Nungwi, Tanzania
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Nungwi Hotels

If a white sandy beach overhung by palm trees stretching into the distance is your idea of paradise, look no further than Nungwi, a secluded fishing village on the northern tip of Zanzibar. Traditional wooden dhow fishing boats sway in the clear turquoise shallows and straw-roofed dwellings crown the coves. But there is more to do in Nungwi than just soak up the rays. Luxury hotels by the waterside cater to every need, while unspoilt coral reefs cry out to be explored by snorkelers and scuba divers. Meanwhile, visitors have the rare privilege of being able to see up close the island’s native sea turtles.

Things to see

Head to the landmark that helps you keep your bearings, the lighthouse, and find below it the Mnarani Marine Turtle Conservation Pond. Here you can help feed sea turtles being rehabilitated after being caught up in fishing nets and, if you’re lucky enough to be visiting on a turtle release day, follow them on their homeward journey down the beach to the sea. Walking further along the sun-kissed sands you’ll encounter the village boat yard where the local fishermen build and repair their traditional dhow craft. Linger until sunset to capture on camera the fleet heading out en masse to go night fishing, their distinctive triangular sails angled in unison. Then, if you’re feeling adventurous, try some night-time scuba diving among the reef, safely overseen by one of the nearby dive centres. Or, if you prefer to relax, lie back with a glass of wine as you are taken on a sunset cruise on a dhow.

Hotels in Nungwi

Luxury hotels in Nungwi are dotted along the shore, invariably providing rooms that have terraces or verandas directly adjacent to the glittering blue ocean, so your view will be breathtaking. Hotels offer spa treatments, outdoor pools, and a range of bars and restaurants. Rooms include air-con, satellite TV, and free WiFi as standard. If you’re on a budget, tucked a bit further back from the beach in the sun-dappled shade is a range of high-standard guesthouses, some with restaurants, bars and swimming pools of their own.

Where to stay

Many of the hotels to the west of Nungwi beach reside on the open shoreline, so if a shadier spot is what you’re after try those hotels to the east, tucked away on the more forested shore of Banda Kuu. All hotels are just off the main road route south to Stone Town and the airport or ferry, and all are within a short drive of the centre of Nungwi and its shops, bars and restaurants.

How to get to Nungwi

Nungwi is approximately a 90 minute drive from Zanzibar’s Abeid Amani Karume International Airport, near Stone Town. The airport is served by flights from Dar es Salaam and other East African and Middle Eastern cities. Seasonally, it receives direct flights from some European cities. A ferry service also runs between Dar es Salaam and Stone Town. Many hotels in Nungwi provide a pick-up service on request. Taxis and hire cars are available. For the more adventurous, the island’s distinctive share taxis, or dala-dalas, are a way of getting around.

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