Nungwi village, Zanzibar

Photo of Nungwi village, Zanzibar by Colin Chaplin

You will find Nungwi village at the northern end of Zanzibar. It's known for, amongst other things, its beautiful wide, palm lined beach. Other popular attractions include a boat building yard for the production of traditional dhows and the Mnarani Marine Turtle Conservation Pond which shelters green and hawksbill sea turtles in a tidal lagoon. There is a wide range of accommodation available in Nungwi that caters to everyones tastes. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Langi Langi Beach Bungalows. The staff were super friendly, helpful and efficient. The deck looking out over the ocean was the perfect place to kick start the day with breakfast and the perfect place to end the day having dinner.

Photo of Nungwi village, Zanzibar 1/2 by Colin Chaplin
View from the deck in the evenings

The food was great. Believe it or not the chef at Langi Langi cooks up an awesome pizza which made for a great lunch. I especially enjoyed the freshly caught fish of the day for my main course in the evenings. The deck really was the perfect place to spend the evenings. There is something very laid back, romantic and very cool about watching the sun go down while a Arab dhow sails past you.

A dhow sails past

For many people one of the main reasons to visit Nungwi is the fascinating work that is being done at Mnarani Marine Turtle Conservation Pond. Mnarani, meaning 'place of the lighthouse' in Swahili, is located near the lighthouse that marks this landmark. I was told that the lighthouse is now a military station and that it is off limits to the general public. The conservation pond itself is actually a large, natural tidal pool in the coral rock behind the beach. It was originally set up to rehabilitate and study marine turtles that had been caught in fishing nets. The project has subsequently developed to ensure that local baby turtles are also protected. The entry fee includes a guide who explains to you what they are doing and gives you useful information about the different types of turtles they are looking after. You also get to feed the turtles which is fund. Next door you will find the Baraka Natural Aquarium where you can actually swim with turtles.

Off the coast, coral reefs teem with colorful fish include Hunga and Leven Bank. These are well known popular spots for divers. I met and talked to a few divers while I was in Nungwi who all seemed to be thoroughly enjoying their diving. Nungwi was a nice contrast to Stonetown. It had a much more laid back island feel to it. There is something quite surreal about walking along the beach and meeting Maasai warriors sporting fancy expensive sunglasses.

Photo of Nungwi village, Zanzibar 2/2 by Colin Chaplin

One of the interesting things about Nungwi is the tide. Low tide reveals a large section of walkable beach but hide tide brings the water all the way up to the hotel decks. One word of warning if you are planning any long walks along the beach keep an eye on the tide. I would go back to Nungwi village in a heartbeat if I could. Whether you are into water sports, diving, marine conservation or just eating good food and chilling on the beach you can do it in style there.