Sky above, sun on my face, sand below, peace within.
For two years in a row, Zanzibar has been the destination to kick start my travels. It is only 2 hrs boat ride and planning a trip there does not take long. The hard part is always getting hotel availability in the festive season. Luckily for me, when I called Kisiwa House in Stone Town, they had rooms available. The hotel also had availability in their other property in Paje, called Kisiwa on the Beach.
Once we sorted our accommodation, we then started planning some excursions. It was an amazing weekend getaway in Zanzibar and I hope you enjoy reading through our adventures.
Where we stayed
We started our trip with a day stay in Stone Town at Kisiwa House. The hotel has a good balance of modern and swahili decor and the staff are always helpful. Moreover, Kisiwa House is relatively affordable compared to other hotels in the area with similar standards.
We wanted to experience both city and beach life. Therefore, the following day we stayed at Kisiwa on the Beach in Paje. This hotel operates in a villa style accommodation, which are big and spacious. All their villas have a private balcony. Starehe luxury villa and Raha Luxury villa are built in the midst of tropical gardens. Bahari grand villa has a beautiful view of the pool area. If you want to stay a few steps away from the beach than Bahari beach front villa is for you.
We stayed in the Bahari grand villa. The room had all the standard amenities and the Wi-Fi was very strong and fast.
Where we ate
It was my first time staying in Paje and I absolutely loved it. The area has a number of boutique hotels and restaurants along the same beach strip.
My favourite was B4 Beach Club. It has a great lounge area overlooking the ocean with the view of kite surfers. They also have amazing burgers, I recommend the “For the ride” burger, it is just mouth-watering delicious.
In Stone Town
Whenever I am in Stone Town, my favourite place for breakfast or brunch is the Stone Town Cafe. The food is affordable and delicious. I always order avocado toast with a side of two sunny side up eggs. Moreover, what draws me to this place is their sticky date pudding served with caramel sauce that is absolutely delious.
What we did
Baraka natural aquarium in Nungwi, houses sea turtles native to Zanzibar Island. After hearing of the good things the aquarium does for the turtles, I was determined to visit and support the cause.
When we arrived, the staff greeted us and gave brief instructions of the dos and don’ts of handling the turtles. The aquarium works with local fishermen to safely capture injured turtles. Thereafter, the turtles are taken to the aquarium and nursed to good health before being released to the ocean.
It was truly the highlight of our visit; to learn about the turtles and support a place that looks after marine life.
Baraka Natural Aquarium
Basking in the sun on Paje beach
Good To Know
- Mode of Payment: For both hotels, you can do a bank transfer, or use your credit/debit card to make payments. Local residents are allowed to make cash payments in local currency (TZS), however, Foreigners need to pay in USD/Euros.
- Meal: Kisiwa on the Beach, lunch/dinner buffet option do not offer a complimentary drink. Drinks are an additional cost.
- Location: Kisiwa House is on Baghani street in Stone Town, just behind the famous Stone Town Cafe. Kisiwa on the Beach is in Paje, East Coast, about 1hr drive from Stone Town.
- Best time to visit Zanzibar: From June to October and December to February during the dry season. I wouldn’t recommend the rainy season which start from Mid-March to late May and again in November.
- Explore local restaurants: Maximize your experience, by booking bed & breakfast and explore the different food areas along the beach strip. This way you also get to meet local people and immerse in the culture.
- Language – Kiswahili and English. Hotel personnel and tour guides speak English, however not all local people can speak English. I suggest you engage with registered tour companies for your excursions for ease of communication.