but chill. If ultimate downtime is what you’re after, then Pongwe is the beach for you.

Travel tips

Both Kiwengwa and Pongwe are easy to reach by road from Zanzibar Town. There’s a small ‘mall’ in Kiwengwa with a cash machine, supermarket and pharmacy – but nothing at all in Pongwe. Kiwengwa’s resorts attract a large number of visitors from Italy and you’ll find many shopfronts and menus written in Italian.

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