Two Weeks in Africa, Part 2: The Beach – Zanzibar

If you read our post Part 1 – The Safari, you know that we had an amazing week of game driving and were excited to continue our adventure in Zanzibar! I’ll share the details of our time in Zanzibar, including where we stayed, what we did, and what the cities were like. While our tour company offered to organize our excursions, we decided to play it by ear, which I recommend since it allows more flexibility.

Day 1: Nungwi

Thursday, May 21

  • Our driver met us at the Zanzibar Airport and drove us to Nungwi on the North Coast.
    • Note: the company let us pay an initial deposit and didn’t make us pay in full (which was really awesome, since we had to wire money and felt uncomfortable about that at first), so we briefly stopped in Stone Town to pay for the rest of our tour.
  • Nungwi was a great town that can be described as a great backpacking center with good scuba diving and many restaurants, bars and hotels.

    The beach is fantastic!
    The beach is fantastic! Check out that water
  • We stayed at the Amaan Bungalows, which wasn’t super nice (it was in the middle of repairs), but it was one of the only places open.
    • Note: Zanzibar is fairly shut down during the month of May for renovations; keep this in mind during your planning.
  • Our room was right on the water, giving us a beautiful view:

    amaan balcony
    We got to share the balcony with our friends!
  • That night while walking on the beach, a friendly man approached us about a snorkeling trip for very cheap. After showing us the boat – we agreed!

Day 2: Nungwi

Friday, May 22

  • We woke up nice and early to take our snorkeling trip.

    Well, it wasn't THAT early...
    Well, it wasn’t THAT early…
  • The water was perfectly clear and warm, and we had a lunch of fresh fish, rice and veggies.

Day 3: Kendwa, Nungwi

Saturday, May 23

  • After some morning yoga on the beach:yoga
  • We decided to explore the area and took a nice long walk down the west side. The rocky coastline made for gorgeous scenery.rock girls
  • We stumbled upon Kendwa, a great town with many restaurants and bars:swings boys
  • We also stopped at some of the many shops along the way.

Day 4: Paje

Sunday, May 24

  • This was technically the day our safari ended; however, we decided to spend a few extra days in Zanzibar to soak up the sun! We took a taxi to Paje on the Southeast coast.
  • We stayed at an adorable (and cheap!) hotel called Savanna & Ocean B&B in Paje.b&b use
  • It was a very short walk to the beach:paje swings
  • We even got to see some more animals!

    Our first (but not last) run-in with the beach cows
    Our first (but not last) run-in with the beach cows
  • Paje was much more relaxing and quiet than Nungwi and Kendwa.

Day 5: Paje & The Rock Restaurant

Sunday, May 24

  • We really wanted to check out the place I’ve seen so many times on Pinterest – the Rock Restaurant!
  • Our hotel offered free bikes, and when we asked the front desk manager how long it would take us to bike to the restaurant, he estimated about 20 minutes. “This sounds super doable,” we thought! Boy, were we wrong…

emily bike 1 emily bike 2

  • Note to self: do not always trust free bikes or time estimates from locals!!
  • After serious bike issues, many false alarms, hangry-caused arguments, and some swim breaks to beat the heat:

    Cooling off like his favorite animal, the hippo
    Cooling off like his favorite animal, the hippo
  • …we finally made it to the restaurant 2 hours later!rock restaurant porch rock restaurant the rock restaurant
  • It was a gorgeous, unique place with incredible views that were well worth the voyage. However, the food was a little pricey and not the best we’d had, so I would suggest taking a look but not necessarily grabbing food there.

Day 6: Paje

Tuesday, May 26

  • We spent one more day relaxing in Paje, taking in the beautiful scenery and culture

boat hammocks women carrying

  • We took a snorkeling trip in the morning from a very nice man who offered it to us on the beach. While it was beautiful, we were I was a little freaked out by the jellyfish and the snakes we saw!

Days 7-9: Stone Town

Wednesday night, May 27 – Friday, May 29

  • Pete treated us to the incredible Park Hyatt in Stone Town. You can read our review of it here. Given the luxury of our hotel, we barely stepped out of it. When we did, we were a bit shocked by how aggressive many people were. They all wanted to sell us something, whether it be art, goods, tours, or excursions. After a bit of exploration, site seeing and shopping, we retreated back to our hotel.

After Stone Town, we flew back to Tanzania and enjoyed the city for a night. We think our safari was absolutely perfect for our needs and highly recommend it to anyone!

Have any questions or advice? Please comment!

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