The charm of Jambiani Beach in Zanzibar is that it simply sits at the edge of where the coconut palms stop swaying and meets the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. I know that sounds like something out of a travel document, but it’s a fact that the beaches in this area are semi-secluded and have been the host to people of every walk of life – presidents to royalty and owners of corporations to normal citizens from Wyoming. Jambiani is warm and welcoming and the locals go out of their way to make you feel at home. Welcome to Zanzibar – it’s here where you’ll finally get away from it all.
Bed and breakfasts have rooms located directly on private beaches. Restaurants located directly overhead the beach overlooking the lagoon. Offshore from Nungwi lies on Mnemba Island a privately owned luxury resort with water sports available. Nungwi is an important traditional dhow building center. If you are driving there is private parking. And to see a dhow built is worth the trip. Take your camera.
Hotels have a friendly, quiet and very relaxing atmosphere. If you like sunshine, white sandy beaches and nothing more energetic to do than carry your bag down to the beach, then this is perfect place for you. If you look for 5 star service or facilities then you might find some shortfalls however if you see the hotels.
The weather here is typical for this area of the world – tropical, humid, and sometime pretty hot. But know that there are ocean breezes that keep things cool. As you stay, know that the locals continue their lives of fishing and collecting to sell, make a living.
And yes, you may be approached by some of the young people for tips or even a handout. Poverty is an issue in some areas even though tourism has really helped the whole island of Tanzania.
The nearby Lobe Waterfalls actually tumble into the ocean, a totally unique sight. You can also visit Pygmy villages in the area. You will really be surprised to see the enormous difference in the Indian Ocean tides. While at high tide, you can swim straight from the bar, at low tide you can walk for miles over the white sands and see the local women growing their seaweed.
Many places are locally owned and managed providing mid-range accommodation. There are other hotels in close proximity which give alternative places to eat, as well as the possibility of taking meals with local people in their homes.The hotels have swimming pools, surrounded by beautiful gardens. Guides for history tours show up at your hotel, elegant in an ankle-length white robe, a traditional embroidered Muslim cap and a trim beard, looking hardly the part of a dissident. You can choose among special fresh caught seafood meals or from an extensive – la carte menu at most restaurants.