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Final Intinerary Tanzania Honeymoon - Zanzibar Questions?

Final Intinerary Tanzania Honeymoon - Zanzibar Questions?

Old Jan 17th, 2008, 09:56 AM
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Final Intinerary Tanzania Honeymoon - Zanzibar Questions?

Its been a while since my last post, but Im happy to say that we just put a deposit (and purchased our plane tickets) for our Tanzania & Zanzibar honeymoon. Special thanks to everyone for their advice!

The following is our final itinerary, but we may want to tweak the Zanzibar portion. We are excited about the cultural aspect of Stonetown and may want to spend a night there. Also, Im not 100% sold on Breezes. I think Breezes will be great, but Im concerned about the size of the resort and feeling trapped. Also, if we are to spend all our time at a resort I want to know that I can go snorkeling all day and its hard to know if I can do that at Breezes. All in all it sounds wonderful but I want to get the fodorites opinions on this.
We have very little time (if we do at all) to tweak (now or never sort of thing)...

Arrive Kilimanjaro Airport 1 night Kibo Palace Arusha

Fly to Grumeti River 3 nights Mbalageti Chalet

Drive to Ngorongoro Crater (via Oldupai Gorge) 1 night Ngorongoro Serena

Drive to Lake Manyara 1 night Kirumuru Camp

Drive to Arusha for flight to Zanzibar 4 nights Breezes

Fly back Home
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 01:58 PM
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Pongwe is a lovely little beach resort on the Zanzibari coast.

www.pongwe.com

The bungalow at the end of the beach would be nice for honeymooners, as there would be no foot traffice past it. Their food is fantastic! My favorite activity there was just to pile up in a hammock and read. I did a little snorkeling there, but it's mostly a shallow, sandy bay. A day trip up to the Mnemba area is doable, however. One drawback...no A/C, just sea breezes and ceiling fans.
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Old Jan 18th, 2008, 09:50 AM
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I want to second the recommendation for Pongwe. Beautiful beach, good food, and really nice people. If you're looking for things to "do," they also have a very pretty swimming pool, and at low tide you can walk far out into the ocean and look for sea creatures and watch local folks harvest seaweed. It's a very peaceful place, and of course great for hanging out in a hammock too -- they give you a little flag to stick in the sand whenever you want a drink. We thought it was the perfect place to relax for a few days at the end of our safari. They will also arrange excursions for snorkeling and touring the island, but the prices were a bit high for the day trips (maybe because of their location?). A visit to Jozani Forest is well worth the time.

We actually stayed in that last cottage at the end of the beach, as a special anniversary surprise from our agent. It was fantastic, with a front porch looking right out on the ocean, a private deck on one side, and your own staircase down to the beach (or straight into the ocean, depending on what time of day!) I think this would be a wonderful place to stay for a honeymoon. If you ask, they'll also set up a candlelit table on the beach for your dinner. The only thing to be aware of is that you'll have ceiling fans, not air conditioning, and the place is not particularly "luxurious" -- don't know how important that is to you. We loved it there.
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 02:20 AM
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Hi
We stayed at the Palms (next door to Breezes) in July 05 as part of our honeymoon trip. The beach is beautiful - lovely to walk along, especially later in the day - but the snorkelling we did was by boat trip from Breezes watersports. The tides are such that you can't just walk out and snorkel whenever you feel like it. However, I'd agree that on low tide it is entertaining to just walk out and see what you can see (avoiding the many sea urchins!!).

I would recommend a night in Stonetown. We left Palms at about 10am, got our driver to stop at Jozani forest en route and had a tour of the mangroves and forest, to see the monkeys. Well worth doing. We arrived in Stonetown at about mid day, we were staying at Serena Inn. Outside the hotel there was a group of licensed guides, and our driver found us one who would take us on a walking tour of Stonetown. His name was Jackson and he was great. He charged us $15 each (we tipped him a lot more) and took us out from about 1pm until after 5. In this time we saw the highlights of Stonetown and probably more than if we'd just wandered about ourselves.
Got back just in time for a quick beer by the hotel pool and then went out for dinner.
We were flying at 7am next day. It was a bit rushed, but we still managed to get a look at Stonetown - if you would want to see even more (or spend more time at the various places of interest) then you could do 2 nights there.

I guess it depends on how much rest you think you'll need at the beach after the safari trip. Breezes looked very nice - but it is a fair size.

Have a wonderful time.

