Shooting Star Lodge

Shooting Star Lodge: Our full report

16 rooms
Traveller's rating
Good (88%) From 29 reviews
All year

Shooting Star Lodge stands on top of a coral cliff, affording stunning views of the powdery-white Kiwengwa Beach, and is a firm favourite amongst our travellers. It was built and is run by an engaging and very welcoming Tanzanian called Elly, his lovely English wife Lesley and their 9-year old son, Jacob. It attracts a real mix of characters, who usually come together around the bar area during the day and in the evening – the result is a lovely social atmosphere.

The central lounge bar is the main hub area - there are lots of cushion covered booths to sit in on either side of a walk-way which leads to the pool. Perhaps challenge someone to the traditional Zanzibari game of bao on one of the lodges boards. The bar is behind this area and people tend to congregate around here before and after dinner for a few drinks from the well stocked bar. Next to this is the dining area. When we were last here in November 2013 we ate out on the decking in the open air overlooking the pool - while others chose to sit under the thatch. The food was very good - although not outstanding, and the service was friendly.

In front of the dining area at Shooting Star Lodge is the beautiful horse-shoe infinity pool. It really is hard to tell where the pool ends and the sea begins - although it can be difficult to get a spot on one of the loungers around here at busy times. However, there are plenty of loungers down on the white sandy beach to relax on if you prefer a slightly more private spot. When the tide is in it’s lovely to swim in the ocean from here, and when it’s out, the exposed reef is an interesting walk. There is also a small beach bar where you can get some drinks or enjoy a lunch.

Shooting Star Lodge can arrange diving and snorkeling trips with the nearby PADI centre at Bluebay Beach Resort. We were collected from Shooting Star and dropped back in time for lunch after doing a double dive on the beautiful Mnemba Atoll. Other resorts along the beach can offer catamaran and windsurfing hire and fishing trips (usually catch and release).

There are three different types of rooms - Garden Suites are the most simple and basic, with Sea View Cottages being a bit more spacious. A couple of years ago two new private suites were finished - the Kusi Suite and the Kaskazi Suite - these are really something special and allow one of the few views of the sunset on the east coast. Shooting Star also has two day rooms which are available for use free of charge.

Our view

With only 16 rooms, Shooting Star is a small and personal lodge with a great atmosphere, helped by the friendly team who run it. The three resident cats and one dog who live at the lodge are also very friendly, so don’t be surprised if you find them relaxing on your veranda with you!


Location: East Coast Zanzibar, Zanzibar

Ideal length of stay: 4 nights or longer if you have the time.

Directions: It takes around 35 minutes to fly to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam, and then it's a further one hour by car to Shooting Star Lodge.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Half Board

Food quality: Breakfast at Shooting Star is served from 7:00 - 10am (although this is slightly flexible if you are going diving early). It consists of a variety of fresh fruit as well as toast and eggs cooked how you like them.

Lunch is served between 12:30 and 15:00, there is an a la carte menu consisting of a variety of international cuisine, featuring meals such as fresh fish dishes, pizzas and pasta.

Dinner is then a 3-course meal, with a number of choices being offered for the starter and main. When last there, in November 2013 we did not get a chance to try the food but in 2009, we enjoyed crab soup, prawns in piri piri sauce and a mango flan. The food was good although not spectacular. However, generally the feedback we get from our travellers has been very positive – mentioning fresh produce, great afternoon tea and cakes and excellent seafood.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £10-15

Drinks included: Drinks are not included. Soft drinks are about $2.00, beer around $3.00 and a bottle wine averages $25 - $30.

Further dining info: Yes – though there are no phones in the rooms. Any room service will therefore need to be arranged in advance.

Special interests

Honeymoons: Shooting Star’s suites are ideal for a good-value Zanzibar honeymoon. With a private swimming pool, a rooftop bed perfect for stargazing and a bath on the terrace, it couldn’t be more romantic. The staff will make a great effort to spoil you and make your stay special.

See more ideas for Honeymoons in Zanzibar

Wellbeing: The beach-side spa offers a variety of pampering treatments, with massages from $25, to full seaweed body wraps at $60. Pedicures, manicures and waxing treatments are also on offer.

See more ideas for Wellbeing in Zanzibar


Attitude towards children: Shooting Star welcomes children

Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions at Shooting Star

Special activities & services: They will happily organize baby-sitting. Parents should simply tip the nanny, who is arranged through the housekeeping team.

Equipment: There are cots and highchairs at Shooting Star

Notes: Shooting Star is a very friendly and welcoming place, which will happily cater to children. There is a lovely pool and stretch of beach for playing, though there are no special facilities or activities for children.


Power supply: Mains Electricity

Communications: There is cell-phone coverage at Shooting Star and the internet which guests are welcome to use when the office isn’t too busy. There is WiFi available at $5 per stay per room.

TV & radio: There is no TV or radio at Shooting Star

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: There is an on-site first aid kit, and there is usually a doctor on call nearby (in one of the larger lodges) that Shooting Star Lodge can access in the case of a medical emergency. There is a small hospital nearby.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: Shooting Star employs its own watchmen for the hotel and beach. There is a padlocked Zanzibari chest in each room, and valuables can be left in the safe at reception.

Fire safety: There are fire-extinguishers dotted around Shooting Star Lodge.


Disabled access: Not Possible

Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge

Money: You can exchange US$, Euros and Pounds at Shooting Star.

Accepted payment on location: The preferred form of payment at Shooting Star is cash, however you can also pay for any extra costs Visa or Mastercard. However there is a 5% charge for any card use.

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