Kendwa – Zanzibar

14 June 2022

While preparing my stay in the Zanzibar archipelago, I understood that the north of Unguja was much less subject to the tidal phenomenon. It was more pleasant to stay there and be able to swim there all day long. I chose to stay in Kendwa, a little less “tourist factory” than Nungwi.

  • Accomodation

Wishing not to blow my budget, I chose the “Royal palm” hotel south of Kendwa beach. The big plus is that it’s out of the way so not a lot of tourist bustle. On the other hand, it’s well hidden from the road, my taxi had a lot of trouble finding it! I got about 200E for 4 nights (I paid partly in $ and partly in Tanzanian Shilling). On the other hand, they had taken me twice the first night of deposit, I had a lot of trouble making myself understood to readjust! Finally the problem was solved on the spot when I arrived.

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There is a restaurant and the breakfasts served are very good! Of course, on an island, they are dependent on arrivals. So there can’t be exactly the same products every day!

  • Surroundings

In the seaside villages of Zanzibar there are two worlds: that of tourists with the beautiful beaches, restaurants and tourist hotels. And then there is local life which has nothing to do with it. Besides, the two worlds do not really mix, which explains why the locals do not know the hotels and do not know how to indicate the direction.

However, on the beaches you will have beach boys who accost you and are not easy to avoid. And especially when you’re alone… So I avoided going in front of the resorts except for a few lunches, just to change!

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  • Mnemba island

This is THE tourist activity to do north of Unguja! This is a private island (Bill Gates mean anything to you?) included 6 hotel rooms. It is obviously overpriced for me… (more than 1000E per night) But it’s possible to approach it (but not to set foot there!) in order to take advantage of this sublime water and snorkeling.

I chose to take the day trip offered by Boss Dhow. That’s good because their (typical) boat is in Kendwa, 200m from my hotel!

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On the way to go to Mnemba there are often dolphins. So certainly they do not “hurry up” on the dolphins unlike the other boats present at that time. But they still come close. Personally I preferred to stay on the boat, not a big fan of that moment…

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Then we arrive at the edge of Mnemba and that we take full eyes!! Of course, we get into the water right away :). The very good meal is included in the offer and besides it’s really the best because most of the boats come only for the morning, we are quickly more than 2-3 (then alone) here. While arriving there are about fifteen boats present.

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Then we go to a small sandbank where we walk, it’s really very beautiful too, there are so many different shades of blue!

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Then we return to Kendwa and enjoy the sunset aboard the boat. The return to sail, without the noise of the engine, is really a must! If you are not staying in Kendwa, you can request round-trip transportation with a driver. Without transport I had for 130000TZS (about 50E). To know that I also asked them for a transfer to Stown Town (80000TZS) there and back, it was cheaper than the transfer offered by the hotel.

Big surprise for me, we don’t see the sunset until the end… In fact there is like a veil just above the water (pollution?) so the last seconds of the sun are hidden behind this veil…

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