A Full Moon Party with a difference
You’ve all heard of the infamous Full Moon Parties inThailand. But did you know Zanzibar has its own Full Moon Party? It’s usually held on the Saturday after the full moon. The best thing about it is that it’s still relatively low key and requires very little forward planning. It’s accessible from everywhere on the island.
If eating great food, dancing all night on the beach, chatting to the local Masaai and catching some really cool performers sounds like your cup of tea then read on!
When I realised I was going to be in Zanzibar for the full moon, I wasn’t sure about attending the Full Moon Party. I had heard so much about parties in Thailand where locals are left cleaning up tourist’s mess for weeks following the party. Fire ropes, drink buckets and waking up to a beach covered in debris from the night before didn’t fit with the relaxed island vibe I associate with Zanzibar.
As you will quickly realise, Zanzibar has its own way of doing things. For those wondering, it is entirely possible to have an all night party with hakuna matata vibes!
Where to stay:
We had just come from no aircon in 34 degree heat so treated ourselves to a bungalow in Kendwa Rocks hotel, where the Full Moon Party is held. We stayed there for the night of the full moon and the nights before and after. This was a nice luxury. The room was cool and even had a fridge for those pre party drinks (or much needed water the next morning!)
Kendwa is only 10 minutes from slightly cheaper Nungwi so staying there is also an option. Taxis from Nungwi are around 10,000 Tanzanian Shillings (around €5) for locals so don’t pay much more than this. Definitely don’t pay the 25,000 we were quoted once!
Book your stay through booking.com by clicking here and get us both €15 back on your booking.
What to do before the party:
While staying in Kendwa Rocks a rep booked us a table for the BBQ buffet on the beach that night. It had a great selection of seafood, meat and vegetables.
If you’re staying outside of Kendwa there’s probably no need to be there this early. My advice is spend the day relaxing on the beach. The party goes on late!
If you’re looking for something more active, check out my five unmissable activities in Zanzibar.
On a side note: if you are going snorkeling get it out of the way before the party. Don’t be one of the optimists that books it for the day after the party. You will end up cancelling and you won’t get your money back!
When the party kicks off:
If you opt for the buffet dinner there will be some entertainment towards the end of the meal. For us it was traditional African dancing. Once a crowd starts to form, a dance show begins. Usually Six Unit , a dance crew from Stone Town perform. They are seriously impressive and more than happy to keep the crowd dancing even after their performance. At one point the dance floor looked like one huge flash mob!
After the dance show there is usually a main performer. Last time we were treated to a reggae performer from Jamaica and local Tanzanian artist A.Y. Once the DJ starts everyone dances inside and on the beach. It’s very easy to spend the night wandering the beach, chatting to friends you’ve made (even if you’re only there a few days you are guaranteed to make 100 new friends!)
Before you know it your friends will be saying it’s time to go home, you’ll look around at an empty beach, realise it’s 7am and wish you could start the night all over again!
Need to know:
- The Full Moon Party is held in Kendwa on the north west of the island. It is usually held on the first Saturday after the full moon.
- Entry is free if you stay at the Kendwa Rocks hotel. If not it is 20,000 Tsh on entry.
- Cash is not accepted at the bar. You must get a resort card. When we visited it was a 2,000 Tsh deposit. We preloaded the card to do 4 of us for the night.
- Drinks are a bit more expensive than other bars. Cocktails were 12,000 Tsh (about €6). Beer will be less.
- Taxis to and from Nungwi are frequent. It’s a ten minute journey. We paid 10,000 Tsh thanks to our local friends but expect to bargain a little if the price is much more than that.
- You can walk to and from Nungwi along the beach but check the tides. Sometimes the beach gets cut off by the sea.
Looking to continue your Zanzibar adventure? Check out my guide to the best beaches in Zanzibar.
Have you been to Zanzibar’s Full Moon Party? Know of any other interesting Full Moon Party locations? Comment below and let me know!
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Photo credits to Carmel Brady and Catherine Sullivan as I left my phone in the room for the entire night and everyone else forgot to take photos. See? Zanzibar is just too much fun!