Destinations Eastern Africa

11 Places With The Best Night Life in Zanzibar

Zanzibar nightlife
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Written by Jesca

Zanzibar offers a variety of nightlife options, from energetic cultural dance gatherings to peaceful sunset-watching by the ocean. Whether you prefer an active or relaxed evening, Zanzibar has something for everyone. Besides its nightlife, the island is known for its stunning beaches and opportunities for snorkelling and swimming with marine life. Zanzibar is a top beach destination that caters to all types of travellers.

If you’re not interested in beach activities, Zanzibar offers alternative options such as cultural spice tours, visits to ancient palaces, and local market experiences. But, let’s be fair, that’s not the reason why you visited this page. You want to know where to party on Zanzibar Island and what kinds of parties there are.

We created this unique blog with Zanzibar’s nightlife scene ranging from laid-back beach bars in Kendwa to up-scale nightclubs in Stone Town.

Does Zanzibar Have a Good Nightlife?

Absolutely! If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, Zanzibar is the perfect place to go. The island has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment, from live music and beach bars to traditional clubs. The unique cultural blend allows locals and tourists alike to explore various nightlife experiences. Whether you are looking for a romantic dinner, an energetic bar atmosphere, or a relaxing beach escape, Zanzibar has something for everyone.

Which Part of Zanzibar has the Best Nightlife?

Here are some of the constant favourites among tourists and locals alike:

1. Sunset Dhow Cruise

Zanzibar Dhow cruise

A Dhow cruise in Zanzibar. Photo/ Zanzibar Ibrahim Tours & Safari

Experience the stunning beauty of a sunset Dhow cruise, complete with mesmerizing music and a romantic atmosphere. Take an evening sail on a traditional dhow from the Indian Ocean shore and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere while sipping on wine. Capture amazing photos of the sunset over the horizon to treasure forever.

2. Stone Town Nightlife

Stone Town is the place to go for the hustle and bustle of the island, and it’s the area with the highest concentration of dining and drinking options. It’s perfect for unwinding, savouring drinks, enjoying scenic views, and having fun after a tiring day. Explore the buzzing streets and find a variety of bars, clubs, and pubs that offer music for every taste.

Being in a more confined area means you won’t have to travel as much, so you can spend more time relaxing and enjoying the town’s many establishments. Don’t forget to dress up a bit, as the restaurants and bars have a more metropolitan atmosphere.

3. Kendwa Rocks Beach Bar & Restaurant

Zanzibar nightlife

Full Moon Party at Kendwa Rocks Beach Bar & Restaurant. Photo/Affairs Today.

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Stone Town, then Kendwa is your go-to place. The beach bar offers a laid-back atmosphere with delicious food and drinks. Dance on the beach all night long under the moonlight, or just relax by the sea as you marvel at a beautiful sunset. Leave your fancy shoes at home and head to the bar that comes alive after dark. You can dance under the stars as many beachside bars and lounges cater to the younger crowd and play reggae and popular house music. Be cautious near the water’s edge if you’ve had a drink or two.

4. Dharma Lounge

The Dharma Lounge is a modern club with a large dance floor ideal for students and young people who enjoy dancing. It is located near the State University of Zanzibar, making it a popular destination for the younger international crowd. If you want to show the youth how it’s done, head over to Mkunazini St in Tanzania and check it out.

5. Garage Club

Come dance at the popular disco in Stone Town with eclectic music genres such as house, hip-hop, reggae, and Afro-European pop. The club has air conditioning and is open until sunrise on weekends. You can find it across from the Starehe Club with its black and white zebra-striped walls. The address is in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania.

6. Starehe Club

The Starehe Club is a peaceful nightclub located on the balcony overlooking the bay, which is highly popular with the locals in Zanzibar. If you are a tourist looking to interact and converse with the locals, this nightclub is ideal for you.

Experience the best Zanzibar nightlife and dive into a fascinating experience that will stick with you for years to come. From vibrant restaurants, bars, and clubs to cultural festivals and beach parties – there is something for everyone in Zanzibar. Enjoy your stay and enjoy this beautiful island’s unforgettable nightlife experiences.

7. Forodhani Gardens

For a unique nighttime experience, visit Forodhani Gardens instead of regular clubs and pubs. The gardens hold a bustling street market with food stalls, vendors, and performers. Arrive early and bring a picnic blanket to find a good spot on the grass. People-watch to your heart’s content as visitors and locals alike gather at this lively seafront park. Spending an evening at Forodhani Gardens provides an authentic glimpse into the local community.

8. Gerry’s Bar

Gerry’s on Nungwi Beach is a highly recommended bar with a relaxed vibe and welcoming staff. Despite being located a bit further down the beach than other bars, visitors believe it’s worth the extra effort to get there. With a perfect waterfront spot, one TripAdvisor user described it as an “excellent place to chill”. To catch the beautiful sunset, it’s recommended to arrive early. Find Gerry’s at Nungwi Beach, Zanzibar, Tanzania.

9. Cholo’s Disco Bar

Cholo’s is located directly on Nungwi Beach and is a popular destination for drinking and dancing among adults in their thirties. The restaurant offers delicious food and a fun atmosphere with great drinks and music while enjoying the sound of crashing waves in the background. According to previous visitors, going to Cholo’s guarantees a very entertaining night. Cholo’s Disco Bar can be found at Nungwi Beach, Zanzibar, Tanzania.

10. Paje by Night

Tourists can have fun and hang out at the beach bar located at the Paje by Night Hotel. The bar hosts regular theme parties such as Glow in the Dark and Bubble Bath Jacuzzi parties. Guests can enjoy dancing and cold beer in a casual environment, perfect for relaxing after a day of beach activities or kitesurfing.

11. Red Monkey Beach Lodge

Zanzibar nightlife

Red Monkey Beach Lodge Zanzibar. Photo/Travel Dudes.

The Red Monkey Beach Lodge, located at Jambiani, is a peaceful bar by the beach. However, every Sunday, it hosts a popular Live Music Jam Session event requiring a reservation and a BBQ. On Monday nights, it’s party time at the lodge with local music and a chance to socialize with both locals and tourists. The lodge is part of a resort, so advance booking is necessary. Zanzibar offers a variety of evening entertainment options for everyone, including casual beach parties, discos, performing arts, and people-watching.

Can You Get Alcohol in Zanzibar?

Yes, alcohol is available for purchase in Zanzibar. Beer and wine are the most widely available alcoholic beverages on the island. However, due to Muslim teachings, some establishments don’t serve alcohol or may not have a license to do so. It’s best to check with an establishment beforehand if they serve alcohol or not.

A bottle of local beer (including Safari, Tusker or Kilimanjaro) costs US$1.50 in a local bar and at least double this in smarter places. At larger hotels and restaurants in Zanzibar Town or on the coast, you can also buy imported beers, wines (mostly from South Africa) and spirits.

The fun in Zanzibar starts as soon as the sun begins to descend. The lights and music are up, and so are your spirits! Surprisingly, things tend to quiet down a little after midnight, which makes sense since sundowners start pretty early. That being said, don’t let that deter you from visiting this incredible island, as there is still a terrific scene for dancing and drinks.

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About the author

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Besigye is a Ugandan writer and a teacher by profession. She loves adventure and travelling that's why she loves writing travel blogs.

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