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  • Writer's pictureZanzibar Luxury Properties

Zanzibar's Hidden Gems: Exploring the Lesser-Known West Coast

In this article, we'll take you through some of Zanzibar's more secluded areas along the island's southwest and west coasts. While these regions might not be as well-known to tourists as the northern or east coast beaches, they harbor some of the best marine encounters and fascinating historical sites on the island. 

Emerging Tourist Destinations

In recent years, the western region, from Kizimkazi to Mangapwan, has seen a surge in hotel and resort developments, creating new opportunities for both visitors and real estate investors. This area, with its unique rocky coastlines and strategically positioned hotels, offers a different vibe from the traditional sandy beaches. From golf courses to luxurious amenities, it's clear that the west coast is rapidly evolving into a premier destination in Zanzibar.

Kizimkazi: Dolphin Encounters

Kizimkazi, located on the southwestern tip of the island, is famous for its dolphin-watching tours. Both bottlenose and humpback dolphins frequent the area, attracting visitors who are eager to experience these marine animals up close. As tourism grows in this area, so does the property market, hinting at a future where Kizimkazi becomes a popular spot for vacation homes and resorts.

Unguja Ukuu: A Journey Through Time

Unguja Ukuu, the oldest known settlement in Zanzibar, dates back to the end of the 8th century. The name "Unguja" is the local term for Zanzibar Island, and "Ukuu" means "great." Despite its historical significance, the area has relatively limited accommodations, which has helped preserve its authentic charm.

Nearby, the Bi Khole ruins offer a glimpse into Zanzibar's rich history. Visitors can wander through the ancient remnants and imagine what life was like for those who once lived here.

Uzi Island: Nature's Retreat

Uzi Island, located just south of Unguja Ukuu, is a hidden gem that remains largely undeveloped. This small island is a paradise for those seeking a traditional way of life, with agriculture and fishing serving as the main livelihoods. Uzi Island's mangrove forests and unique ecosystem are a draw for tourists looking to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations. Kayaking tours, snorkelling, and sea turtle encounters are just a few of the activities that make Uzi Island a special place to visit.

Fumba: A Blend of Nature and Development

Fumba, situated on the western side of Zanzibar, is gaining attention for its conservation efforts and sustainable development. As the gateway to the Menai Bay Conservation Area, Fumba offers a tranquil escape with pristine coral reefs, dolphin encounters, and opportunities for snorkeling and diving. The area's designation as a Free Economic Zone (FEZ) has also made it attractive to investors, with projects like Fumba Town providing a new residential community with a vibrant monthly market.

Mbweni: A Glimpse into Zanzibar's Past

Mbweni, located south of Zanzibar Town, offers a unique blend of history and convenience. With a collection of 19th-century ruins, including the remnants of the Mbweni mission school, and easy access to the airport, it's an ideal choice for travellers looking for a touch of history without being far from the modern amenities of Stone Town. The area also boasts Mbweni Beach, providing a quiet spot to relax and enjoy the sun.

Mangapwani and Beyond

Heading further north, Mangapwani and its famous Coral Cave offer another intriguing attraction. This natural cavern, with its pool of fresh water, is a reminder of Zanzibar's geological past. The Mangapwani Beach, along with other historic sites like the sultans' retreats in Bububu, round out the offerings in this region.

A Glimpse into Zanzibar's Future

As you explore Zanzibar's western coast, you'll find a region that seamlessly blends history, nature, and modern development. While Stone Town remains the island's heart, these lesser-known areas offer unique experiences and growing opportunities for tourism and real estate investment. 

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