Nungwi to Kendwa beach hike and everything beautiful in between

How it looked on map😁

I have always been mistaken to belong to a younger generation than the one I belong to. In some cultures this is a good thing while in some, it’s quite a challenge because people judge you based on your body size. I applaud those that watch their weight by checking what food contains religiously but that has never been my thing. What has helped me is exercise.

Being a high school teacher, I have sometimes been mistaken to be a recent allumni because well …. some people think that way, not because I still get in touch with my teen self when working with teens at times but because they think I look young. But what has really helped me stay forever 21 in this confused world of stresses?

So basically, this is the thing: though a teacher, I have taken sport seriously. I have always started aerobics and tennis in schools I have been attached to. I have also always been involved in athletics with the teenagers I teach just to lead by example so to me exercise must be doing some wonders!

I would rather work out than diet🥺

When in my personal space without these teenagers I see everyday, I still take long walks mostly around my neighbourhood, which brings me to this beach hike I did in Zanzibar from Nungwi to Kendwa and back to Nungwi and you have got to see the beautiful things I saw!

I boasted an 8km in a day dedicated to beach side hike because the first 4km was done in the morning and I spent the afternoon going back to point A. This walk was not about the speed but the soothing effect of everything I saw in between. Naturally, for experienced walkers, this was supposed to take a total of 2 hours.

I started off with my pink Nike backpack loaded with nothing much but some swim wear cos I knew I would need cooling off somewhere ahead. I packed myself some ‘chewies’ to go. I didn’t carry a water bottle, I knew I would find H2O ahead.

Point 1 : Starting points

Starting point 1

I wanted my starting point to be so clear this was some serious walk and I meant business! The two places that marked my start were Makofi Guest House (Where I took a deep breath knowing I would be back in the evenings) and by another place with a poster you can only find in Nungwi. The beauty with this walk is that I had company and so I was more motivated than if I did this solo.

Like I mentioned before about not ageing, staying young has got to do with attitude as well as “loving what we do and doing what we love” just like the relaxing words I found at the start point of my hike. You will stay young when you do what you love and learn to love what you do. This happens because it keeps you smiling and a smile makes you look younger.

Starting point 2: Makofi Guest House

We walked for about twenty more minutes for the other signature start point I wanted which was the “Hakuna Matata welcome again ” sign post. This sign post spoke the truth to me as this was my second visit to Nungwi, Zanzibar. Again, I fell in love with this sign post because it spoke truth. Many would know this phrase from the legendary cartoon Lion King and this phrase means “no worries” in the swahili language. The reason people think am forever 21 is because I always stay away from worries. I look it in the eye but I get rid of it. I also almost all the time avoid toxic people unless there is really nothing I can do to avoid them.

Point 2: Aren’t horses the cutest?!

We continued walking for a good two hours. Not rushing much caused us to appreciate the turquoise waters of Nungwi! This was a long stretch of beauty only to bump into more of what nature can offer. Horses! I even remembered that the day before this hike, I went to the stables at Zanzibar Horse club in Nungwi and met a cutie called Oreo.

Maybe one of these horses we saw was Oreo at work but it was kinda nice to see horses on water! The two hours paid off obviously. It was clearly time to take pics. The horses looked at peace on duty and cooling off. This reminded me how we should stay calm even in adversity if you want to avoid those wrinkles. Focus on positives.

Oreo

Point 3: The cave lady

After a good time horse viewing, we enjoyed a stretch of nothingness except her majesty, the Indian Ocean.

After about an hour or so, we found a rocky, cave-like area. These caves must be formed by water from the ocean and its force. We paused.

When I saw these caves, I was reminded how caves are actually home to a number of animals and if this was the northern parts of the globe, I was gonna be talking bear stories. We don’t have them on this side of the globe. Nonetheless, caves are a refuge for some creatures and going back to keeping fit and staying young, we all need a refuge when down. The other reason I have also been mistaken to belong to the younger generation is because I have mastered where to go for refuge. When I feel down, I know what to do to snap out of it or go through it but feel safe and rested. I have surrounded myself with people with the right energy and sometimes like an eagle, I have sometimes shut some toxic people out so I energize.

Point 4: No place like home

No matter how much fun you are having away from home, the thought of your home country will cross your mind. After leaving the caves, we were at it again. This next spot felt lonely. We were in the middle of nowhere except for the ocean. I thought of back home.

I missed home but I had something on me reminding me of who I am, Zambian. I have had my flag for a long time now and always find a reason to carry it. You will stay younger when you know who you are and quit being like someone else.

