Mchanga is a lovely beach resort of just a few rooms in quite an isolated spot in NE Zanzibar.
Gloria and Thomas have got a great set-up and the rooms are comfortable with nice little touches like baskets for beach towels, sarongs to use on the beach and morning tea waiting outside your room when you wake up.
The drive through the fishing village next to the resort was an eye-opener for us as this was the first time we saw the basic living standards of the Zanzibaris. After seeing more of the island we realised that this is life for most of the islanders and although very different to Western standards, the children go to school and are well fed and the area is clean, people work the land or the ocean.
The beaches on this part of the island have beautiful powdery white sand - we'd never seen anything like it before. The coast here does have the reef nearby which means when the tide is out [for most of the day] the water is bathwater warm but only knee deep - it's just something you have to accept. We tried to snorkel when it was high tide but only saw seaweed and sea urchins. Not sure if others had more success and we could've booked a trip to the nearby reef if were desperate, which we weren't! It was very easy to do nothing all day and stay at the lodge - a great way to relax for a few days and forget about the world.
Mchanga's food is excellent - combining Zanzibar spicing and local produce with more Western ingredients. We thought the chefs did a great job. The staff were friendly although their English was limited so conversation was difficult but that was ok.
Everything was very clean and well-ordered. Service in the bar was unbelievably slow and some things seemed a bit random [e.g. we were given afternoon tea one day but then never again, unless we asked] but this is Africa after all and it didn't detract from the lodgings.
There are hardly any other resorts on this area of beach so once you're in Mchanga, you really have to eat there but trips to other parts of the island are easy to arrange via Gloria. We had a little hassle when we walked on the beach but if we went swimming there was no problem and if you retain a sense of humour and a firm tone - it's fine!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Karibu, Close your eyes, imagine silence interrupted only by the sea and the sound of coconut trees, white sandy beach and peace...welcome to Mchanga of Zanzibar. We are located 40 minutes from Stone Town on the north east of the island between the Matemwe and Pwani Mchangani villages where there is no presence of large hospitality establishments. Mchanga in swahili means sand, therefore our paths, the floor of our restaurant and bar is made with the same white sand of the beach....at your arrival you will be asked to remove your shoes and wear them again only at your departure. Our only purpouse is to make you feel comfortable and pamper you with the luxury of simplicity. Recharge your batteries by enjoying the tranquility of our location, the food of our restaurant, the selection of our cocktails and an extensive menu of treatments and massages. Every boungalow has been decorated with local patterns and motives made by locals; satellite tv, A/C, comfortable beds and all the amenities to make your stay even more enjoyable. We do provide a number of services such as private transportation from and to the airport, excursions to the various points of interest of the island...everything to make your stay hassle free. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mchanga Beach Hotel Zanzibar