Reviews of Unguja Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Life with monkeys
Another beach side lodge, very stylish and welcoming. We had a garden room with our own plunge pool. The space was fabulous and we sat there sometimes in preference to the public areas - unlike some hotel rooms were you fee hemmed in, this was spaciousness all round.
The staff were very welcoming and when one of us had an upset stomach they very happily cooked food to order and off menu and prepared special herbal teas. The monkeys around the lodge were fun and it was lovely to be in an environment which was as little untouched by the lodge as possible. The walk along the beach was great too, which is all we did, this being the relaxing part of our holiday.
We didn't really try the watersports on offer, but another time would do - they appeared well organised and cater for all ages and abilities
Come here to dive/snorkel the coral reefs
The bandas are well designed, very comfortable and entirely perfect for those who like space - they are enormous! Ours had a sea view and I recommend it.
With a dive centre on site this is a good place to learn to dive, although you will see lots just snorkeling. At low tide there is a beach, but nothing to match the East coast, as the beach here is completely covered at high tide. It does not dry out as a consequence, so the staff take beds down to the beach to lie on. We stayed there quiet happily watching fishermen in their dugouts and others wading the surf looking for crab and octopus.
It got quite crowded around the lovely pool, but everyone got on and made friends. The Dutch owners are very personable and accommodating, arranging a sea food lobster supper for me when I asked, and for little extra cost. We stayed for three nights only, but would seriously consider coming back to take a diving course.
Ralph and Elies are delightful and their personal touch made for a delightful stay.
They noticed that it was my wife's birthday and unprompted arranged a private dinner by the sea for our family to celebrate. This is a wonderfully peaceful place with a pretty beach and excellent pool.
The staff were all excellent and the tour through the village with Rashid was fascinating.
Beautiful and Relaxing Unguja Lodge
We finished our safari with 8 nights at Unguja lodge where we were looked after very well by Elies and Ralph along with their friendly and helpful staff. The village tour with Rashid was excellent and he has made it his own and honoured us with a visit to his own house and family.
For a truly relaxing time after a safari it would be difficult to beat Unguja Lodge. The food is excellent and our compliments to the house chef. Our family enjoyed beach combing when the tide was out and my son had his first scuba dive with Nick. All in all we had a fantastic time here.
Unguja Lodge review
Loved the sea view lodge that was really worthwhile and special. Fantastic lodges , so spacious. Excellent for divers and snorkelers even saw whales swimming by.
Walking to the village was easy and felt very safe and wandering on the beach very enjoyable as the local folk collected their seashell food. A good place to relax at the end of a busy safari .
Unguja Lodge review
Rooms were lovely and very well kept, plus nice touches like books and games, and tea and coffee replenished. Outside bathroom was lovely but outside toilet was a little windy so may have preferred this inside! As the lodge was quiet we got a free upgrade to a sea view villa was much appreciated.
Restaurant was beautiful and the food was excellent. Most of the waiters were very friendly but occasionally they were a little brisk or aloof especially when we first arrived.
Regarding activities, we were unaware that June is the windy season in Zanzibar. It was very windy at the lodge and as such we were unable to snorkel on the house reef in front of the lodge due to sea conditions. The house reef was the main reason we chose Unguja so this was very dissapointing, We therefore went on an expensive island trip to go snorkelling offshore which was good but was a cost we were not expecting to pay.
We also went twice to see the Kizimkazi dolphins but were fairly unsuccessful, only managing to briefly see two dolphins in the water as one of maybe 10 boats.
The best activity we did at the lodge was Rasheed's village tour of Kizimkazi. This was great value and a very interesting insight in to Zanzibar life that we would not have been able to get alone.
Expert Africa comments
Travellers should note that June and July are the windy seasons in Zanzibar. Whilst snorkelling is usually possible during these months, some days are windier than others, which brings choppier seas and reduced visibility. It appears that these travellers were unlucky during their stay and experienced windier than usual conditions.
Unguja Lodge review
Gorgeous place with wonderful hosts and impeccably trained staff.
Fabulous food, friendly atmosphere, relaxed environment. Designed to be a part of natural surroundings, "bungalows" are more like private homes than hotel rooms. Elies and staff don't miss anything. Village tour was very informative.
Dolphin outing was fun but not sustainable. It should be more regulated so the dolphins are not so disrupted.
Lovely lodge, nearby reef good but not great
The lodge, its staff and the facilities were excellent. The food was good.
I didn't think the snorkelling was particularly good. The reef in front of the hotel is only really accessible at high tide and is fairly sparse, the snorkelling trip we went on went just a short way along the coast to a site that was better without being wonderful.
Unguja Lodge review
From the moment you arrive until you depart you are treated like a valuable guest and friend. The villas are spectacular, and only made more so by the excellent quality of the accommodations and service. If you like an on the water outdoor experience in the lap of luxury this is for you - best of both worlds.
Located near fishing village of Kizmakazi, this lodge is a divers destination. Pretty healthy reef and some good wall. Swim with dolphins is a trip. Snorkel until you fry your backside. Kids love the pool. We really enjoyed meeting family of staff in the village and learning about local life there. This is something the lodge can help arrange but is essentially self initiated if you like that sort of thing.
The food was excellent - their chef could work anywhere he wanted. We don't go anywhere twice - we like adventure,, but we'll probably go back here because its hard to turn your back on paradise. While it does not have extensive miles of pure white beach, it has enough beach to be pretty and satisfy beach bum desires.
Unguja Lodge review
Food was very good in choice presentation and taste.
Rolfe and Elise were very pleasant and welcoming. Elise in particular was very helpful in treating a nasty skin rash that one of our children got on their face.
Accommodation was very stylish. In the bedrooms it would have been good to have more cupboard or shelf space.The only negative was the problems we had with the monkeys.
As we had children sleeping in the open roof space the monkeys used to come in and disturb the children as early as 5.30am in the morning. This meant the children were woken up very early, after they had got very tired on the safari the several days before. During the day the monkeys bounced around on the mosquito nets and the beds. As a result the beds were made up every evening after the monkeys had left. Also it was not very pleasant as they dirtied clothes that they played with and on occasions soiled around the beds and tore the mosquito nets. The open spaces in the roofs are not suitable for sleeping in given the monkeys tendency to use them as play areas.
That being said we would recommend anybody staying in the enclosed bedrooms in each villa to visit Unguja.
The village tour organised by a senior local employee of the Lodge is well worth the time.
The diving school instructor Nick was very good. Very articulate in several languages he explained things really well.