Point 5:Pirate lady

I was exhausted and decided to take a dip in the shallow end of the ocean. The swim wear came in handy. Getting to Kendwa is all I could think of. I heard this was also a cool place where full moon parties are held every month! I shook off the feelings of missing home and decided why not pretend to be a pirate girl on this dhow that I saw. I needed to feel powerful to finish this exhausting walk. Sometimes pretending to be okay is okay and may actually cause you to be okay because your focus is on the positives.

Ahoy!

Point 6: Unfinished buildings

At this point, it was too late to give up on getting to Kendwa. We knew we were close but no sign of it was showing except for the unfinished building on water that was coming up which reminded me that keeping our hopes and faith high can sometimes drive out some negativity which you know will make you experience ageing. A stone throw away from this building was some art I found being sold and just looking at this art was quite refreshing. Always look at the big picture and brighter side to stay young.

Point 7: Kendwa, we are here!!

Because of the faith we had, we finally made it 4 kms to Kendwa! I really wished those much talked about full moon beach parties where happening this night because I was gonna stay at the beach overnight, lol! I saw the sign posts showing us we were in Kendwa and this is where I went into the ocean to cool off a second time. I have learned that finishing small tasks that you can handle is quite fulfilling. The feeling of accomplishment can be found even in the least challenging things like this hike but they do keep you in high moods and looking young.

And the truth is Kendwa does rock!☺️

6 Zanzibar restaurants you should try out in 2023

Zanzibar and her sunsets

We travel for different reasons and one of these reasons are for the experience, food wise. Some people have selective taste buds while others choose to be adventurous and expose their mouths to much. It’s okay to be traditional but when you feel daring to do exotic foods, try out these eateries that will make you appreciate these foods.

One of the most captivating and serene African islands you will fall in love with is Zanzibar. There is lots you are gonna see but definitely lots to eat too. If you love dining out like I do, why not try out one of these:

1) Mangi Beach Bar and restaurant (in Nungwi)

The outside of Mangi Beach Bar and Restaurant

I wanted to know a bit more of Zanzibar than just its popular center which is Stone Town. I chose to do a day in the north of the Island. Having met some cool people that also wanted to head there, I tagged along. We had transport and just put some fuel and off we went. From Stone Town, it took us like one hour to get to the north of the Island. Have you ever been determined to have a meal with a view? Someone did alert me how the northern parts of Zanzibar particularly Nungwi are home to turquoise waters and I wanted to experience this. We started off at about 9 O’clock and got there at close to 11.

You are gonna love this restaurant for its views and outdoors (provided it’s not pouring). I particularly liked the pine trees am guessing I didn’t mistake for coconut trees. The other thing you may like is how there is provision for you to enjoy your own space or chill with others. This is not a restaurant you should go to on a date and dress to kill…. in heels…nop. There is beach sand and I think you now know what your dress code should be, should you find yourself on a special date. I loved their wide selection on their menu but my focus was more on my favorite mashed potatoes with chicken stir fry. Yummy…Their pizza is actually delicious.

2) Wild Dove Cafe (in Nungwi)

Now some restaurants in Zanzibar are well known and have a large following. For Wild Dove Cafe in Nungwi, I can’t say that is the case. It is an upcoming restaurant that I see making it big should they continue with the meals I found. The place itself is nothing too fancy and you find it near Highland Bungalows in Nungwi.

You will like this place for the fair prices. It is found just in the dusty small roads of Nungwi so I guess no charging high prices here for things like views. I must say I had at least two to three good meals here and this was enough times to recommend others to give it a try. Their menu had burger, in curry, grilled and fried selection. There was pasta and noodle selection as well. That wasn’t all. They also made sure to cater for those that do desserts.

3) Zenjis Food Lover’s Joint (in Stone Town)

This restaurant is one of the most popular ones on the island. I particularly liked the location. Sometimes we don’t want to go so far in the outskirts to have that meal with a view. It’s okay to be within reach.

The maze streets of Stone Town

This restaurant is found in the heart of Stone Town. As you enjoy walking through the maze streets of Stone Town trying to find your way around, you will find this restaurant. I had a meal here that has made me recommend this restaurant to others. The setting of the restaurant is more like outdoor with a gazebo and well arranged tables.

Zenji Food Lover’s Joint Restaurant

I had company and opted to try seafood. I am a sucker for well done spicy, fluffy mashed potatoes. Knowing very well I come from a landlocked country and seafood is sold but not the one fresh from the ocean, I ordered some prawns. They were one of the most fresh prawns I have ever tasted.

