Unwind on the beach loungers at Zawadi Hotel.

Zawadi Hotel | Zanzibar Luxury Tanzania Safari Lodge

Surrounded by swaying coconut palms and colourful bougainvillea, Zawadi Hotel is perched on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean. With six elegant villas, an open-sided beach restaurant and bar and a pristine beach and lagoon, you can relax and explore Zanzibar by land and sea.

The place

I bury my feet deeply into the bright white sands of our pristine beach, admiring how it contrasts with the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean. Happily chasing the incredible marine life that takes advantage of this protected cove, the only sign of my partner is a snorkel jutting out of the water. After a busy week of safaris, it’s absolute bliss to be relaxing here on the south coast of Zanzibar, just north of Bwejuu on the Michamvi Peninsula. Zawadi Hotel looks out over us from above, its six elegant villas dotted along a low coral cliff.

I bury my feet deeply into the bright white sands of our pristine beach, admiring how it contrasts with the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean. Happily chasing the incredible marine life that takes advantage of this protected cove, the only sign of my partner is a snorkel jutting out of the water. After a busy week of safaris, it’s absolute bliss to be relaxing here on the south coast of Zanzibar, just north of Bwejuu on the Michamvi Peninsula. Zawadi Hotel looks out over us from above, its six elegant villas dotted along a low coral cliff.

The room

After a quick plunge in hotel’s infinity pool we walk through the palm trees and abundant bougainvillea to our villa to change. As we open the sliding glass doors we’re struck at how light and airy it is inside. The cream and white theme is continued with light wood flooring, painted wooden furniture and woven rugs, set around our massive four-poster double bed in the centre of the room, swathed in mosquito nets.I fling myself on the couch, wondering if anyone actually watches the satellite TV with so many other wonderful things to do. I’ve been eyeing out the freestanding bathtub since we arrived, and I decide to take a soak before dinner while my partner uses the rainfall shower. I love that the window is placed to give me views out into the gardens while I relax. I almost feel like I’m in a spa … which reminds me I must indulge in a spa treatment on our terrace before we leave.While we’ve been getting ready the sun has started to set, so we pause to take in the glorious display of colour from our terrace before heading to dinner. If we’d been ready sooner we could have watched the entire affair from the restaurant, which is open-sided to ensure nobody misses nature’s shows.As the moon rises, we’re served exotic cuisine with local spices – everything freshly caught and just picked. It’s as delicious as we’d been told, easily surpassing our expectations – which pretty much sums up everything about our experience here.

After a quick plunge in hotel’s infinity pool we walk through the palm trees and abundant bougainvillea to our villa to change. As we open the sliding glass doors we’re struck at how light and airy it is inside. The cream and white theme is continued with light wood flooring, painted wooden furniture and woven rugs, set around our massive four-poster double bed in the centre of the room, swathed in mosquito nets.

I fling myself on the couch, wondering if anyone actually watches the satellite TV with so many other wonderful things to do. I’ve been eyeing out the freestanding bathtub since we arrived, and I decide to take a soak before dinner while my partner uses the rainfall shower. I love that the window is placed to give me views out into the gardens while I relax. I almost feel like I’m in a spa … which reminds me I must indulge in a spa treatment on our terrace before we leave.

While we’ve been getting ready the sun has started to set, so we pause to take in the glorious display of colour from our terrace before heading to dinner. If we’d been ready sooner we could have watched the entire affair from the restaurant, which is open-sided to ensure nobody misses nature’s shows.

As the moon rises, we’re served exotic cuisine with local spices – everything freshly caught and just picked. It’s as delicious as we’d been told, easily surpassing our expectations – which pretty much sums up everything about our experience here.

What sets it apart

There’s a lovely feeling of being spoilt at Zawadi Hotel. The staff here are both cheerful and attentive, going out of their way to ensure we have a special time.It’s wonderfully peaceful here too, but if we want more action we have the convenience of a complimentary shuttle to Zawadi’s sister lodges (Baraza and The Palms), where we may use the spa and tennis court, enjoy watersports or visit the boutique.Then there’s the sense of romance of being on this idyllic and laid-back island, the hours whiled away swimming or snorkelling in the ocean or the nearby lagoon, the beachside lunches and the candlelit dinners under star-swept skies. Mnemba Island, famed for its diving, is also a short boat ride away.

There’s a lovely feeling of being spoilt at Zawadi Hotel. The staff here are both cheerful and attentive, going out of their way to ensure we have a special time.

It’s wonderfully peaceful here too, but if we want more action we have the convenience of a complimentary shuttle to Zawadi’s sister lodges (Baraza and The Palms), where we may use the spa and tennis court, enjoy watersports or visit the boutique.

Then there’s the sense of romance of being on this idyllic and laid-back island, the hours whiled away swimming or snorkelling in the ocean or the nearby lagoon, the beachside lunches and the candlelit dinners under star-swept skies. Mnemba Island, famed for its diving, is also a short boat ride away.

At a glance

  • Private and laid-back beachside retreat with six guest villas, each with their own plunge pools and outdoor terrace overlooking the Indian Ocean. The lodge has a large infinity pool, outdoor bar and restaurant.
  • Private plunge pool, private dining and flexible schedules.
  • Spa treatments (additional cost), yoga, nature gym, running track, tennis, watersports (additional cost), scuba diving (additional cost), swimming pool, pedalboats, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, snorkelling, reef shoe walks, cycling, Stone Town tour (additional cost), nature safaris (additional cost), island tours (additional cost), and swimming with dolphin (additional cost).
  • Children are welcome from 16, or at any age if the hotel is booked on an exclusive basis.

  • Private and laid-back beachside retreat with six guest villas, each with their own plunge pools and outdoor terrace overlooking the Indian Ocean. The lodge has a large infinity pool, outdoor bar and restaurant.
  • Private plunge pool, private dining and flexible schedules.
  • Spa treatments (additional cost), yoga, nature gym, running track, tennis, watersports (additional cost), scuba diving (additional cost), swimming pool, pedalboats, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, snorkelling, reef shoe walks, cycling, Stone Town tour (additional cost), nature safaris (additional cost), island tours (additional cost), and swimming with dolphin (additional cost).
  • Children are welcome from 16, or at any age if the hotel is booked on an exclusive basis.

Prices

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

When to Go

With the exception of the occasional shower, you can expect clear skies and sunny weather in Zanzibar and Pemba now – perfect for the beach. The Zanzibari architecture of many of the lodges ensures they are cool and airy inside. If you want to immerse yourself in the life of the coral reefs, the diving is particularly good on the north coast in July and August. If you’d like to take in herds as well as schools, combine your trip with a visit to the southern Serengeti now to see the Great Wildebeest Migration.

Between the short rains and the long rains, Zanzibar experiences a hot, dry season, and temperatures typically reach the low to mid-30s. While March is especially hot and humid in Zanzibar and Pemba, the scuba diving is very good along the southern coast during this time. To witness the wildebeest calving season, pair your beach holiday with a trip to the southern Serengeti now.

My travel philosophy is definitely never say never, but occasionally even I have to concede that however wonderful a destination, there are some times of the year when you won’t experience it at its best. April and May in Zanzibar are a case in point – the heat and humidity make these months impossible. Although it also rains in November, this is a much more pleasant time to be on Zanzibar as typically only light afternoon showers are experienced, and the humidity is not excessive.

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