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Sunset becah on Zanzibar Island.
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Introduction:
The coast and Zanzibar
Many safari-goers combine a safari in Kenya or Tanzania with a beach holiday on the East African coast, where the Mombasa and Malindi areas in Kenya, and Zanzibar Island in Tanzania, are the main coastal destinations. They offer white beaches along the shores of the Indian Ocean, palm trees, and pleasant water temperatures all year round. There are good opportunities for snorkelling, diving and deep-sea fishing. Map of Africa Namibia Botswana South Africa Zambia Mozambique Malawi Rwanda Tanzania Kenya Uganda

The coast of Kenya
The Kenyan coast is a classic beach holiday destination for safari-goers. The most popular beaches, around Mombasa and Malindi, have a fairly high concentration of beach hotels and resorts.

Map of the Kenyan coast.
Mida CreekShimba Hills National ReserveMombasa Marine ReserveArabuko Sokoke National ParkLamu IslandBoni, Dodori & Kiunga Marine National ReserveArawale National ReserveTana River Primate National ReserveMoi International Airport (MBA/HKMO)Tsavo East National ParkMalindi & Watamu Biosphere ReserveKisite Mpunguti Marine ParkGede Ruins National Monument The Kenyan coast.

Areas further away from the cities are less developed. One of these is Lamu Island, situated in the northern part of the coast. Like Zanzibar in Tanzania, Lamu has an Arabian history and heritage, and a slow and relaxed atmosphere.

The coast of Tanzania
Zanzibar Island is the most popular destination on the Tanzanian coast, but there are also other islands and mainland destinations worth visiting.

Map of the Tanzanian coast. Zanzibar International Airport (ZNZ/HTZA) Selous GRSaadani NPZanzibar IslandPemba IslandMafia IslandJulius Nyerere International Airport (DAR/HTDA)Pangani
The islands along the Tanzanian coast.

Zanzibar
Zanzibar Island in Tanzania has a history featuring slave traders, Arabian rule and spice plantation. Today it is a beach holiday destination that is becoming more and more popular with safari-goers.

North of Zanzibar is Pemba Island, mainly known for its world-class diving. Mafia Island further south along the coast has fine beaches, but fewer visitors than Zanzibar.

The Tanzanian coast
The Tanzanian mainland coast has good beaches in for example Bagamoyo, but not very many visitors if compared to Zanzibar. Pangani on the mainland, inland from southern Pemba, offers empty beaches and a very quiet atmosphere.

Local fishing boat on Lake Victoria.

Inland beach destination
The three great lakes of East Africa – Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa/Malawi – also offer beaches, diving, snorkelling and fishing. They are all situated off the most beaten tourist tracks, and see by far less visitors than the coast. Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa/Malawi have many endemic ciclids that attract divers.

 
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Page updated 31 January 2010