After our jaw dropping Safari experience we boarded our flight to Zanzibar for a few days of sightseeing, fun and relaxation.
As we left mainland and headed out over the Indian Ocean the excitement set in. The views from above were breathtakingly beautiful. The sun glistening off the Turquoise blue ocean below, small reefs visible through the clear waters and local fishing vessels scattered all over.
Twenty minutes later as we prepared for landing we were treated to the amazing Zanzibar coastline and the hustle and bustle of Stone Town below.
Once on the ground, the humidity hits you like a freight train and if that’s not enough, the chaos inside the terminal building is an experience we will never forget. Taxi, Stone Town, here we come.
Our first Evening – Stone Town
We decided to treat ourselves to a Zanzibar 5 star experience by spending our first night at the Park Hyatt Zanzibar located on the water’s edge in the heart of Stone Town. Having just completed a safari, the Hyatt was exactly what the doctor ordered. Although elegant and stylish the history of Zanzibar was evident throughout its design & décor. And if that isn’t enough, the uninterrupted sunset over the ocean with your favourite thirst quencher will definitely blow your mind.
The evening was spent wondering through the towns’ labyrinth of streets and alleys, finally settling down for some traditional Swahili cuisine. Having learned Swahili during our time living on Zanzibar, communication was so much easier.
Staff and people are friendly, vibrant and always willing to try and sell you something. Trading for survival is a ‘way of life’.
You are awakened by the sounds of the ocean coupled with local fisherman either arriving from a night out on the ocean returning with their catch and those preparing their vessels for tourist charters. Island morning life at its best. With breakfast done and bags packed it was time for our trip north to the region of Nungwi.
The next morning – Ready, steady and Hi Ho it’s off to the North we go!
Leaving Stone Town winding your way through the dusty streets while dodging traffic is not for the feint hearted. Adrenaline flowing through your veins like that of a rally driver negotiating every turn.
Being avid golfers our first stop was Sea Cliff Hotel & Golf Resort. On Arrival your jaw drops at the panoramic views of the Indian Ocean, their infinity pools & immaculate tropical gardens. Bags dropped it was time to indulge in 9 holes on the Peter Matkovitch designed course. A sight to behold. From the Pro-shop to the Pristine, well maintained tropical course playing alongside the blue ocean. We concluded our round with a cold one in their beautifully situated ocean-side clubhouse. Island golf, ‘Bucket list’, ticked.
Time to settle in for an evening buffet filled with local island delicacies serenaded with local music alongside their lit up pool.
Island Golf Done – Nungwi here we come.
With breakfast done we loaded ourselves into our taxi for the next step of our whirlwind tour of Zanzibar. The coastal town of Nungwi was our next port of call. Known by some as Zanzibar’s own African style Riviera. Lined with its white beaches, hotels, bars & restaurants’.
Heading off the main road you venture through the local village lined with housing, craft shops and food stalls. The roads let you know you’re in Africa. Dusty, bumpy, and narrow but hey, that’s why we love Africa. It is imperfectly perfect.
Our choice of Hotel for our next stop-over, Z-Hotel. Bang in the middle of the Nungwi strip with its uninterrupted ocean views and close proximity to all that Nungwi has to offer. While you settle into an island cocktail watching the sunset you are reminded of the song, ‘Sail Away’ by David Gray. You find yourself leaving all of life’s worries behind. As you spend the evening on the water’s edge embracing the cool breeze whispering the Indian Ocean’s sound of silence. It’s then that you realize your ‘soul’ is at ease with the world.
Our 1st morning was spent wandering around the markets and stalls of Nungwi bartering ourselves in and out of everything local before we headed off to our next hotel, the well-known resort, namely La Gemma. Perched on top the cliff with a myriad of pathways winding their way down to their private beach and beautifully designed Jetty jutting out in the ocean. With their large choice of restaurants’ and bars La Gemma definitely has the ‘wow’ factor.
Nungwi Done – Matemwe in the North East and the Sunrise coast awaits
With the longest stretch of uninterrupted white beach on the island of Zanzibar peace and tranquillity is bound to be experienced. Our destination for 2 nights was called Zanzibar Retreat. What a gem!
When you arrive you are met by some of the friendliest staff you will ever encounter on the island. It definitely is a retreat and after the hustle & bustle of Nungwi, exactly what the holiday doctor ordered. Situated directly on the white sandy beach of Matemwe with a perfect view of Mnemba Island, the perfect boutique style hotel catering for all your needs.
Just when you think you’re in heaven, the proprietor Janne Hassiasalo will blow you away with an array of world class dishes for every palette. Janne showed us that true personalized hospitality and instant friendship does exist.
A very special place run by very special people where nothing is too much trouble.
As you depart be sure to catch up with the one and only Elvis the friendly pet goat.
Farewell Matemwe – Bweju in the south here we come
With a good 1h 30min drive ahead of us we settled back, windows open and took in the sights and towns as we ventured through, Kiwengwa, Pongwe, Uroa, and Chwaka Bay with a detour inland en-route to Jozani Forest to witness the famous Colobus Monkey’s before heading to our final destination.
Three hours later including the Jozani forest tour we arrived in Bweju and the amazing Zawadi hotel, part of the Zanzibar Collection. Arriving at Zawadi you are immediately left speechless. The hotel is nestled on a cliff with uninterrupted almost transparent sea views. If you are in need of five-star privacy then go no further. Zawadi has it all. Our private villa situated on the cliff edge could not have offered more than it did. Besides the pool and bar area, Zawadi’s key ingredient is their own private & secluded beach with amazing low-tide walks into the ocean and all day swimming.
Midnight blues? Never. The only blue you will experience is being surrounded by the azure blue Indian Ocean. It screams out, ‘just help yourself’, I’m yours for the taking. You are constantly reminded that there is heaven on earth. As the day the ends, you are treated to the most amazing dinner one could ever imagine in their main restaurant. A combination of local and international dishes found anywhere in the world. A truly world class experience.
With a heavy heart it was time to say ‘Kwa heri Zanzibar’, thank you for your amazing and unforgettable African hospitality.
‘We will be back’.
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