Pongwe v. Matemwe Bungalows

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Apr 1st, 2006, 01:10 PM
  #1
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Pongwe v. Matemwe Bungalows

My fiance and will be in Kenya/Tanzania for our honeymoon at the end of August. I'm really looking forward to the beach portion of our trip (as it's winter in New York...) and have narrowed our search on Zanzibar to Pongwe and Matemwe Bungalows, both of which sound incredible (we like small, intimate places with beautiful views/nice beaches/great food).

Matemwe is 3x as expensive. Is it of a significantly higher standard than Pongwe, or are they comparably nice? We are aware the Pongwe does not have a pool and that the fans don't run all night.
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Apr 1st, 2006, 02:48 PM
  #2
dlo
 
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Pongwe is nice and if you can handle the fans going off you will enjoy it.The staff is very nice and the food is good.There are not many activities other than laying on the beach though.
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Apr 1st, 2006, 07:40 PM
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Pongwe is a lovely property. The food is excellent and the staff attentive. I'm sure you'd enjoy it. Make sure that you get one of the bungalows on the beach; some are set back a bit and don't get the breeze. You'd probably want to ask for one further down the beach, as well, so that there is little foot traffic past your door. Just let them know in advance that it's your honeymoon.

Although there aren't many things to do on the property, you'll enjoy just kicking back and relaxing after your safari. The hammocks under the coconut palms were wonderful! Also, they can arrange day trips (spice farm tour, fishing, snorkeling or diving trips.)
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Apr 3rd, 2006, 12:03 PM
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bat
 
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katesy:
We stayed at Matemwe Bungalows (Pongwe was a serious contender). The one night the electricity went out (not usual), turning off the fan, we woke up hot and sweaty. Now, hot and sweaty on a honeymoon can be a good thing but IMO sleep deprivation, because the weather is too uncomfortably hot to sleep is not. So I am very glad we did not choose Pongwe for that reason. (August may be different than Feb when we were there, but I think that Zbar is pretty hot and humid year round.)

We used the pools alot--one of which had a stunning view of the ocean. You probably know that Zbar is very tidal which limits when you can swim in the ocean. Plus, the bungalows each have a fabuous shaded terrace from which to watch the stunning view in privacy.

You can read my description--toward the end--in my trip report. Note that the very last unit 12--has a very small cove next to it; it would be the most private--but you would be the furthest from the dining room, large beach, bars etc.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...=million+flies
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Apr 3rd, 2006, 12:14 PM
  #5
bat
 
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One other advantage Matemwe has is its closeness to Mnemba for snorkeling--you can do that from other locations but it is a short boat ride out and back from Matemwe.
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Apr 4th, 2006, 08:26 AM
  #6
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Thanks for all the advise! We decided to go with Matemwe Bungalows, since they had better availability, as well as fans as a pool which reading your notes I decided was important (plus their rates are full board, so it doesn't work out to be as expensive as I thought). Now we just have to wait until August...
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Apr 4th, 2006, 08:46 AM
  #7
bat
 
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Have a great wedding and a great honeymoon.
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Apr 4th, 2006, 08:46 AM
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Pongwe has ceiling fans too. See here: http://www.africatravelresource.com/...ZPON/ZPONd.htm

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Apr 4th, 2006, 10:10 AM
  #9
bat
 
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pixelpower:
The issue re fans was cutting off the electricity at midnight (or some certain hour)--not the actual existence of fans.
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Apr 5th, 2006, 02:02 AM
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I see. Sorry
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Apr 5th, 2006, 08:57 AM
  #11
bat
 
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pixelpower:
You do not have to apologize--I hope that I did not suggest that you did--you were just trying to add useful information.
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Apr 6th, 2006, 01:42 AM
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You didn't. But I'm always trying to be polite.

Sorry that I made you think that you made me think I had to apologise!

(see? now I'm doing it again! :-; )
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Apr 6th, 2006, 04:23 AM
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