Many locals in Dar Es Saleem informed me that the perfect paradise section on Zanzibar Island was the northern tip. Nungwi is a village located on the far northern end of Zanzibar Island that was spoken very highly of. This remote town, I was told, had the most beautiful beaches that house stunning sunsets and sunrises on the island. My travel partner and I were very excited to go spend the majority of our week lounging in Nungwi.
Getting to Nungwi, Zanzibar
Nungwi was our first destination in Zanzibar and we had already decided to take the public transport. After disembarking the ferry, we made our way to sit down and have a beer to speak to some locals. We made our way to Livingstone Beach Restaurant so we could get some input and make a plan. Here, our server was very informative of how to get to Nungwi via the dala-dala. He informed us where the stop was, how long to ride for, and the price it should be.
The dala-dala stop was at the other end of Stone Town. Our server told us how to get to the bus stop by going through Stone Town. Stone Town is a maze of cobblestone paths that go through narrow stone buildings. Somehow, we were able to make it through the maze of streets to find our bus stop. We found our bus and packed in with the locals for the long drive ahead. Lucky for us, we just had to ride the bus all the way to the end of the line which made it way easier than trying to figure out a random stop to get off.
They pack the bus completely full. The locals greeted us with smiles and the guy next to me spoke to me a little bit. The ride there was on dirt roads stopping in villages to pick-up or drop off more passengers. Taking foreign public transport is always exciting to me. It gives you a really good view of how the locals live and more to their culture.
The northern end of Zanzibar is home to a lot of locally owned guesthouses along with some bigger hotels. After doing some research, I found a budget friendly place to stay that was spoken very highly of. This place was called Cocoa Guest House and was absolutely amazing. I strongly recommend looking them up if you make your way to Zanzibar.
For $30USD a night, we had a private room + bathroom and breakfast every morning. The staff was very friendly and laid back. The buildings looked like local shelters and our room was tropical themed. The room was a very decent size with a queen size bed with mosquito netting. We had a thirty-second walk to the beach that took us through the souvenir market. Souvenirs are way cheaper up here than down in Stone Town.
The beaches were filled with what seemed like a younger generation of people or couples. I didn’t see a lot of families up here as I did other places on Zanzibar. The locals will hassle you a bit to try and get you to do any sort of activity. After your first day on the beach then they kinda back off but be prepared to say “no” a lot your first day on the beach. There are heaps of places to eat but personally, my favorite was eating the street food found in the nearby town.
Up here, the locals are mostly what they call beach boys or the party animals. I was asked constantly if I wanted any “smoke” or “coke.” Some of them even walk around with abused monkeys. They may look cute, but the horrible story of how these men own these monkeys is horrific. Do not support any local that has a pet monkey.
We were absolutely amazed by how beautiful the northern part of Zanzibar was. The beaches were clear and it was a perfect spot to sit back and relax by the beach. Spending some days here was what a vacation is supposed to feel like. If you head to Zanzibar, you need to make your way up here.
You can view some tips about Zanzibar I wrote here.