Nungwi, the Ibiza of East Africa

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Nightlife at a beachfront bar and restaurant at Nungwi. Picture: Mana Meadows

Nightlife at a beachfront bar and restaurant at Nungwi. Picture: Mana Meadows 


Posted  Monday, November 30   2009 at  00:00

Be it snorkelling, diving, kayaking, partying, fine-dining, exploring local village life or taking a sunset dhow cruise, Nungwi has something for everyone.

For centuries, Nungwi’s claim to fame was its reputation as the dhow-building centre of Zanzibar.

Skills in the ageless art of dhow-building were passed on through the generations, creating a highly skilled pool of craftsmen.

Today, Nungwi is also known as one of the world’s most favoured backpacker hotspots on the Spice Islands.

With its dazzling white sandy beaches, beach bars and variety of cheap beachfront guesthouses to choose from, Nungwi offers an unpretentious holiday venue.

This is not a place for those seeking peace and quiet.

Nungwi is peppered with a range of night-time venues, catering to many tastes and guaranteeing a good evening.

From rustic beachside restaurants to more upmarket hotel restaurants, freshly caught seafood is a staple.

“Pub-hop” along the shoreline as you sample different menus.

For those wishing to increase the pace a little, don’t miss the cheerful Rasta beachside bars where in the wee hours dhow-deck bar surfaces become dance floors and a midnight dip in the sea cools you down.

From party animals to sun worshippers, cultural enthusiasts to nature lovers, Nungwi is your one- stop Zanzibari holiday town.

The immediate surroundings can be explored on foot, dhow or kayak and the beaches and lively night scene are all ensconced in the charm of a traditional Swahili fishing village.

All the action takes place on the western cape, where the original fishing village of Nungwi is found, as well as the majority of tourist accommodation.

Sadly, the clutter of tourist lodgings has somewhat eclipsed the original Nungwi town.

But development is still fairly modest, with no mass market resorts yet established in the western area.

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