Main Islands of Zanzibar Archipelago

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Zanzibar Island lies about 23 miles off the coast of Tanzania, in the Indian Ocean. Zanzibar archipelago offers guests the ultimate Indian Ocean experience, with its fascinating islands, historical towns and magnificent beaches. This archipelago is made up of several islands of Zanzibar. The main ones are Unguja and Pemba.

Unguja Island

Unguja Island, also known as Zanzibar Island, is the largest and most populated islands of Zanzibar. Unguja Island has archaeological sites at Unguja Ukuu and Stone Town. The island’s main town, Zanzibar City, is also located within this island. Surrounding the island are some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Smaller islands surround the coast, notably Tumbatu, Uzi and Mnemba Atoll to the northeast. There are several ways to reach Zanzibar. One can fly to Dar es Salaam then connect with a domestic flight to Zanzibar or catch the daily sea ferry to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam, which takes about two hours.


Unguja Island has a rich history,  and numerous archaeological sites.

Pemba Island

Located in the northernmost part of the Zanzibar archipelago lies Pemba Island, the smaller of the two main islands of Zanzibar archipelago. Chake Chake is Pemba’s main town set on a ridge overlooking Chake Chake Bay. Pemba Island has been separated from the mainland and Zanzibar for decades, leaving an untouched and pristine island of great beauty. Pemba is more remote than Unguja Island but as a result, it has some of the best unexplored coral reefs that offer spectacular snorkelling, fishing and scuba diving spots.

The surrounding beautiful beaches, historical attractions and spectacular scuba diving and snorkelling areas are well worth the trip to Pemba Island. There are daily flights between Chake Chake and Zanzibar Town and direct connections from Dar es Salaam.


Pemba’s main town set on a ridge overlooking Chake Chake Bay.

Mafia Island

Mafia Island is one of the main small islands of Zanzibar located south of Tanzania. The main town in the island is Kilindoni. Its spectacular marine life has become popular, especially since the setting up of the Mafia Island Marine Park. The terrestrial and reef ecosystems within the island are fascinating, its reefs are renowned as an excellent, world-class diving spot.


Mafia Island hosts historical sites dating back to the 11th Century

Mafia Island has historical sites like the ruins at Kisimani Mafia, Kanga and Chole Island. These historical sites include a beautiful, barrel-vaulted mosque built in the 15th Century and a number of well-designed buildings providing great interest for the methods of construction and the ancient architecture. To get to Mafia Island, use either charter flights from Dar es Salaam, or a sailing boat to Kisiju, the nearest point from the mainland.



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