I was at Kervan Saray Beach lodge mid Oct 2013 when I went to Zanzibar and Pemba Islands on a diving trip, and I have to say it was nothing like what I expected. Although I knew the lodge and the dive centre is located in the greens, I didn't know it meant exactly that !
The manager, Deon took us on a short tour of the lodge and explained how everything worked. I fell in love with the deck by the ocean on the very first sight, I think I must have spent every free second (apart from diving & kayaking) at the deck, just reading my book, dozing off, watching the sunset. So peaceful !
So, the rooms or the bungalows are pretty basic with a thatch roof, and semi-open roof bathrooms, but it's the best that you can get in the middle of nowhere. If you scream at the sight of spiders and gekkos, this place isn't for you. But if you can truly appreciate the beauty of wilderness and untamed nature, you'll love this place and the tranquility it has to offer.
There's a big dinner table in the bar/restaurant area where all the guests eat their meals together, it's a really nice concept as you can get to know people from different walks of life.. and really you have to talk to your fellow-guests, coz otherwise you'll end up having conversations with the bush-babies haha..
I had my first taste of a real Swahili meal here at Pemba, and I absolutely loved it. I especially enjoyed the African spicy chai with ginger and cloves, really nice ! :)
The dive centre run by Swahili Divers is totally upto the mark. Instructor Darren talked us through the do's and dont's and everything else you should know about diving in Pemba in detail. That was extremely helpful. I went diving with Instructor Craig the next day, and I have to say he's a beyond-excellent dive guide. DM-in-training Issa was very helpful too.
Very professional and friendly guys, they make you feel at ease instantly, and you just know you're on for a great diving experience which I did. Although the currents were crazy strong in the second dive, it was good fun. You can't expect calm waters here, you're in Pemba !!
I went kayaking the next day, that was quite nice as well !
Before this whole adventure even started, I was in constant touch with Francisca through emails, and I have to say this trip wouldn't have been possible without her help. I knew zilch about diving and staying in Pemba, and Francisca literally held my hands through planning EVERYTHING - right from flights, equipment, finances..I had her input on everything. She's really prompt and extremely helpful. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see her as she was travelling, but hey there's always a next time.
Guys, if you are planning to go to Pemba Islands - Kervan Saray and Swahili Divers is the place you want to be at
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kervan Saray Beach Lodge is now the newly upgraded Gecko Nature Lodge a series of large airy bungalows beside the sea. Started as simple accommodation for divers , the Gecko Nature Lodge has evolved into a comfortable lodge for scuba divers, birders, sea kayakers, adventurous souls, as well as yoga retreat and a place to relax and unwind. An upgraded bar, pool, restaurant and expanded deck, allow our guests to really relax. new secret hideaways with Hammocks and DayBeds ahve been created providing privacy and serenity for our guests. The Hotel is also home to Swahili Divers, Pemba’s first PADI 5 star dive centre and recently the first RAID center, The Gecko Nature Lodge is owner managed 100% of the time ... more less
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