A new trip to Zanzibar
We – Ellen and Marloes – are going on a study trip to Zanzibar this week. Here we are going to visit new hotels and lodges, discover idyllic spots and the beautiful culture.
Sunday, November 6
Today we flew with KLM directly from Amsterdam to Zanzibar. It was already evening when we arrived. It is 2 hours later here than in the Netherlands, so fortunately we don’t have a jet lag! We were picked up at the airport by the driver from The Swahili House. He took us to the hotel in Stone Town where we went to sleep after a drink.
Monday, November 7
This morning we had a delicious breakfast on the roof terrace of The Swahili House. Then we went on a city tour through Stone Town with our guide Taib. This tour took us through all kinds of narrow streets and across the market. The market vendors here sell everything from spices to octopuses! During this tour we also visited several hotels. Some hotels are familiar and others were new. We had a delicious lunch at Emerson on Hurumzi and we visited Jafferji house. A unique, boutique hotel in the heart of Stone Town.
In the afternoon, we take a cab to travel to Kizimkazi. This is a village on the south coast of Zanzibar. Here we are staying at Karamba Resort. A nice, small-scale and cozy little paradise on earth. We had barely put down our stuff when Helen, our local agent in Zanzibar, was already standing in front of us. We had to hurry, because the sailing boat for the sunset cruise was about to leave. It was a beautiful cruise along the south coast that we enjoyed while having a tropical drink.
Tuesday, November 8
This morning we explored the beautiful Karamba Resort and had nice conversations with the owner. After that we were picked up for a bike tour. On our bikes we explore Zanzibar’s largest village Makunduchi. We cycled through plantations, past houses, schools and tasted fruit. It was fun to witness authentic village life and experience it in a different way, on a bike! After the bike tour, we went on a hotel inspection along the southeast coast, in the village Jambiani. At the end of the day, we took a wonderful dive in the Indian Ocean. After that we had dinner on the beach under the light of the full moon.
Wednesday, november 9
We woke up this morning at the wonderful Sharazad Boutique Hotel. A sustainable, charming hotel with beautiful, spacious rooms. They also serve fantastic food here. Today we visited many accommodations in Jambiani on the beautiful white sandy beaches of Zanzibar’s southeast coast. It is vibrant and authentic here with many water sports centers, bars, restaurants and little stores. Furthermore, today we talked with our local partners. Very nice to meet them in real life!
Thursday, November 10
Another day with many different appointments in Paje. Paje is vibrant with a cozy kite and backpacking atmosphere. Behind the coastline there are accommodations, kitesurfing centers and restaurants. You will find many stores where you can buy nice souvenirs or clothes. There are a lot of new “food courts”: small squares surrounded by street food stalls. Paje has beautiful beaches and a good atmosphere and is not really suitable for the peace-seeker ;).
We also discovered new family houses near Bwejuu. Curious? We’ll keep you posted! We sleep tonight in the relaxed and simple Bellevue Guesthouse.
Friday, November 11
We left the southeast coast and drove to the northeast coast. This is the quieter part of the island. Matemwe has more small-scale accommodations on wide white sandy beaches. Kiwengwa has larger resorts and watersports centers. In both towns we checked out new places and “old” familiar addresses. We had a delicious lunch at Zanzibar Pearl!
We ended the day at one of our favorite places: the small-scale and personal Hodi Hodi. It was really nicee to finally meet the very hospitable and sweet Julia in real life! A dinner by moonlight: we could not imagine a better ending of the day!
Saturday. November 12
Already the last day on Zanzibar… After a beautiful sunrise on the east coast, we enjoy breakfast. We’ve been spoiled the last few! There was always fresh fruit juice, coffee or tea, fruit (like mango, papayas, pineapple, passionfruit, watermelon). We often get the choice between eggs with toast, yoghurt with muesli or pancakes. We say goodbye to Julia at Hodi Hodi (one of our favourite spots on the northeast coast) and cross the island towards the southwestern coast. We drive through villages and past markets. On both sides of the road we see rice fields and many plantations.
Nice changes have been made at Fumba Beach Lodge recently. The bar area has been nicely refreshed with beanbags and more seating areas. Good to see this with our own eyes. It was nice to speak to our friend Edwin (the owner) again. Fumba was our last stop and then we went to Zanzibar Airport for the flight back home.
It was a beautiful, informative and interesting week! See you soon Zanzibar! :-)