The food, I must say, was well prepared and we were surrounded by helpful staff willing to give help at our request. Whenever you are in Stone Town, do try out this restaurant.

4) Lukmaan (in Stone Town)

Another restaurant I heard people talk much about was Lukmaan restaurant found in the heart of Stone Town. It is highly rated and boasts the best local, dining experience award in previous years. I enjoyed two meals there. This place was packed both times I went there which can only mean that many find it a perfect dine in pick.

I wanted to try out seafood because it is actually expensive back home! I particularly loved their succulent prawns that were slapped with some salad. The restaurant has wide variety on the menu: Arabic food, fish, all sorts of seafood and pizza. The price range of food on their menu is from about 50 cents for the naan to about $15.

5) New Monsoon Restaurant

Walking around in Stone Town, I did find a restaurant just close to where I lodged. The New Monsoon Restaurant it was. It was beautiful inside out. You can dine from the outside or inside but with the scotching heat of the Island, I chose to sit outside. The view you have sitting outside is that of people walking down the paved roads. In the evening, you could catch a glimpse of street markets and ocean view. Forgive me for my love for mashed potatoes but I was at it again. The chicken mishkaki went perfectly with it. They made sure the salad was fresh and colourful. I tried looking for something to wash this food down and Indian Whiskey was just perfect.

New Monsoon Restaurant (Outside)

Should you be in Stone Town, Zanzibar for whatever reasons, do stop by because this place prides itself with the ability to offer multi cuisine, Indian and Indo Chinese food created at high standards.

6) The Silk Route (in Stone Town)

I felt like Indian food and because this place was just a stone throw away from where I lodged, trying it out was easy and it actually felt like visiting India! What I liked first about this restaurant was the view when on the next floor. You could see parts of the ocean and the busy town of Stone Town and am guessing it’s more heavenly in the evenings! The theme colors inside were orange, brown and cream.

The beauty about having someone to dine with was cost sharing which leads to having what we desired to have like….wait for it…lobster!!! It was my first experience and I didn’t regret it a single bit. It came with potato wedges and a salad. The second time around, I got rice and some beef stew which was medium hot spiced. Tasty! This restaurant has a wide selection on their menu and if you have a 15 cents to $20 on you, you could walk out of this place with a smile.

Hostels.Not such a crazy idea…

❤️This post is based on personal experiences in places I personally visited and my own gallery😉❤️

“The MOJO Hotel | Sea Point Hotel, Cape Town” https://themojohotel.com

Sometimes the opinions of others could make you miss out on the things you could experience. I know for sure I have heard a friend of mine say, “I would never do hostels.” Uhmm…..I didn’t bother to hear much because I knew whatever would be said would impact me negatively and was meant to discourage me from trying it out.

I must say sometimes the comments of others do affect our decisions and sometimes they shouldn’t. Plus, if you allowed people to control you like that, then you may never enjoy your own adventures.

Travelling on a regular basis for an African may not come that easy especially if you do it because you really fancy it. And since I obviously didn’t ditch my friend, I was curious (just a bit) to find out why those strong statements against hostels . For starters, she was very honest about how we Africans have a difficult life and why subject ourselves to more difficulties of staying in such places? ”And besides, Faith, I would rather wait for my company to pay for the cost of my travel so I get to stay in the coolest of places because that’s not the life I have known….luxe.” I heard her loud and clear. What about that travel person who is so passion driven to see lots of places such that as they are at it, they are already planning their next move? Would you wait for a sponsored trip? I get it. Her bone of contention was that Africans are already poor so why make travel a misery by staying in misery? Did she really say that? lol!

That’s what I asked my friend

My friend will probably wait forever to have adventure or should try her luck in the next life but she needs to know the good and the bad before sounding so judgy.

ADVANTAGES

  1. Cutting on costs and seeing lots for less

The advantage of staying in a hostel is the fact that you can cut on costs and could actually see more places that way than waiting to win the lotto to ever see the coolest of cool places on this place we call earth! If I ever got the opportunity to do let’s say, Mauritius …….for starters, I have done my mini research and concluded it’s slightly more of a pricey island compared to Madagascar. Why on earth will I miss the opportunity to see beautiful Mauritius because my budget included stays in luxe resorts or many star hotels?

