Yayyy! It had more than a year, but I finally booked a ticket to Zanzibar! My paradise happy place! I was in Zanzibar for 4,5 days 'only', so this post will be a simple overview of the few great places I went this time.
On first night we went to Kae Funk, in Michamvi. It is on the East-Coast of Zanzibar and on arrival we were greated by Bella, a 4 month old baby dikdik that became an orphan after people killed her mom and now lives at Kae Funk. She was the cutest ever!
We stayed in a beach room with a view on the palms and the bay. The rooms were lovely, I always love the Swahili style decoration and it was very clean too.
From the reception/bar and rooms to the beach is a 5 minute walk, on low-tide over the beach. With high-tide there is ankle height water.
On the beach is a perfect Zanzibarian beach-bar: cold drinks and fresh fruit cocktails (or juice) available, reggae music playing and hanging beds which were the best ever. But most important, the beach at Michamvi is amazing: pearly white sand, crystal blue water and palm trees everywhere. Besides, even though it being on the East-Coast, Michamvi is on Chwaka Bay which means it still has a sunset! Actually, the sunset is that good that people come to the beach bar just to see the sunset.
Totally worth it! To make it even better: it is possible to get food from Kae Funk served to the beach bar, but because it's a short walk this sometimes means it will be cooled down a bit. However, you should definitely give the Zanzibarian Pizza a try!
Even though it is not super close, if you have a car or a ride, you can go to the beach parties in Paje (I'd suggest Thursday:Jambiani, Friday:Jambo / Muzu's Place).
Upendo is located directly opposite the famous The Rock on the east coast of Zanzibar. I had already been to The Rock before and the restaurant is good, but a little overpriced maybe. So this time we went to Upendo, which is on the beach right in front of it.
Upendo actually has some amazing beach-view villas (where I really wanna stay next time!), but also a great lounge area with seats and an amazing black infinity pool that overlooks the beach. If you know me, I am not a big fan of swimming pools, especially not when I'm at the beach. But I have a thing for infinity pools with views and pools that don't look the typical sterile chlorine blue, so I actually loved this one!
But I think the best thing about Upendo is that they have sushi! Not a sushi-lover myself, but I know many people are and I can imagine eating sushi on a beautiful beach on Zanzibar would be enjoyable. I tried a coconut curry with prawns that was also not bad.
ZANZIBAR BANDAS, Matemwe
On Saturday we went to Matemwe, which is a bit more towards the North-East of the island. After crossing the cute village of Matemwe, you reach the boutique hotel that is next to the beach. This is another place where I would definitely stay next time since the bandas are actually right on the beach and it seemed to be a very quiet beach as well. There is a small but cosy area that has a restaurant, a view point and some sunbeds and hammocks around a small pool. It had a super relaxed atmosphere and I really liked how small it was kept. Even though I didn't swim, also this pool was not bad (for Nadi's pool standards, haha).
We had fresh juice and an AMAZING coconut prawn curry. This was truly one of the best I had, so good I actually ate the last sauce of the plate with my finger haha!
After that we had a small walk on the beach, where we met a fisherman that was literally slamming and beating up an octopus in the sand. Apparently, this will make the meat better and less chewy. It was weird and fascinating at the same time and we kept watching how he took the eggs out and cut it up for it to be dinner later that evening.
Another thing that I really enjoyed was the road back to the West coast, you cross the middle of the island seeing rice fields, monkeys, forest and lively villages. Especially with some stunning sunset colors filling the sky, I really enjoyed the drive.
FORODHANI GARDENS, Stone Town
Something that you can't miss out on when in Zanzibar is Forodhani Gardens in Stonetown. This night market close to the old time comes to live when the sun sets and offers some amazing local street food. You will probably read about this in every travel guide / blog / tourism centre, so I won't write a long post about this, but really try the Zanzibarian Pizza (folded pita pocket with all kinds of fillings available, I had the chicken one, loved it!), the seafood on a skewer and sugar cane juice.
It's a bit crowded, but the food is affordable and it's right next to the water so you can have a view of the sunset while the local boys dive off the dock so it's a whole experience on it's own you shouldn't miss out on!
6 DEGREES SOUTH/TATU, Stone Town
On my last night I really wanted to go out for a drink and we ended up going to 6 Degrees South, which is on walking distance from Forodhani Gardens. Its a bit of a fancy place, especially the restaurant but all the way on the top floor is an amazing rooftop bar. Again, I really like how the places in Zanzibar are not too crowded, especially now it was low season. Its also having an ocean view, but because it was dark I didn't see much of it that evening. But the outdoors breeze is all you need on the humid island nights. That night there was a DJ playing some real good afrobeats and the Moscow Mules were amazing too. However, 6Degrees doesn't stay open until very long. It's not really meant for clubbing I guess, or maybe because it was low season. So we went to the next place: Tatu, which is so nearby you can actually see it from the rooftop bar at 6Degrees.
Tatu (means 3 in Swahili), is the third floor of a building on which each floor is named a number (Moja = first floor and Mbili = second floor) its own kind of bar. However the most top bar Tatu seemed to be the most fun and has that same open idea like 6Degrees. Again, it was low season so it wasn't that packed but we had a really good time, making lots of new friends to have beers and shots with and enjoy the last night on this beautiful island.
And just a big thank you to my friend Vanessa that hosted me and showed me all the cool places to go and Miriam for being my party buddy! Asante!
A d v e n t u r e s o f
a D u t c h g i r l
i n E a s t - A f r i c a.