At the quiet and unspoiled south-western tip of Zanzibar lies a rare gem of peace and tranquillity – Unguja Lodge in Kizimkazi mMkunguni. Built in harmony with its natural surroundings, the lodge is situated between coastal bush mland and abundant baobab and mango trees. Organic by design, the use of predominately local materials gives the property a distinct, authentic character, which is simple yet luxurious. The villas offer space and privacy. Two of the twelve units are family houses, with either three or four en-suite bedrooms. Most of the other ten units can also accommodate up to four guests and are ideal for families. The lodge is at the heart of a precious ecosystem, rich in bird life. The animals are strictly protected and are at ease in their natural habitat. Expect to encounter the lively Sykes monkey, dik-dik, elephant shrews, hyrax, bush babies, and red colobus monkeys, which are only found in Zanzibar.
Unguja Lodge is certified by Responsible Tourism Tanzania. It has a strong social awareness underpinned by its support of the local village, which guests can explore with Rashid. Rashid has been with the lodge from the beginning 13 years ago, and although retired, is proud to show guests around and explain the local traditions and history. Children are also welcome to visit the school during the village walk. A small fee for the village tour contributes to a fund, with various local projects receiving the benefits. This includes the supply of water pumps, a water pipe to the secondary school, and a new roof on the nursery school.
The lodge is currently supporting the construction of a new nursery school. Unguja Lodge has a spectacular setting, offering glorious views over Menai Bay. Beautiful, African sunsets and the starstudded night sky are always something to behold. Low tide reveals a perfect powder-white beach where locals collect seafood and long walks are the order of the day, while high tide invites you for a dip in the crystal-clear Indian Ocean. Menai Bay is known for dolphins and is excellent for diving and snorkelling. There are 29 dive sites, from shallow to deep, for beginners and advanced. All sites are within a maximum of 30 minutes by boat from the lodge, and its rare to encounter other parties, so you’ll feel like you have it all to yourself.
Unguja Lodge has its own PADI dive centre and is proud that all Dive Masters and Instructors are from Zanzibar and have been trained by the lodge. The Robinson Crusoe trip is another popular attraction. This day out on a traditional Dhow, offers terrific snorkelling opportunities and an extensive BBQ lunch on a sandbank or uninhabited island. Unguja Lodge plays a big part in maintaining the beauty of Menai Bay – the corals remain vibrant and healthy and the staff regularly clean the reef and the beach Unguja Lodge is perfect for all ages and welcomes guests from around the world. Whether newly married, or taking a family break, those who visit are swept away by the charming team and awesome setting. The lodge is a dream for honeymooners – imagine having a massage on the veranda of your villa, looking over the ocean, or enjoying romantic, private dinner on the beach. The lodge specialises in creating these unforgettable moments.
The food at Unguja Lodge is exquisite, with the freshest fish and seafood coursing through the menu. Here, you will eat the best tuna steak in all of Tanzania. Breakfast is hearty, and the lunch menu ranges from light meals to more substantial dishes. Dinner is a three-course menu, with the choice of meat, fish and seafood; vegetarians and vegans also enjoy imaginative cuisine. The kitchen caters for all dietary requirements, including gluten and dairy free, with all allergies taken into consideration.
The restaurant’s interior design is as creative as the food it serves. Divided into small sections for privacy, yet perfectly capturing the relaxed ambience of Unguja Lodge. The staff are charming and attentive, many of whom have been with the lodge from the very beginning, 13 years ago. They enjoy nothing more than to share with guests their knowledge and love of this remarkable pocket of Africa.