Going out in bars and clubs, what is Zanzibar city’s nightlife like?
The number of bars in Zanzibar town grows steadily every year, as does the number of visitors who come to Zanzibar in greater numbers every year. Some bars cater almost exclusively to tourists, where others host mainly local Tanzanians who have migrated to Zanzibar from the mainland, as the indigenous population is generally Muslim and thus does not drink alcohol.
Normally Tanzanian, Kenyan, South African and international beers and soft drinks are available. As well as local and imported drinks. Wine here is predominantly South African. Many of the larger hotels have separate bars, open to non-guests, and many of the bars mentioned above also serve drinks.
Africa House Hotel
A visit to Zanzibar is not complete without a visit to the Africa House Hotel’s terrace/bar, where people have been gathering for drinks during sunset since colonial times. You can order snacks and meals here (€2 to €5) to enjoy on the terrace. Especially popular with locals and more adventurous visitors are the traditional pipes (also known as hubble-bubble pipes, water pipes or more correctly: Shisha pipes).
Street: Mizingani Rd.
Mercury’s gets its name from famous rock star Freddy Mercury. The building was once the home where the Queen singer, who died in 1991, was born and grew up.
Like the Africa House Hotel, Mercury’s is also popular with sun worshippers. Drinks and food are served here all day, until late in the evening. This bar is known for its “happy hours” (which run from 5pm to 8pm outside the high season) and its excellent variety of cocktails. Bongs are also available here and very popular. If you come here more for the views than the beer, the position of the sun makes it more enjoyable here from May to September. Whereas between October and April at the Africa House Hotel, it is again more favourable to linger.
Located next to the Africa House Hotel. This bar has a strong local vibe that tends towards the grim. Mainly frequented by hookers in their spare time and tour hustlers who quickly spend their acquired earnings here again, the attached New Happy Lodge seems to be made for the same visitors , and is probably best avoided.
Clubs / Nightclubs
Bwawani Komba disco
Under the pool in a dark area of the Bwawani Hotel, there is a disco most nights. Weekends are most popular, the entrance fee is about €1.25 converted. The disco usually starts to heat up only around midnight. When the hotel is renovated, this disco could also use a lick of paint. Click here for their Instagram page.
Zanzibar’s Full Moon Party at Kendwa Rocks Hotel
If you find yourself in Zanzibar, don’t miss the chance to attend the legendary Full Moon Party hosted every month at the Kendwa Rocks Hotel. Beginning in 1996 as a simple gathering, this celebration has blossomed into an iconic event, drawing people from across Africa and beyond to revel under the moonlit sky.
With a reputation that spans the globe, the Full Moon Party has become a must-visit tradition for those looking to experience the true spirit of Zanzibar. The exact dates for this unforgettable event vary each month, so make sure to click here to find out when the next epic celebration will take place. Whether you’re a seasoned party-goer or just looking to make unforgettable memories, Zanzibar’s Full Moon Party is the place to be!
Garage club (Closed permanently)
Almost opposite the Stahere (see below) is the vastly different Garage Club. A fully air-conditioned and soundproofed nightclub. The music here goes hard and includes an electric mix of house, hip-hop, reggae and African/European pop. This club is not to be missed. With exterior walls painted in black and white zebra stripes. Entrance is €2 although women often get in free. This club rocks on until dawn on weekends.
Starehe club (Closed permanently)
Just 50 metres below Shangani road from the Tembo hotel is the Starehe club. The Starehe is a relaxed and quiet place with a terrace overlooking the bay. The staff are friendly and the beer reasonably priced. This is the kind of club where you will almost certainly get talking to locals – and by this we don’t mean fishermen! This club has a renovation planned that may change some things. A restaurent, ice cream bar and sports centre are in the planning.
- Check out the event calender of Zanzibar
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- Practical information about Zanzibar
- This is what you need to know about diving at Zanzibar
Do you have your own experience with clubs and bars during Zanzibar nightlife? Let us know below!