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Where to stay? How to move? Zanzibar help!

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Where to stay? How to move? Zanzibar help!

Dear TripAdvisor members,

Happy New Year to all of you!! Thanks for contributing to this great site!

I am planning to go one week to Zanzibar at the end of January and I must say....I am a little bit lost! There are a lot of conflicting opinions about where to stay and the quality of the hotels!

I wanted to go to Baby Bush in Kiwengwa, because I am not fan of big resorts with private beaches, I prefer when it is owned by local people. But I heard that the tide is important everywhere except the north.

I want to relax on the beach and swim, of course! But also do a little bit of something else, like visiting a little bit the island (Stone Town and villages), I guess there's plenty to see. And also a few water activities (snorkeling, ...).

So here are my questions:

1. Do you have any comment about Kiwengwa? Is the beach nice? It seems that there are things to do around, right?

2. Can we still swim a few hours per day in Kiwengwa?? Or is it difficult? Or is it easy to stay in Kiwengwa and reach other beaches by transportation (Dalla-dalla)?

3. In general, is it easy to move on the island? The distances seem small and I've seen that there's affordable public transportation.

4. Would you suggest to split: a few days in Kiwengwa / a few days in Kendwa? Or somewhere else?

5. Any advice for hotels? My budget is around 30-40$ per person. Anyone tried the Baby bush? And in the north, what about Les toits de plame?

6. Any great tip? ;-)

Thanks a lot in advance for your answers!!!


Zanzibar Island...
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1. Re: Where to stay? How to move? Zanzibar help!


is my hope that you are doing well,and you celebrate a new year as you can.

am very glad to see your request and questions to day,but very sorry fof being late to late you earlier.

kendwa is 55km from Zanzibar town and kiwenga is 40km as well.

batter stay at north kendwe because you need to swim and water is too close to hotel,end at kiwengwa where water is not more close to hotel,so you could able to relax in a peaceful and clean beach shoe.here at kiwengwa is very close to spice firms compered from kendwa...for excursion it depend where you want to back.

my advice stay and relax b4 staring excursions and end up your trip in town because it is easy to plan for any excursion from town to, with public transport.all to do are possible and in lowest price from town..thanks

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2. Re: Where to stay? How to move? Zanzibar help!

I saw this place when I was reading the most recent reviews on here on Zanzibar - tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g616019-d1…

We're not staying there but it is on one of the nicest beaches and gets good reviews.

Calgary, Canada
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3. Re: Where to stay? How to move? Zanzibar help!

Hi ASwisss,

First be aware that TA is not a good place to get reliable information as it has become a place for soliciting new clients. Check contributors and do not trust anyone.

It seems that you have already made up your minds as you are very specific about where to stay. I would say it is wrong place but it is only my oppinion.

Forget about swimming a few hours a day in the ocean. Most beaches are not like that.

You should be able to find really good accomodation for your budget. We travelled as a couple and paid 70 euro for room with breakfast for two of us in an excellent villa (they call it resort but it is villa with 5 rooms).

Forget about visiting villages. They are really poor and when they look at you, you do not feel welcome. Also there is nothing to see and your interest in local culture may be considered offensive.

Forget about using dalla-dalla. I have seen a lot of them running around but I would not use them unless I am on really, really tight budget. Distances may seem to be short, but they are not. There is no difference between one village or the other so seeing one is good enough.

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4. Re: Where to stay? How to move? Zanzibar help!


I agree with the others about swimming. If you want to swim all day go to Kendwa or the South beach at Nungwi (in front of Nungwi Inn you can swim all day). Depending on the tides (the times change every day) if you stay on the East Coast you may be lucky and have some sea by around 2pm. If you are not so lucky you may have the sea at 9am and then not again until around 5pm. And it can be very hot and humid!

Wherever you choose, you will probably have power and water cuts.

Re visiting villages. We found Nungwi not so friendly and tourism to be quite separate from the locals. However, Jambiani, on the East Coast was very different. Here, the villagers are still able to use the beach (fishing, seaweed farming, kids playing on the beach and the all important football!) so we found it much more friendly. There are some small shops in the village you can use (just remember to cover up when leaving the beach). You can also do village tours there if you are interested.

I did not go in a dalla dalla - they are pretty basic and often crowded. However, it depends on what you are used to. We travelled by taxi from place to place. It is not that easy to move around and the roads aren't that great.

I recommend you spend a couple of nights in StoneTown. The small alleys are interesting to wander around and there is a vibrant market there in addition to a few sights.

