On the move again. We have enjoyed our 3 days in Stone Town and would definitely come back again, but it’s now time to transfer to our final destination of this trip. Mtoo was at the Dhow Palace promptly at 9.30am and we were soon on the road heading north. It was a 70 minute drive through local villages and good fertile land. Once we got to Nungwi and the local village, the tarmac and smooth surface roads evaporated and we were back to our African massage…….the resorts have clearly not invested anything into the local infrastructure!
Our room here at Amaani Bungalows is on the top floor i.e 2nd floor (no high rises here in Nungwi) with a view both across the pool and also the Indian Ocean – not too shabby!! The room is simple and stylish, however closer inspection does show some very shabby finishing off in places…..
Unpacked and sorted we then set off for a stroll on the beach to explore our surroundings.
Mr and Mrs L were frequently accosted by friendly and polite Zanzibari men trying to sell us trips and other memorabilia. We agreed on a Sunset Cruise in a Zanzibari Dhow and handed over a $10 deposit to Bacardi – would we see him or our money again…….but sure enough, at 4pm, Bacardi was there with a German couple. The men collected snorkelling gear and we finally made it onto the dhow by about 4.30pm……there are 2 phrases frequently used here – pole pole (last ‘e’ pronounced as a long ‘a’) which means ‘slowly slowly’, and hakuna matata which means ‘no problem’…….sums everything up well! After 2 further beach pick-ups we had a full dhow and motored off down the coast to the snorkelling area which Mr L declared fairly unimpressive. Then time for sails up and engine off as we sailed back up the coast past a surprising number of other resorts nestling in amongst the trees. Eating delicious fresh fruits and drinking soft drinks whilst watching the sunset was amazing. It was a good trip.
We had also met Hammish on the beach several times during the afternoon who was very insistent that we come along to his restaurant Waves on the beach……we said we would after we got back from our dhow trip. Mr L checked out Waves on trusty Trip Advisor which rates it as the no. 4 restaurant in Nungwi (out of 19) – that was reassuring!
Dinner at Waves was great, sitting at a candlelit table on the beach just a few metres from the Ocean……..Hammish was pleased to see us too as he thought we wouldn’t turn up. Waves is a local business and not part of one of the resorts, it was recently hit by a big high tide and part of their restaurant was washed away – the evidence of the sandbags is still present. They are dependent on tourists eating there as the money we spend can then be used to rebuild their restaurant and make it more resilient to the elements. I suspect we will be eating there again before we leave this idyllic place.
Zanzibar has only really had its first tourists since 1982 when tourism was third in terms of importance to their economy (after agriculture and fishing). It was only in 1998 when tourism became no. 1 for their economy, so really not many years ago. Nungwi is clearly a resort still in its early developmental years and has huge potential as long as the big international companies don’t move in and spoil it. So far developments are mostly very discrete but access to beaches from local villages located behind them is limited now, let’s hope work is being done to engage with local communities and ensure their lives benefit from tourism.
The internet connection here is dire, makes the Lenwade broadband speed seem gazelle-like in its efficiency. Blogs will be posted as and when……….pole pole!!