After our already adventuresome and fabulous holiday so far in Tanzania, we were all very excited to see what our beach, chilled holiday in Zanzibar would hold in store for us!
If you’ve just happened upon this post without reading Week 7, here’s a brief recap:
Mikumi National Park
The girls and I went to Mikumi National Park, Tanzania, for the start of our girls holiday. We were incredibly fortunate with the animal sightings we saw, had some interesting adventures with our accommodation and then headed to Dar es Salaam port where we hopped on a ferry bound for Zanzibar….
On arrival in Zanzibar, we left the ferry, passing through immigration, and were met outside by our driver who took us on the 1-hour drive up to Nungwi – our home for the next few nights.
Although it was not planned this way, we were now heading for Night #4, Bed #4. Hopefully no disasters with this accommodation awaited us – we really wanted to unpack a bit and completely relax.
Once again a huge amount of research was done into where we should stay on the island. Lots of people gave lots of different advice, but we eventually settled on Nungwi after being told that it’s vibey enough for us to head out in the evenings to not be hotel-bound 100% of the time, but it’s also quiet enough to lie on the beach / by the pool and chill out completely. We settled on Flame Tree Cottages, and upon arrival (in the dark) we already started thinking that this looked to be the perfect place. We’d booked a double room cottage that had an adjoining common room, and a terrace out front where we’d eat breakfast each morning, overlooking the swimming pool.
Night time arrival
The common room
One of the adjoining rooms
We dumped our bags, did a quick freshen up, and headed out along the beachfront to find a dinner spot… and settled on a place where we sat at tables literally in the sand right on the shore! It was amazing!
We weren’t too worried about getting an early night, but by the time dinner was done we were all beat and headed off to bed… all eagerly awaiting sunrise for a proper view of the lodge!
And boy were we happy when we saw it in the morning – while we sat eating breakfast on our terrace, that is served to us right there! They provide a menu that you tick off how many of each item you’d like, and they bring it all to your table – fruit, muesli, eggs, fruit juice, pancakes.
And from here, well, other than that Zanzibar is absolutely gorgeous – white beaches, clear bluewaters, totally chilled, friendly people – there isn’t much to say about our time here. We took chill to a whole new level – I finished a book in 3 (THREE) days! We spent our days either lazing by the pool, or on the beach, or in the hammocks by the cottage (that was my favourite thing to do 🙂 )
Flame Tree Cottages
Masai walking on the beach
The pool at the lodge
Cows on the beach!
Excellent souvenir market
Part of Flame Tree Cottages
We did venture way out one evening for dinner – we had been told of this place called The Rock so after looking into it a bit and deciding that it looked amazing, we made a booking online, arranged transport through the restaurant and waited for them to collect us. We had been told that if the tide is out when you get there, then you can walk to the restaurant. If it’s not, then you have to take a little boat. The pictures online gave us a vague idea of what we were in for, but I don’t think any of us expected it to be what we saw when we got there. Absolutely WOW!
Literally a rock out in the middle of the sandbank – which would be covered by water when the tide is in – and a restaurant on top of the rock. It’s small, with only about 15 tables available and worth the little bit extra that you pay for your meal (bearing in mind that all food & drinks that we’d had so far had been considerably cheap, especially compared to Dubai prices – e.g. US$2 for a beer.) The only downfall for our particular visit – it took 2 hours to get there, travelling at breakneck speeds, and slightly more than that to get back (we insisted that our driver slow down numerous times as the roads are not lit up, and are rather dangerous in most places). And you then only spend about 2 hours eating, drinking, stargazing, chatting, procrastinating until you have to head back.
Views from The Rock
Inside The Rock
After 4 nights in Nungwi, we decided to spend our last night of holiday in Stone Town – our flight was reasonably early the next day and we wanted to try avoid a 4am start time, and then an hour drive from Nungwi to the airport… so yet another bed to be staying in, but at least we’d get to see a new place, and we were all very relaxed from 4 days of gorgeous beach.
JPEG & Nat researched Stone Town to death and eventually settled on Tausi Palace as our final holiday home – very near the centre of Stone Town and close to just about everything to see and do.
One of the rooms
We decided to get picked up in the morning of our last full day and head to Prison Island for some snorkelling and to see the giant tortoises, and then be dropped off at our hotel. The tortoises were interesting to see at that size, but we were all put off by how people have no idea of personal space / care for the animals as they climb inside the tortoise enclosures and touch and play with the tortoises to get their ‘perfect photo’. The snorkelling was pretty good – extremely clear waters and lots of tiny little fish, but not much coral around, and lots of sea urchins…. careful where you put your feet!
After that little bit of fun in the sun we headed over to Tausi Palace, again dropping off bags and freshening up, and then headed out for some sightseeing and lunch. We found a place called Tatu which is meant to be one of the hippest, most vibey places to go at night in Stone Town, and as a lunch venue it fared really well with great food and super friendly service.
Views from Tatu
Dinner on our last night had to be a bit of a special treat and so we ventured into the alleys and pathways of Stone Town as we headed for House of Spices – renowned for it’s rooftop terrace views, wood fired pizza oven and great service. On our way there we did a small tour of Stone Town, getting in some local sights and sounds of the small town vibe.
Stone Town alleyways
Typical style buildings
Freddy Mercury’s house
Kids frolicking in the water
CRAZY kids jumping off the edge, into the water
Lining up for their turn
After getting supremely lost in the small alleys and eventually finding our way, we all arrived at dinner thirsty and starving. And once again on this Tanzanian getaway of ours, we were not disappointed by the food! We ordered a bunch of different meals to share which was a perfect way to do things – from a mezze platter and cheese pizza to start off with, to fried seafood, lamb stew and desserts…. this was an absolute win!
House of Spices
But it was now time to head back to the hotel, do our final bits of packing up and head to the airport at 7am the next morning, to make our way back to Dubai.