Edited: 10:26 am, January 12, 2013
Zanzibar Island...
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5. Re: Where to stay? How to move? Zanzibar help!

my dear Zanzibar is my home place.how ever i do not understand each and every thing in every where,(am not perfect)BUT kindly just come to visit and all you planed is possible in a right time....we have what you need in our island according to your budget plan...city with stone town tour,trip to spices firms.Jonzani tour where rare spices of red mankies are available...trip to small island like prison island...cultural tour as well as swahili cooking tour are possible within one week and enough time to relax in different beaches.

not only that but even night life now a day is much possible in Zanzibar...

You are warmly and most welcome in spices island of Zanzibar.


dullah b.

Calgary, Canada
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6. Re: Where to stay? How to move? Zanzibar help!

Dullah, it is great that you love so much your island.

I had hoped to see it through your eyes but what I have seen is:

fallen roof at the only pier you have in a small park you call Forodhani Gardens or so,

fallen roof on what could be a nice building called House of Wanders

closed Sultan's Palace in desparate need of maintenance

old fort and slaves market the same

Stone Town tour will consist of visiting the above places.

Zanzibar is advertised as a mixture of various cultural influences. None to see, especially not Arab one.

few shops all selling the same very limited number of items (btw. there are no shops with women clothing and women are the biggest money spenders).

Out of 3 restaurants at the beach front only Livingstone is selling beer.

Zanzibar Island...
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7. Re: Where to stay? How to move? Zanzibar help!

Alll i will say to you is that welcome to zanzibar as most of thing have been said by some of the contributers

Zanzibar Island...
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8. Re: Where to stay? How to move? Zanzibar help!

Hi....is my hope again that you are doing well,your family and your duties too.

am very glad to write this page again...what i mean is that:...you can see cars with the same shape from the same country but different in price,it depend on where that cars are going to be sold....it means that what you can see at your home through any media is not equally/same as in physical presentation of yours....stone town is a WORLD HERITAGE SITE(UN,2001)them,they knows much until they called it WORLD HERITAGE SITE..(HOT POT OF CULTURAL SITE).

CULTURE is a complex whole which includes,,, knowledge,believes,art,moral,custom,law,education and all things required by a man as a member of society...so culture it can be seen and touched at the same time it can be untouchable and invisible but explained by people who knows the reality.

you name among the place in stone town that you could see it in stone town tour,but all of that are varied in different aspect and it is not much far because it is a site selected(as land reclamation were made in the site )...beer are available even if not simple like you feel.this is because Zanzibar colonized by Arab that's why they protect Islamic culture(people are not drink open as well as beer are not selling in open and in many place)but if you need, it possible all the time,(not far from forozan garden)...Sultan palace(house of sultan,1804-1856)House of wounder(sultan barghash,son of first sultan,1870(1883)1888) and Old fort are three different house with the different things and historical back ground....even Pentagon was fallen out but now there is...look at this again...stone town is not a city tour is a stone town tour spacial just to see historical house and their back ground of Arabs,Indians,German as well as British and indigenous themselves,how the structure is and what is there right now.

In stone town there are ANGLICAN CHURCH,TIP TIP HOUSE,KING AND QUEEN MARKET,LONG,SHORT AND NARROW STREET,WHITE HOUSE,HIGH CORT,etc....door are in different style...women are in the street and in shops it depend on time,place and age....


dullah b.

Calgary, Canada
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9. Re: Where to stay? How to move? Zanzibar help!


Sorry if you find my coments offensive. Did not mean to.

I simply do not understand such a lack of care for public property. Things are falling apart yet it looks like nobody cares.

Somebody has nicely stated that locals are not embeded in the tourism industry and you can see that everywhere and I would add that they maybe even see tourists as a nuisance.

Ottawa, Canada
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10. Re: Where to stay? How to move? Zanzibar help!


You did not mean to be offensive? Really?

I have been reading your posts on this forum and much of it is offensive, but this thread is downright insulting. Not to mention totally unhelpful to the OP.

Your comment that TA is not a good place to get reliable information highlights your ignorance. Yes there is good and bad, but look to the destination experts and others who have hundreds or thousands of posts. They are not soliciting, but giving up their time to help fellow travellers.

The villages were poor…Really? Did you do any research before you booked your trip to Africa? Maybe if you had you would have decided on a different destination…like Vancouver or Las Vegas.

ASwisss, I hope you can disregard Drago’s diatribe and I am sure you will get lots of great advice on this forum and have an amazing trip to Zanzibar.

And especially Dullah, I am embarrassed that these comments are coming from a fellow Canadian. Please know that the vast majority of us that get the opportunity to visit your island will love it, and enjoy the opportunity to learn about your history and culture.