I will gladly include hostels so I even enjoy the island for a longer time. My experience in hostels when it comes to cutting costs is that I have also taken time researching which hostels have a ‘homely touch’. Yes, some hostels just offer basics but others are quite comfortable to be at like Shoki Shoki House of Zanzibar. All the advice I would give here is that you take your time online searching for them before your trip than do the, “I will cross the bridge when I get there.” Plan your hostel stay the way you would a five star hotel which gets me to the other advantage of hostels which is:

2) Making friends easily

Seriously like some of the places I have found it so easy to make friends coming from all four corners of the world (wait, does the world have corners?)is in a hostel. A hotel will have that peace and quiet, we get it, but part of the thrill that comes from some travel lovers is about who we meet.

I am happy to mention that some of the like minded people I have met, I did in a hostel. In the community I come from, I would say very few find travel appealing or worse still, they don’t even wanna talk about it but in a hostel, rest assured that my favourite topics are all over. It’s here that you can learn more about other countries other than yours from the horses’ mouths and from all the beautifully different people around the hostel which brings me to the next advantage which is:

3) Enjoying group tours

Yes, we are self proclaimed solo travellers but we do love some good company while at it. And going back to my friend who is blunt about hostels, she should know that I have done some coolest trips because of joint efforts with other hostel mates and if I have to wait to be super rich (be able to book a whole cruise ship) lol! The lovely moments I have had in hostels will just ‘zoom!’ pass me by.

Instead of doing Spice Tour solo……
I found ‘K’ at a hostel and we shared costs😉

Bottom line is even as a solo traveller, we are aware of the people around us too. And this spending of time with people reminds me of some disadvantages that cause people like my friend to speak ill of hostels:

DISADVANTAGES

  1. Shut up!

Noise levels at times can be quite annoying. I am a light sleeper and pretty sure I have an internal alarm clock in my head that reminds me I have to shut down and this usually happens early hours of the night like just before 9 pm and at around mid night I have no sleep at all and honestly with this kind of sleep pattern, I really don’t do well around people who are loud at about the time I need to sleep.I wake up feeling grumpy. Am afraid my friend was gonna be right had she rubbed this point in but she didn’t.

Some clients you will find here are party animals and because these hostels are kind of made to repel boredom just embrace the few times its gonna get loud.The other thing to note is, as you are enjoying your sleep at whatever time, someone flew into the country at an odd time and will check in your room at the time you are enjoying being in dreamland! This won’t be so much of a problem if the place is not :

2) Cluttered

Guests would not be subjected to so much noise if not for the way most of them are cluttered up.Thumbs up to those hostels that have owners that consider the claustrophobic traveller and not just display the need to make money by having so much going on or too many beds in one room! Hostel owners shouldn’t just allow clutter and it’s for this reason that there is :

3) Not much tidiness

Hostel owners usually have rules about keeping amenities clean especially after using them. I doubt this rule is followed religiously by most of the clients but that traveller who feels there is clutter in this place after all, will keep the trend.This may not be the case for every hostel as they have dependable cleaning services but even with them, in a hostel there is need for you to clean up after using stuff because they offer self services and if you are a clean freak…..these places may not be for you.

4) Finder’s keepers, loser’s weepers

Not everyone that stays in these hostels is sober or has your best interests at heart. Just because you met fellow travellers and had a good time is no reason for them not to dip their hands in your stuff.Not that I have experienced it but it’s a place am so self conscious about where I put my stuff just in case.I have heard funny stories of how other travellers checked in and because they stayed there for long, there was not much pushing for payments from the owners for the remaining days, besides, this client paid for the other days right? The client eventually took advantage of the thoughtfuless of the owners and just left without paying for other nights! Some have also just helped themselves with other people’s stuff and this is not cool.

https://www.etbackpackers.com

So if these other bad thoughts were running through my friend’s mind, no wonder her negativity but to that adventurous soul willing to try these places out…..hostels are not such a crazy idea after all.

How to enjoy a day trip to Paje with $30. Or less.

Fun is subjective. You don’t always need too much money on you to have fun. Some people think travellers are people who have stacks of money on them. Lol! Thanks for categorizing us as rich but that’s not the case at all! I have always shared with others who think travel is for the rich that if you look closely, that seemingly rich traveller is probably sacrificing some happy hours every Friday so they could save up for a plane ticket or a tour.And yes, they do. You probably think I am the most boring person on this planet to sacrifice Friday happy hours, but I have, but then again, maybe because that is not my kind of thing. So equation is balanced there.

Speaking of having fun without stacks of bucks in your slacks, you could enjoy a fun day on the beaches of Paje in Zanzibar!

So then, let’s go!

So to cut on costs, we are going to use public transport they call Dala Dala. I am with the assumption we start from Stone Town because that’s  where you usually arrive at the island.