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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 01:26 PM
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I would also recommend Pongwe. We stayed ther for three nights after our safari last August and loved it even though we didn't have the cottage at the end of the beach. It is beautiful and the staff is REALLY nice. In Stonetown we stayed at the Tembo House. The room was small but very nice with one of the quietest air conditioners I have ever had anywhere. You are on the water, they have a nice pool and you are right in Stonetown.
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Old Jan 25th, 2008, 01:30 PM
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Thanks all for your replies and insight. It turns out that we made another move entirely and are probably going with Ras Nungwi in a superior deluxe chalet (closest to the beach).

We thought a good compromise between the luxury of breezes and the intmacy of Pongwe would be Ras Nungwi. We looked into Matemwe Bungalows but they are not open when we'll be in zanzibar.

Another reason we decided on Ras Nungwi is the close proximity to the beach which Breezes could'nt even gauratee a sea view.

Under normal circumstances we would do Pongwe as that has always been more our style but considering it's our honeymoon we decided to do something a bit different.

Anyone have any experience in the superior deluxe chalets in Ras Nungwi?
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Old Jan 25th, 2008, 01:48 PM
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No experience with Ras Nungwi, but I would second the recommendation of staying in Stone Town your last night if you have an early flight out of Zanzibar. On the way back in to Stone Town, you could also tour a spice farm, which is interesting.
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Old Jan 25th, 2008, 01:53 PM
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We definitely would like to hit Stonetown as we love to explore new cultures (one other reason we chose Ras Nungwi was the ability to walk to a nerby village). Our flight out of Dar es Salaam leaves at 11 pm on our final day so we were thinking of doing a day trip to stonetown on our final day before our flight from Zanz to Dar --- is that enough time or do you think we really need to stay at least one night?
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Old Jan 25th, 2008, 06:12 PM
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We did the spice tour and a tour of Stonetown in one day, and thought it was enough.
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 07:25 AM
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In looking to book a trip to Zanzibar, we also decided on the Ras Nungwi for the reasons you listed -- close to beach and close to a town. Most reviews on Tripadvisor.com were very favorable and the one who complained seems like she/he is very hard to please. I've heard some good things about Stonetown and we are planning a one night stay. My husband thrives on activity, so 3 nights on the beach/1 night in Stonetown should work.
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Old Feb 8th, 2008, 04:16 AM
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Hi

I was in Zanzibar in 2006 and stayed in the Shooting Star lodge in Kiwenga - it's a small place with a number of bugalows and it's just down the beach from a big resort Blue Bay I think . I have to say it was fantastic - food and service was excellent, there was a good mix of people - families/honeymooners and us Kili trekkers who were looking to relax! They have an infinity pool and cool beach bar hut. It was fantastic and i can't reccommend it highly enough.You can book dives/snorkelling etc from there too.
In Stonetown we stayed in Emerson and Greene - it is the coolest hotel - each room is unique - amazing arabic furniture.There are dinners on the rooftop each night - if you're not staying there you can still book in but places are limited. Stonetown is great for meandering around and amazing sunsets down near Tembo House.
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Old Feb 10th, 2008, 05:41 AM
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Hi
We stayed a week at Ras Nungwi (before heading to the Palms). We had a superior chalet. The only thing I would mention is that you are so close to the ocean that the sound of crashing waves might keep you awake! My husband hardly slept when we were there, it didn't really trouble me after the first night.
The rooms were fine. HUGE bed (which took up most of the floor space) and nice balcony to sit out on. Gorgeous at first light to sit and watch the boats and fishermen.

The food was excellent. Good wine list. You can do a variety of water based excursions from the hotel, including snorkelling trips to Mnemba Island. We did the deep sea fishing on a rough day. Enough said! Chef cooked our main catch - a barracuda - in about 8 different ways for us and it was wonderful. He then served up Barracuda Pate as a starter to everybody the next evening.

The beach is stunning to walk along and the walk to Nungwi village is good. Just before the village there is a lovely little turtle sanctuary that you can explore. If you walk in the opposite direction of the village the beach will probably be deserted.

It's a fabulous spot and I think 4 nights there is just right. I found a week there just a little bit too long.
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Old Feb 27th, 2008, 06:12 AM
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Thanks for the insight on the various accommodations and especially the personal experiences in regards to Ras Nungwi...

I'm going to start another post regarding my final itinerary --- hope to get your opinions again.

Thanks
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