Towards the south east corner of Unguja lies the pretty white-washed village of Jambiani. The village is quite spread out across a 8km pristine white beach with turquoise and azure waters straight out of a Zanzibar travel brochure. Unfortunately the coral gardens are about 2 – 3 kms off the beach at the large breakers.
Even though the beach is quieter than usual at this time of the year, there are still plenty of touts around, selling jewelry, their restaurants, outrageous coconut sellers and a plethora of boatsman trying to sell boat trips to the reef and morning dolphin viewing. Both these trips seem to run to about US25 per head, but I can’t bargain below US$10 and give them a miss.
an outrigger in crystal clear waters
Based at Kikidini’s Cottages it is a sublime spot and currently run and owned by a local woman, Mnoga. Her two cottages are available at Tsh30,000 per night with a monstrous breakfast. This is definitely one of the cheapest in town – most seem to be around the US$50 mark. Zanzibar is certainly not cheap.
There are plenty of bars and restaurants scattered along the beach – most charging around the Tsh15,0000 per main course, but I found a few good cheapies scattered around.
My personal favourite was the Garden restaurant with excellent chicken curry and grilled fish for about Tsh7,000 per main. They also do crepe desserts. The local restaurant opposite the post office is very cheap, and although the mishikaki (shish kebabs) was poor, the fish was good and they have reasonably priced fresh pineapple juice. Mohammad Hussain on the footpath between Kikinini’s and the Jambiani Guest House also does cheap and good fish and chips. Equinox offers local and international dishes for around 10,000 a main and is another locally owned outfit.
a solitary Moslem woman adds colour to the beach
Daladalas (local buses) leave Stone Town from the central bus stand around 10.30am and cost Tsh1500. Return buses depart 10am, 2pm and 4pm from the southern end of town.
Masai jewelry seller with a huge hole in his ear
sunset over Jambiani