Surfing is not big in Tanzania but it is one of the most visited countries in eastern Africa with the majestic Kilimanjaro and the tropic paradise of Zanzibar. This of course means a well-developed infrastructure for travellers and a lot of commodities around.
You do have to look out for yourself as theft can be a hazard here, especially in Dar es Salaam and in Stone Town on Zanzibar. Don’t make this frighten you though, as most Tanzanians are super welcoming and they will make your visit a rewarding.
And yes, it really is possible to surf here. In fact this might be one of the better surf options on the east coast of Africa, especially if you go to the coastline along the east of Zanzibar. You find reef breaks along the southeast and northeast coast. These spots are seemingly untouched as you hardly ever find other surfers in the water.
The Waves in Tanzania
Not many spots have been mapped in Tanzania, yet. But there are rumors of numerous reef breaks off the coast of Tanzania. Just keep in mind that you often have to hire a boat to get to the far out reef breaks and that tidal water is a huge factor here.
Many go to Zanzibar to find a tropical paradise and it sure is with it’s endless white beaches, palms and mellow vibe in general all around the island – perfect for a surfing getaway.
And yes, it really is possible to surf here. In fact this might be one of the better surf options on the east coast of Africa, especially if you go to the reefs on the northern tip of Zanzibar. And what better way to experience a tropical, African surfers paradise.
Also check out Unique Surf Camp that organize boats to the outer reefs.
Look out for…
Huge tidal changes has a big effect on the surfing here so be sure to know your visiting hours. Also when in the bigger cities, never travel alone as muggings has been a problem some places due to poverty.
Also beware of the risk of getting Malaria when travelling in Africa.
Visa to Tanzania
Single entry visas should be available on arrival, but check before you go to be sure. Three month visa is 50 USD for most nationalities but it is 100 USD for people from USA and Ireland. Don’t ask me why. Visas are not available on the border from Mozambique.
Tanzania Surf Spots:
Zanzibar North Reefs: Multiple reef breaks on the northern tip of Zanzibar. Here you’ll find rights and lefts but you will need to hire a boat to reach most of them. Also you might find a few beach breaks along the coast to the east.
Bongoyo Island: A right breaks straight on the reef of Bongoyo Island just outside Dar es Salaam. You have to hire a boat to get here, and make sure to go at high tide as this is the only time it is possible to surf here.
Oyster Bay Beach Break: You will find fun beach breaks along the peninsula where all the expats live in Dar es Salaam. You should also find a reef break just outside Sea Cliff Hotel in Dar.
Zanzibar South Reefs: All spots along the southeast Coast are reef breaks with some more sandy sections for beginners. Most waves are right handersand can vary in levels of difficulty. Depending on the conditions, you can find breaks from mellow malibu style waves to barreling
beasts. Most spots are accesible only by boat and are very tide dependant. Use a local guide.
After your visit to Tanzania please report back to GoSurfAfrica.com and let your experiences and photos benefit later surf explorers. Also contact us if you need more information about surfing in Tanzania and we will try to help you and answer all your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.