Together with fellow-blogger Vetexbart, we decided to go on an adventure and ended up on a beautiful island off the coast of Tanzania. Cheap flights out of Luxemburg gave us an opportunity to visit Zanzibar, even if it were just for a little while. Originally our plan was to spend 4 days at our destination, which included visiting Stone Town & relaxing at Paje beach, however one of our flights was cancelled due to technical issues and we ended up spending 24 hours in Munich before continuing our journey. Three good things came of this: the Leonardo Royal hotel is a hotel I’d recommend staying, a complimentary upgrade to business class and European Regulation 261 which grants us €600 each in case of a long delay.
How I came across these cheap flights? You should really start following some of the best travel deal websites.
The arrivals hall at Zanzibar’s Kisauni airport was one of the more basic ones I’ve ever been to, so after making our way through immigration (50 USD on-arrival visa) and waiting for our bags polé polé style, we got in a local taxi and went straight to the hotel in Paje, located on the east coast of Zanzibar and known for being a popular kite-surfing spot. We didn’t book our transport in advance and paid 45 USD for the one hour drive, which we thought was quite reasonable.
For our 3 night stay, we had booked the Dhow Inn on a half board rate, a relatively small and cozy hotel with 28 rooms, 3 pools, pool table, ping pong, massages (25USD / 30min). I was pleasantly surprised by this hotel & its staff and would recommend it for people who are looking for a relaxing, no frills, decent holiday at a idyllic location. The room was clean & the food basic, but good.
We had breakfast at the hotel, sparkling wine included, but for lunch you might want to check out the nearby Mr. Kahawa café, they serve nice snacks, smoothies, caffeinated drinks and other stuff, but no beers unfortunately. A great spot to enjoy the view in a laid-back setting. Only 800m from the Dhow Inn.
For transportation options, if you’re looking to rent a bike, you can do so at the beach bar in front of the Dhow Inn, we paid 10.000 TZS (€4) and didn’t bother negotiating. For reference, beers are 5.000 TZS… try the local “Kilimanjaro”
The Rock restaurant is, you guessed it, located on a rock in the ocean, when tide is low you can walk all the way, but otherwise a boat will bring you there. The food was ok, we both had lobster, but this place is all about the scenic fifthy shades of blue views. And overly-alcoholic cocktails. I’d skip the Long Island Ice-Tea if I were you and go straight for the Dawa, made with Konyagi, honey, ice & tonic water. The return trip to the Rock restaurant, something you should visit during your trip to Zanzibar, was 35 USD and arranged by the hotel.
I’ll leave the judging to you, but as you can tell by the pictures, it’s safe to say that Zanzibar is truly a picture-perfect holiday destination. I was expecting a mediocre hotel at best, horrible internet and perhaps annoying beach vendors, none of this was correct, this place is a real gem.
We visited in March, apparently rain season in Zanzibar, we did see some clouds in the mornings coming from the West but by the time they reached Paje, all skies were clear again. I’m sure the island has more pristine beaches to offer, together with amazing snorkling opportunities, but let’s keep that for next time!