Most visitors come to Tanzania for prime game-viewing in reserves like the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area; but when you’ve had your fill of the Big Five, the country’s picturesque coastline awaits. Whether you prefer backpacker waterfronts with vibrant party scenes or private islands with abandoned stretches of untouched sand, there are beaches to suit all tastes in Tanzania. The most famous are located on Zanzibar Island, but for those in the know, there are plenty of magical beaches on the mainland and smaller Tanzanian islands as well.
If exclusivity is a priority, consider booking a stay on Mnemba Island. Located off Zanzibar’s northeast shore, this private getaway is only accessible to guests of luxurious &Beyond Mnemba Island Lodge and has a circumference of just 1.5 kilometers (0.93 miles). Essentially, the entire island is a breathtaking ivory beach, studded with a patch of causarina pine forest and surrounded by protected coral reefs. The lodge’s PADI dive school offers exceptional scuba diving excursions, while private beach dinners, open-air massages and yoga sessions are all on the menu for those staying in one of the 12 thatched beach bandas. Activities range from fishing to dolphin watching.
Saadani National Park
If you have limited time in Tanzania and want to combine the safari and beach elements of your trip, head 62 miles (100 kilometers) north of Dar es Salaam to Saadani National Park. It’s the only national park in East Africa to border the Indian Ocean, and it’s entirely possible to see game venturing out of the mangrove forests and onto the beach’s golden sands. Divide your days between lazy hours spent tanning on the beach and game drives spent searching for an impressive array of game including lion, elephant, giraffe and buffalo. Wami River cruises are a particular highlight, giving you the opportunity to spot hippos, crocodiles and a plethora of aquatic birds.
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