Nungwi & Kendwa

On Zanzibar Island’s northernmost tip, the once sleepy village of Nungwi is still the traditional centre of dhow building on Zanzibar. An old favourite among backpackers and hippies, the scene has transformed in recent years with hotels, bars, hostels and dive centres now lining the sandy shoreline in a near continuous strip southwest to Kendwa. The still relatively quiet village of Kendwa has also expanded, but its uniquely wide beach and understated resorts continue to offer a more laid back vibe.

Kendwa Beach plays host to iconic full moon parties  I  Credit: Yoni Lerner Creidt: Credit: Yoni Lerner

Highlights of the region

Full moon beach parties: Although relatively quiet for the rest of the month, Kendwa pumps up the volume each full moon with a lively beach party that draws visitors from around the island. Kendwa’s full moon parties are legendary, though overly extreme, and remain one of Zanzibar’s favourite attractions.

Kendwa Beach plays host to iconic full moon parties  I  Credit: Yoni Lerner

Dhow building and village tour: Nungwi beach remains a focal point for Zanzibari ship building where skilled shipwrights use age-old methods and tools to turn rough timber planks into ocean-going dhows. Village tours can also be arranged for those interested in discovering the cultural side of dhow building and how the tradition persists through the centuries.

Travel tips

Although luxury hotels are now available, Nungwi and especially Kendwa remain two of the best destinations on Zanzibar Island for quality, affordable accommodation – head here if you’re looking for a party. Kendwa has the better beach, and the deeper water on the north-western strip means swimming is possible throughout the day; the island’s eastern beaches are almost all tide dependent.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)

day 1

Dar es Salaam, arrival
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)

day 2

Mafia Island, your flight there
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)

day 3

Start exploring

day 4

Diving, snorkelling relaxing

day 5

Pemba Island, your flight there
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)

day 6

Pemba Island, to yourself

day 7

Gaps, walls and tranquility

day 8

Zanzibar Island, finally
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)
  • Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)

day 9

Explore the east coast

day 10

Stone Town and its narrow streets

day 11

Fly Home

View Full Itinerary

Popular Zanzibar Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | Tanzania couples safari

Tanzania couples safari

Enjoy the wildlife of Tanzania as well as the paradise of Zanzibar...

Sea view | Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)

Tropical African Island Holiday (11 days)

This island getaway to Mafia, Pemba and Zanzibar is ideal for honeymoon couples or anyone looking for white beaches and lots of diving, snorkeling and other ocean activities...

 | Tropical Zanzibar Island Escape (8 days)

Tropical Zanzibar Island Escape (8 days)

Your dream beach holiday awaits. Explore the coastline of Zanzibar's famed Kendwa beach paradise on this ultra-luxe tour...

 | Wildebeest Migration, Ngorongoro & Zanzibar Journey (12 days)

Wildebeest Migration, Ngorongoro & Zanzibar Journey (12 days)

This blockbuster Tanzania safari will show you the best of the country's outstanding wildlife and the beach paradise of Zanzibar...



You might also like

Affordable Zanzibar Holiday

Credit: Zuri Zanzibar Hotel There are friendly, well-run, mid-range resorts scattered all across Zanzibar. And as with the more budget-friendly accommodation, you’ll find the most choice in Stone Town, Nungwi and Paje/Jambiani. All three areas have a good selection of mid-range options, from larger resort-style hotels to laid-back, beach-chic bungalows. If you don’t fancy relying on…

Zanzibar in April

Credit: Matemwe Lodge April is Zanzibar’s wettest month, the height of the main rainy season that runs from mid-March to the end of May. With the rains come slightly lower temperatures, but most days still climb above 30°C (86°F). A relatively windless month, April marks the transition between the north-eastern ‘kaskasi’ and southern ‘kusi’ winds. As the month progresses the…

Zanzibar in July

July is generally dry and warm across Zanzibar, with daytime temperatures averaging around 28°C (82°F). This is about as cool as the islands get throughout the year, but even so the nights rarely dip below 18°C (64°F). The surrounding seas are also at their coldest in July and August, but sea temperatures of 25°C (77°F) are still the norm and the shallow lagoons often feel even…

Natural attractions of Zanzibar

Zanzibar’s islands have been inhabited for many hundreds of years and although ancient records refer to imported elephants and other iconic species, you won’t find any of Africa’s major land mammals here today. For the best chance of seeing Zanzibar’s smaller, rarer and in some cases, endemic species, head to Jozani Forest Reserve just south of Zanzibar Town or Ngezi Forest…

Zanzibar in May

Credit: Matemwe Lodge Early May sees heavy rain throughout the Zanzibar archipelago, but by the end of the month conditions usually improve. Afternoon showers become shorter and lighter, and more consecutive sunny days fall in between. As the skies clear, the seasonal ‘kusi’ wind freshens from the south, a steady, building breeze that can hit 20 to 30 km/h (11-17 knots). With the…

Nungwi & Kendwa

On Zanzibar Island’s northernmost tip, the once sleepy village of Nungwi is still the traditional centre of dhow building on Zanzibar. An old favourite among backpackers and hippies, the scene has transformed in recent years with hotels, bars, hostels and dive centres now lining the sandy shoreline in a near continuous strip southwest to Kendwa. The still relatively quiet village of…

Family holiday in Zanzibar

Zanzibar is simply fantastic for families. It’s safe, laid back and there’s plenty for kids to do. Once you arrive the transfers are quick and easy – just a few minutes to your hotel in Stone Town or at most an hour and a half to the furthest beach resort. There are hotels and resorts all over the archipelago that cater specifically for families with kids. You’ll find…

Zanzibar in June

June marks the start of Zanzibar’s long dry season, and June itself is often the sunniest, driest month of the year. Daytime temperatures are warm, averaging around 28°C (82°F), with pleasant nights (c. 20°C / 68°F) and generally low humidity. By the middle of June, the southern ‘kusi’ wind is in full flow, a fresh, steady breeze that can blow hard up the eastern coasts. Wind…

Ready to start your adventure?

+27 (0)21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    Mon - Fri: 8AM - 9PM GMT+2