Tanzania, Zanzibar: New marina changes the face of cruising in East Africa

For many years the nearest marina to East Africa has been either in Seychelles, 1,100 miles away or in Richard’s Bay, South Africa. Now, all that has changed with the construction of a new marina near Stone Town, Zanzibar, now open for business. Our thanks to Jack and Jackie Hunt who reported this new facility to noonsite.

Published 6 years ago, updated 5 years ago

Azam Zanzibar Marina

The options for yachts on passage from Seychelles to South Africa have been dramatically improved with the construction of a new marina in Zanzibar.  Located behind the brand-new 5-star Hotel Verde Zanzibar (who own the marina as well) the marina is just a 10-15 minute drive from historic Stone Town.

Jack and Jackie Hunt, who is currently docked at the Zanzibar Marina, told noonsite; “Besides the marina, there are significant works in progress for a 50′ wide slipway, a haulout facility (100 ton crane with 80 ton straps at first, to be followed by a Travelift), a 140′ x 200′ dry storage/work area, and more. On top of that, immediately adjacent to the marina, there is a large state-of-the-art waterpark (with a lazy river) under construction, as well as a cinema complex. There is also a very nice restaurant located just behind the marina that offers excellent buffets as well as menu items. Wow, are we really in East Africa?”

Zanzibar Marina, courtesy of Jack Hunt

A large breakwater is planned to protect the entrance to the marina which is slightly exposed to the west and north and dredging is already underway. The marina features good quality, wide floating docks and there are also plans to add a larger floating pier to accommodate yachts up to 100 feet or more. For details on all marina services see Tanzania/Zanzibar.

Zanzibar is a large island and a major tourist attraction. Its international airport has direct flights from Europe several times a day. It offers great cruising, snorkelling and wildlife. Humpback whales are sighted daily in the season (from October through March) and whale sharks are sometimes seen.

Besides the beaches and the underwater attractions, the big draw is historic Stone Town, so-named because of the antique stone buildings that are crowded together on the waterfront, with small lanes and streets full of every type of vendor (in particular spices). There are plenty of excellent cafes and restaurants in Stone Town, as well as some very charming inexpensive lodges and hotels.

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