Kendwa – a popular beach holiday area in Zanzibar

In tourist circles, Zanzibar is a beach destination that has already managed to win the hearts of travelers with water of the “Maldivian” color, bounty-style beaches, amazing local culture and affordable prices. Everyone on this island will find something to their liking – you can spend days on a deck chair, go diving and snorkeling, catch a wave, have fun at beach parties and taste African food. All this and much more is available to tourists who have chosen to holiday in Kendwa (Zanzibar).

Kendwa Village

The village of Kendwa with the beach of the same name is located in the northwest of Zanzibar – within walking distance (a couple of kilometers on foot along the coast at low tide) from the famous Nungwi beach. And if the latter can be called quite noisy, then Kendwa is a relatively calm area, although there are many large hotels and guest houses, catering facilities and outdoor activities.

Hotel room Kendwa Rocks
Kendwa Rocks Hotel

By the way, in 1995 there was only one guest house, but over time, the luxurious Kendwa Rocks hotel appeared. And in 2006, the giant Gemma dell Est, and with them restaurants, bars, shops and souvenir shops. Today, Kendwa Beach is one of the most progressive areas in Zanzibar. It is even called the “beach of millionaires,” because those who can afford it can rent five-star housing for $300-500 a day, play golf on an ideal patch of green and get lobsters for lunch and dinner.

It is not for nothing that world-class stars, politicians and successful businessmen are increasingly paying attention to Kendwa.

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Holidays in Kendwa Zanzibar

The tourist infrastructure of Zanzibar is developing by leaps and bounds along with the growing popularity of the island among tourists. This is especially true of Kendwa Beach, where there is already much that is needed for vacations and meeting the needs of tourists. This is not only about tropical palm trees framing the coast, or sand that resembles powdered sugar, but also an increasing choice of hotels, bungalows, delicious food at affordable prices, as well as the convenience of transportation around Kendwa and the whole island.

There are enough ordinary and water taxis in Zanzibar and Kendwa. Public buses and Dala-Dala (trucks with awning and benches) run between villages, ferries go to mainland of Tanzania. If you wish, you can rent a car or bicycle, as well as take advantage of domestic flights.

Relax on Kendwa Beach

Kendwa is one of the most expensive areas on the island, so even shops specializing in the sale of alcohol will cost a pretty penny. But this is justified for a Muslim country that abstains from alcohol consumption. Recently, Zanzibar has begun to transform into an elite island that can compete with Barbados, the Maldives and the Seychelles, but this does not interfere with enjoying the pristine nature of this corner of the planet. It is also a great place to holiday with your kids.

Hotels on Kendwa beach

There are several large hotels as well as mini resorts and guest houses on Kendwa Beach. For example the Hideaway of Nungwi Resort & Spa and Gold Zanzibar Beach House & Spa are widely known in Zanzibar. Almost all the hotels on the island adhere to the B&B (Bed and Breakfast) system, but this beach area has many all inclusive offers too.

The choice of options is not as diverse as in neighboring Nungwi, but that is why the Kendwa resort is great for solitude and relaxation.

Hotel Hideaway of Nungwi Resort & Spa
Hideaway of Nungwi Resort & Spa

If your goal is a double room in a three or four star hotel with a good rating, in high season the minimum cost of living will be as follows:

Hotel Natural Kendwa Villa
Natural Kendwa Villa
  1. At Natural Kendwa Villa – $ 225-250 per night. 300 meters from the beach, the hotel has an outdoor pool, SPA, restaurant, private parking and free Wi-Fi.
  2. At Kendwa Rocks Hotel – $ 125-150 per night. Situated in fragrant gardens, the hotel overlooks the Indian Ocean. The local restaurant serves Swahili dishes, while the bar offers exotic cocktails. In the evening, performances are arranged for guests.
  3. At Mocco Beach Villa – from $ 120 per night. The road from this hotel to the beach takes just a minute. Guests can look forward to a restaurant serving traditional Tanzanian dishes made from fresh seafood, as well as the option to rent water sports equipment.

If you have an independent trip, pay attention to the Palumbo Kendwa Hotel, which is in demand in Zanzibar. It has been hosting guests since 2015, it has an outdoor pool, a restaurant, a bar and other leisure and entertainment options.

Restaurants in Kendwa beach

Seafood mix
La fontana zanzibar

There are not so many restaurants and cafes in Kendwa resort as in Nungwi, but you will not stay hungry. For those who come here for one day to explore the surroundings, lie on the beach or enjoy water sports, experienced tourists recommend taking food with them. The rest is worth exploring the hotel restaurants, as well as a look at La Fontana Zanzibar and Fisherman lokal restaurant.

The first will welcome guests with a beautiful and comfortable interior, fast and friendly service, as well as a very varied Italian menu. Here you can try fresh fish, pizza (the main course will cost $ 8-10 per person) and all kinds of fresh ($ 4-6).