You have to get to Darajani market and then wait a while for the Dala Dala you catch from there to fill up. Expect to pay less than $2 and do carry a bottle of water or fruit juice while at it as you will really feel the impact of the heat due to a number of passengers on the Dala Dala. If you use Nyerere road, you will most likely be getting to the east side of the island in an hours time.

What is Paje like?

As compared to Stone Town, Paje is reserved and by that I mean chilled, less populated village but surprisingly where most tourists flock to. But what brings tourists here? We all want a beach that has turquoise and clear waters, right? It is tops of the list before all the other activities you may find in the area.

So what activities do we do with less than $20 on us ?

This place is a hub of island-fun, ranging from beach walks to all sorts of sophisticated water games. I am not a swimmer but we all love beaches! I was willing to have a moment here that was memorable but affordable.

This article is not one of those, listing the coolest activities you do on this part of the Island but it is about how to  still have affordable fun in this place every tourist wants to visit in Zanzibar. I was really focused on what I wanted with the little that was in my pocket. Standup paddle boarding! There you have it! It didn’t take too long to find a place renting out the gear.I quickly dug deep into my slacks and paid $15 for a session.

I heard that this water sport was born from surfing and that was like so cool to be mistaken for surfer! With this activity all I did was to stand, sit, squat, kneel or whatever on a board that floats on water and of course they had to give me a board fit for my body size. I paddled from shallow to slightly deep waters considering that I am not a good swimmer and still needed my life. I also asked for the guide to give me some independence to paddle slightly further. I found this water sport to be safe and easy to learn, most of all, it was refreshing to enjoy views and serenity of this part of the island. I just don’t remember having my foot tied to the board like you will observe it’s done but none the less, that didn’t take any fun out of my experience! It was awesome!

When I was done, I dressed up and enjoyed a short walk, picked some shells and enjoyed one of the most fresh fruit drinks ever with some free wifi at a restaurant there and as I got to Stone Town later in the day, I realized that you could actually enjoy a day out in Paje with a $30. Or less.

Ahh…so that’s the Old Fort of Zanzibar

The older it gets,the more touristic value it seems to have

The Old Fort of Zanzibar is a beautiful historical feature found in Stone Town, Zanzibar.This feature also goes by the name The Arab Fort.If you ask me….this old fine piece of work is actually a ‘ tourist puller’.One of the much talked about touristic places in Zanzibar.

The inside of the Fort

This feature was built by Omari Arabs in 1699.It was used as a prison.It is now used for film festivals though in the 20th century it was used as a depot.This piece of touristic work is now being used as a centre for cultural activities like curio shops.

On the left are curio shops ….sorry not clear 😜

The Fort is essentially a square of high brown walls with merlons,protecting an inner courtyard.In the courtyard there are some remnants of earlier buildings including those of a Portuguese church and another Omani fortification.

This place is now used for entertainment like live dance and music shows held mostly in the afternoons and evenings.

This group was here for what appeared to be workouts 🤔

Fly or ferry to Zanzibar Island?

Don’t you ❤️ Zanzibar?

“The destination is what you should focus on and not the journey….” WRONG! Enjoying the ride is part of adventure.Having been to Tanzania four times but to Zanzibar twice ….I must confess flying to the island was a lovely experience and happened so fast. But taking a ferry was an experience I wanna share.

For those who love ‘microwave’ experiences and how everything should be fast, fast, fast😁

Taking a ferry to Zanzibar as a solo traveller was a pleasure.For starters, I had to book for the ferry online but this worked more like a reservation because I wasn’t charged in advance.There should be one or two companies with ferries to and from the island but I am recommending you use Azam Marine just because I loved the first experience: https://azammarine.com

The ferry starts from Dar es salaam like indicated on the online reservation that comes to your mail when you use Azam Marine website and it also reflects if that particular time is free or there is availability.

Dar es salaam near the port

Be sure to stick around for “boarding time!” alert but before that do visit  the Azam Marine offices and show them your online reservation and try appearing there at least two hours or so before departure then they will hand you your ticket after your payment.

No two ways about it….if you aren’t a local, it’s $35 for you
Ferry ticket

In an event that you appeared way too early, they could actually even book you for an earlier time than you initially reserved.Note that during peak seasons you should avoid arriving late or you may lose the spot to an early bird.

The ferry on the inside
The ferry on the outside

It took about close to two hours enjoying the view, light waves, company of others…..lots of pictures to take even of other ferries going their way.

Heading to the island 💦
“Karibu Zanzibar”

You know you have arrived when you see that sign post meaning “Welcome to Zanzibar”. It was a solo trip made easy because I read articles like these before the trip and met helpful people too.

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