Mchanga Beach Lodge

Reviews of Mchanga Beach Lodge

Good(90%) From 35 travellers
Excellent
18
Good
16
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 35 of our travellers who have visited Mchanga Beach Lodge, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr & Mrs C - Twickenham
Arrived on: 10-Feb-2009 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Average
Average
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Mchanga Beach Lodge review

Once you get there, the Mchanga Beach Lodge is really nice and the owners, Gloria and Thomas, go out of their way to make you very welcome.

The location of the Lodge, right on the most wonderful beach is superb, BUT, the village that you have to go through to get there is worse than "Third World".

This put us off any excursions outside the Lodge, simply because we felt so unsafe, particularly when allied with the stories of hostility that Gloria and Thomas faced when they were building the Lodge.

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Expert Africa comments

Mchanga Beach Lodge stands on one of the stunning beaches on Zanzibar’s east coast, beside a typical Zanzibari fishing village, Pwani Mchangani.

Like many of Zanzibar’s other coastal villages, Pwani Mchangani isn’t quaint, pretty or pictureque. However, it is very typical of the island which, as these travellers have pointed out, is very much in the ‘third world’. Some may not want to see this poorer side of Zanzibar, but it is the reality and, indeed, representative of many places in Africa.

Perhaps we should be clearer: Zanzibar is not just a stunning beach. It is a small island in a developing Africa country, where poverty is common. Tourism is helping to reduce poverty and improve Zanzibar’s economy, and we’re proud that the small lodges which we support have a direct and positive impact on the lives of many islanders. However, in addition to helping by simply coming on holiday here, we urge visitors to take time to learn about Zanzibari life, to visit these villages and meet some of the people. Even from the poorest, the welcome is often warm; visitors are more likely to be humbled by the experience than upset.

When asked about their comments on the “stories of hostility” mentioned to these travellers, Gloria and Thomas explained that the context in which comments had been made were during the early days of their starting to renovate the lodge and the establishement of relationships. This doesn’t surprise us, as we know that it takes time to build trust and develop good relationships with neighbours, even in Zanzibar. There was no reference made to the safety and well being of either themselves or their guests.

Gloria and Thomas have advised us that several of their guests wander through the village of Pwani Mchangani on their own, whilst some others go with guide. They have never had any negative feedback from guests who have visited the village here who felt threatened or harassed.

Miss B & Mr D from Northern Ireland
Arrived on: 4-Jan-2009 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

A slice of heaven at Mchanga Beach Lodge

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Mchanga. The transfer from Selous to Zanzibar then onto Mchanga went smoothly. Mchanga was approx. 45 minutes in an air conditioned taxi from the airport.

The owners, Gloria and Thomas were there to greet us and were always on hand to make sure we had everything we needed. There are only 8 beach bungalows at Mchanga which means that it is lovely and peaceful. The aim at Mchanga is to completely relax. There is very little to do at Mchanga in terms of activities, although you could hire bikes and cyle along the beach. There is a small library which has plenty of books to keep you going and games e.g scrabble/yahtzee to play. There are also plently of day trips to go on should you choose to do so. However we literally just wanted to relax so this suited us perfectly.

Our beach bungalow was nicely decorated in the local style with a lovely large bed in the centre. Thankfully there was air conditioning and an electric fan to keep us cool from the heat. Although the trade winds kept us cool when we were around the pool. A note of warning here - the sun is incredibly strong and we burnt on a couple of occasions even with factor 30 on so the sun is not to be underestimated even when you are fully in the shade.

The service while we were there was excellent. One of the staff collected our food orders for lunch and dinner every day and there was always someone on hand if you needed anything. The owners have employed a local chef and the food was excellent and plentiful. Afternoon tea was a nice refreshing touch to keep you going until dinner.

We only went on one day trip - snorkelling just off the coast. In terms of value for money it was very good. Although because of the wind it is worth noting that the water is usually very choppy so it can be quite difficult to snorkel at times. It can also make you very sea sick! so its wise to take some travel sickness pills before you go. Also we were transported to and from the beach in a local bus and there was no suspension whatsoever. Consequently it was a very rough ride and I would not recommend this trip for anyone who has any back/neck problems. Saying that the snorkelling was great fun!

Overall we had a fantastic stay at Mchanga. It was exactly what we needed after our safari and we were made to feel very welcome. I'd also like to thank Gloria for her kindness. When I told her I'd been ill on the snorkelling trip she sent over a bottle of coke and a slab of cake to try and revive me and it was just what I needed.

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Mr & Mrs B from North Yorkshire
Arrived on: 13-Nov-2008 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Average
Average
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Average
Average
Facilities:
Good
Good

Mchanga Beach Lodge review

Lovely location, and we were made to feel very welcome by Thomas and Gloria. The grounds were delightful and it was a joy to see wildlife such as rollers, lots of wading birds (including whimbrels) and even some big golden globe spiders!

We felt that, while the food was good, too many dishes were accompanied by chips and the side salads were a bit disappointing.

The room was nice and spacious. However, we think that the loo needs some ventilation - there is a tendency for odours to linger in an unventilated space.

We went out diving and snorkelling with One Ocean from Matemwe at the Mnemba Atoll reef. Though the journey in the dala-dala (bus) was very bumpy, it was fun, and the marine life was spectacular and Saidi was an excellent divemaster. There were quite a lot of people snorkelling when we were there, but there was plenty enough room for all.

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J & P from Co. Meath, Ireland
Arrived on: 6-Nov-2008 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Mchanga Beach Lodge review

Accomodation was so lovely - the flowers on the bed and beach bag provided lovely touches. I loved my early morning tea too. Beach was faultless and also the food standard.

One suggestion - maybe an option to share your mealtimes with other diners?

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Mr G & Ms L - west London
Arrived on: 27-Oct-2008 Stayed for: 5 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Average
Average
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Mchanga Beach Lodge review

Thomas and Gloria were excellent hosts and did their upmost to ensure we were happy.
Location was superb and we liked the idea of the sandy paths and dining room floor.

However, we did feel the description of seaview rooms was a stretch of the imagination and feel that potential guests should be warned that you have to look carefully between the trees, to get a view of any ocean.

Also, the configuration of the 6 seaview rooms leads to a lack of privacy, if sitting outside on the sand terrace.

We liked the Swahilli style of cooking, altho' after 5 nights the breakfast menu became a little tedious - it would have been good to add a little more variety with the eggs.

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