At the Fisherman lokal restaurant
Fisherman lokal restaurant

Restaurant Fisherman lokal restaurant is the personification of Africa. On the one hand, they serve delicious dishes from octopuses and squids barely caught in the ocean, tuna and shrimp, accompanied by rice, french-fries and vegetable salad, cold juices, carbonated drinks and beer. On the other hand, it has an authentic interior with slightly dirty tables. But the portions are huge and the prices are reasonable. Two people can have a very filling lunch or dinner for $40-50 together.

Every day fishing boats moor on the beach. Having bought fish or seafood from the fishermen, you can ask the staff from the restaurant to cook a special dinner especially for you.


Zanzibar is a dream come true for lovers of diving and snorkeling. In order to dive into the crystal clear tropical waters and enjoy the deep inhabitants, thousands of people come here. At the same time, one of the best places to dive is considered to be a reef near Kendwa Beach. It is home to sea urchins, turtles and stars, crabs and squids, butterfly fish and stingrays. The luckiest ones can meet whale sharks, common and humpback dolphins that migrate past the island twice a year.

Diving in Kendwa

Contact a specialized diving center to enlist the help of experienced instructors who know perfect places for diving and snorkeling, get the necessary equipment and ensure their own safety. Estimated prices for two dives is $100-150.

Nungwi Beach

If you are tired of diving, during low tide you can take a walk to the neighboring Nungwi beach. Previously, in its place was an ordinary fishing village, but today dilapidated houses are crowded out by hotels and guest houses, restaurants and bars, shops and souvenir shops. As soon as the sun disappears into the ocean, the peaceful atmosphere of the beach is saturated with the spirit of the parties, hence the tireless youth thrives here.

Related post: Visit the Pemba island in Tanzania

Whether Kendwa or Nungwi is better, one cannot say. Fortunately, the distance between the resorts of Zanzibar is small, you can find the answer to this question yourself. We recommend visiting the aquarium with sea turtles and plunging into the club life of Nungwi.

Jozani Chwaka National Park
Jozani Chwaka National Park

Kendwa’s excursion program is not too busy for the sophisticated tourist – you can ride around the island by car, get to the attractions of Stone Town and Jozani Chwaka National Park, arrange a boat trip or shopping, as well as go fishing. Given that local fishermen catch fish with nets, do not count on a large catch. But an interesting pastime is guaranteed.

Kendwa Beach

Kendwa is the most comfortable place for a beach holiday in Zanzibar. You can also read about the other recommended beaches in Zanzibar.

The piercing blue-green water, a wide strip of snow-white coral sand, palms directed towards the sky, picturesque views, but the main thing – here the constant ebbs and flows do not affect the desire of vacationers to swim. Water does not go away for many hundreds of meters, leaving behind a lot of algae and forcing to go to the pool.

Kendwa Beach

Note! Even the inhabitants of Zanzibar do not know the exact time of the tides. In the morning, water can reach the hotels located on the beaches, and by dinner, substitute the African sun for several kilometers of a completely dry bottom. Kendwa beach is unique in this respect – there are practically no tides here.

Kendwa beach sand is always clean

Another plus – there are much fewer people on Kendwa beach than in Nungwi, although this coast can be called a monopolist in water activities of Zanzibar Island. Importantly, the sand is always clean, there are many sunbeds and umbrellas, there is a shower with fresh water.

Weather in Kendwa

In the months of April, May and November, it will likely rain in Kendwa during days and nights. This rainy season can be so intense that hotels and entire islands tend to close. A visit to Zanzibar at this time can also be dangerous due to the activity of malaria mosquitoes. It is better to visit Zanzibar in September-October, in the winter months, in the first half of March or in the summer.

It should be remembered that Zanzibar belongs to the Southern Hemisphere, that is, the winter months are hotter and drier than the summer ones. From December to February, the air temperature during the day is from +28 to + 37 ° C, from June to October – about + 26 ° C.

How to get to Kendwa Beach

By taxi to Kendwa Beach

The fact that Kendwa is in close proximity to the Nungwi has already been mentioned. Between these resorts there is a La Gemma Dell`Est pier, designed just to move from one beach to another. In addition, from any point in Zanzibar you can get to Kendwa Beach by taxi, catching it on the road or agreeing a meeting point with drivers, who usually expect customers in the central parts of the settlements. Note that taxis are not equipped with meters, so you need to agree on a price in advance – it can range from $2 (if the distance is short) to $50.

There is also an official taxi serice with English-speaking drivers, air conditioning, checkers or the inscription “Private hire”. But this is expensive – for example, for the trip from Stone Town to Kendwa (about 60 km), you will be charged at least $70.

Local transport Dala-Dala

As for public transport, there are practically no such concepts as “flat roads”, “regular routes” and “bus stops” in Zanzibar. In the center of cities and villages, there are platforms where passengers are waiting for buses and Dala-Dala. Departure are as the vehicle gets full, stops are on demand, and payment is made directly to drivers.

If you are in Stone Town, the capital of Zanzibar, Kendwa can be reached through rough terrain by car. 5 kilometers from Nungwi you will see the main landmark – the first turn that will lead you to the desired point. When traveling on a rented car on this road, you must be very careful and attentive.

Prices on the page are for September 2018.

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