Zanzibar: Our Guide to Nungwi

Nungwi is located at the northern end of Zanzibar, a village known for it’s stunning white sand beaches and clear blue sea – the perfect place to relax in the sunshine, swim in the sea and taste some amazing sea food!

After spending the previous few days in Stone Town we booked a taxi to take us to Nungwi. We booked our taxi through the same company who organised our tour to Prison Island and Nakupenda Beach. They were efficient, friendly and easy to contact. Feel free to add the main man on WhatsApp if you’re heading to Zanzibar – don’t worry, we asked if we could share his number!

WhatsApp Name: Zanzibar 38

Number: +255 777 415 384

The drive to Nungwi takes around an hour to an hour and a half dependent on traffic, however we felt like the time flew by. The drive takes you through some of Zanzibar’s remotest villages. It was amazing to see the local schools, shops and businesses, we would have loved to have got out and explored further, but watching the world go by was good enough!

While in Nungwi we stayed the Ebony & Ivory Beach Bungalows located directly on the beachfront! Upon arrival there was a little confusion as it turns out the bungalows don’t actually have a reception, but luckily we were able to speak to an adjacent accommodation who called the owners for us to speak to.

Once we’d found our room and got our stuff sorted we had a knock on the door from Laura, one of the co-owners of the bungalows, who told us everything we needed to know about the area and the bungalows – most importantly where breakfast was! She was really friendly and made us feel welcome after a rather confusing start.

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The bungalows themselves were quite basic, but perfect for us to shower and rest our heads after a long day on the beach. Breakfast was delicious with fresh fruit and mango juice followed by eggs of your choice or chocolate pancakes (FYI: Unfortunately chocolate doesn’t mean Nutella but chocolate sauce –  although they’re still delicious).

The best thing about the bungalows had to be the location. You could walk out of your front door and be on the beach! Furthermore, the beach is lined with restaurants – so take your pick!

After arriving we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing on some sun beds we discovered not too far from the bungalows – turn right and stop when you reach Smiles Beach Hotel. If you’re looking for some shade then we suggest this is the place to go as shade can be limited. You can use the sun beds all day for $5, with access to the sea, a pool, hammocks and a bar, what more could you need?!

Top tip: We’d suggest staying on the beach until after sunset, Zanzibar has some of the most beautiful sunsets we’ve ever seen!

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For dinner we’d been recommended Mamma Mia on Nungwi beach. Mamma Mia has a great atmosphere and view over the sea. Serving a range of food straight from the BBQ to pastas and pizza. To start we both went for the Caprese salad and we have to say it was a little disappointing – the mozzarella was not what the Italians would call mozzarella. But, the main event was the pizzas. Many people saying they were the best pizzas in Nungwi and we’d have to agree. We ended up visiting more than once!

So, if you’re going to visit Mamma Mia make sure to go for the pizzas and maybe swap a starter for a desert. We’ve heard many good things about the Gelato! Or, if you’re like us swap the starter for a cocktail, we can highly recommend the passion fruit mojito.

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Over the next few days we explored the beaches, sunbathed and swam in the sea. We have to say the prettiest beaches are on the left when leaving the bungalows. We walked over an hour one day just taking in all the beautiful sites and finally finding a spot to relax. As we mentioned before shade can be limited on the beaches, in the morning the rocks tend to offer some cover yet this disappears towards the afternoon. Not perfect for the fair skinned – we have to admit we did curl ourselves up into some tight spots under the rocks for a bit of shade, joining the crabs and lizards at the same time!

Furthermore, be careful where you choose to stop, at around 1/2 in the afternoon we found the tide started to come in rather than going out! Meaning for a few hours the secluded bit of the beach we found became even more secluded and was cut off from the rest of the shore. Luckily the tide didn’t come the whole way into the bit of beach we’d chosen – otherwise we would have been floating back to shore on our watermelon lilo!

In addition to beaches Nungwi also offers a few trips, from snorkelling to sunset cruises there’s many things to do if you feel like more of an adventure. However, if like us you just want to put your feet up for a while and (try to) catch a tan then you can do exactly that!

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