The tides in Zanzibar :  Zanzibar is an Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, which is 25 to 50 kilometers from the coast of the African mainland and it comprises of many small islands and two large ones being  Unguja and Pemba islands. It capital is the Zanzibar city located on the island of Unguja. Zanzibar has a historical centre , stone Town which is a World Heritage Site.

When planning your visit to Zanzibar it is very important to understand its tidal activity.

In some of the bracing the island the tides are barely noticeable and in some places during the low tides water can recede very far. In Zanzibar tides follow a predictable schedules so that you can plan your holiday activities around this time, where the waves of the island are the calmest.

How tides work in Zanzibar?

Zanzibar is one of the best popular vacations spots for tourist from all over the world. The island has featured in every listed top ten white sand beaches of Africa with Nungwi beach being the world’s best known Zanzibar resort spot.

The Island of Zanzibar Archipelago is named Unguja but more often it is known as Zanzibar. The island stretches from North to east of the Indian ocean along the Tanzanian coast. On the east coast of Zanzibar such as the Chwaka Bay, the tides are very noticeable during the low tide where the waterline move very far away from the beach exposing the beautiful seabed for miles.

What causes tide?

The tides nature can be explained by the gravitational forces of celestial bodies , primarily the moon. The moon is the closet large object to the Earth and has the biggest influence on the planet. The sun too has some gravitational pull but it is weaker than the moon’s pull due to its very far distance.  The highest tides occur during the new and the full moon this is because the gravitational forces of both the moon and the sun have combined and have great influence on the earth’s ocean’s.

This lifts of water on the earth’s surface, raising and falling, lagging behind one another by approximately 12hours.

There is a great difference in time between the lowest water levels which we call the low ride which is about 12 hours. Low tides and high tides are about six hours apart, this is because the moon rises and sets at different times of each day therefore the tides shift. The water recedes the furthest just over six hours after the highest tide.

The moon actually pulls nearly everything on the earth’s surface including the water, the solid part of the earth’s shell and even the air.

 Tidal variation across the Earth

The moon and the sun are not the only factors that influences the tides the water level fluctuations are also influenced by other features of the planets surface . This is because the earth surface is not a perfect sphere but has protrusion of mountains, hills and depressions of seabed, caves among other things that we may not notice because the water typically fills the depressions and the solid rocks and geological obstacles cut off the way in some locations preventing flooding. The water level at the shores largely depends on the shore topography, this is simply what determine its water level and the varying distance in which the water recedes between neighbouring beaches and even the opposite ends of the same beach.

Popular Zanzibar beaches

The tides in Zanzibar
The tides in Zanzibar

Zanzibar is an Archipelago comprising a few islands the largest being Zanzibar also known as Unguja which is the major tourist Destinations for most travellers . There are many resort and good infrastructure on the northern and Eastern coasts of Zanzibar while the south-western part has the airport, the ferry port, prison island and the stone Town and a great populated by the local residents. Zanzibar  an be divided into northern beaches, the astern beaches and the beaches of Chwaka.

Northern Coast.

The Northern coast of Zanzibar has little tidal effects on the coastline. This makes the seabed constantly full throughout the day which makes it good for ocean swimming. This has made the Zanzibar northern part the most attractive and expensive resort destination in the island. It hosts high class hotels, numerous cafes, bar and restaurants, stores and other facilities which will make your vacation more convenient and comfortable. It is the most luxurious part of the island for sunbathing, swimming during the day and enjoying music and dance at night.

Nungwi and Kendwa are the best destinations in the North ,which are  famous of all the Zanzibar beaches with the greatest concentration both foreign and local tourists.

Accommodations in Kendwa

Kendwa is considered a beach with perfect tides with other features which include the luxurious villas, comfortable bungalows  and exceptional suites which constitutes a perfect beach in a lagoon nearby.

Accommodations in Nungwi

It is most beautiful in the evenings when both the hotel and its pier are illuminated with myriads lights. The piers gives you advantage during the low tide, when you  can walk around and explore the seabed to see the crustaceans crawling out of the sand and birds feeding on them.

 Eastern coast

The eastern coast except the Chwaka Bay is subject to moderate tides. The Northeast beaches include ;Kigomani, Matemwe, Pwani Mchangani, Kiwengwa and Pongwe . This region is not as popular as the northern coast but it is perfect for snorkelling and Diving  especially when you take a boat to Mnemba island .

The water of Mnemba island are clear and are a good habitat for tropical fish that live around its beautiful coral reefs . The waters of this island according to many tourists can only be compared to in Maldives.

Chwaka Bay

The Chwaka Bay has the biggest tides in Zanzibar. Chwaka Bay topography causes low tides to expose the seabed which in turn forces the water off the shore as far as 1.5 -2 kilometers. To the North of Chwaka Bay you’ll find Uroa Beach . Chwaka Bay is known for their locals growing in their farmlands which are used in making many soaps and other high -end cosmetics. The locals on the beach are also known to set stakes and poles across the beach es to grow laminaria ,so you have to be careful when walking around the shores. Chwaka Bay is also close to the Stone Town if may wish to explore this famous destination,  in fact the best thing to do while waiting for the high

Southern Beaches

The southern beaches include  Mzambarauni, Kizimkazi Mkunguni and Kizimkazi Dimbani which ha e similar tidal activity to the beaches of the eastern coast.  These beaches are highly valued for their top class privacy and their unmatched top level of hospitality at their hotels.

book a safari