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By  on Nov 11, 2015


Africa’s coast is lined with turquoise waters, powder-soft beaches and some of the planet’s most beautiful tropical islands. Nowhere is this more in evidence than in Tanzania’s Zanzibar archipelago. Here are our top 9 beach properties off Tanzania’s coast for the most perfect idyllic getaway.

Mnemba Island

No list of top Zanzibar properties would be complete without Africa’s flagship beach lodge – Mnemba Island. The wonderful island of Mnemba is just 10 minutes’ boat ride off Zanzibar itself and is well respected as one of the planet’s finest private islands. Surrounded by coral reef and some of the best beaches in the world, Mnemba Island is the first lodge I’d suggest as an add-on to a top-end luxury safari. With only 10 rooms spread out amongst the forest in the centre of the island, Mnemba epitomises a ‘no shoes no news’ philosophy. With an eye-watering price tag of over $3,000, a night during peak season in this place is far from cheap, but if no-frills beach living is your thing then there are very few lodges worldwide to beat Mnemba.

Chumbe Island

This place rarely makes it onto a top beach property list, but Chumbe is a truly unique destination that is surrounded by some of the finest coral reefs in Africa. It may not have one of the region’s best beaches, but there are very few places as charming, as well priced and as interesting as this. Located off the coast of Zanzibar’s capital Stone Town, Chumbe is a lodge that receives few beach enthusiasts yet remains one of the most exciting properties in Africa for snorkelling. The beach itself is small, but a short stay here enriches your understanding of the richness of these waters and puts Zanzibar on the map for some of the best reefs in the world. I’d book it with time spent at a lodge where the beach is the focus.

Fundu Lagoon

This remotely located lodge sits on Pemba Island, the northern island in the Zanzibar archipelago. Most famous for being the luxury option away from the crowds yet still on Zanzibar itself, Fundu Lagoon has long been ideal for honeymooners and adventurers who are looking for something different. With access to the stunning picture-perfect Mesali Island as well as some of the very best diving waters in the entire region, Fundu Lagoon offers a host of activities alongside just lazing around on the beach. Suites are expensive, whereas standard rooms offer seriously good value for such a top-end lodge. A great option if the commercial side of Zanzibar is not to your liking.

White Sand Luxury Villas and Spa

White Sand is a fairly new addition to the Zanzibar lodge scene, but it has made quite an impact with its classy design and quiet location on a beautiful stretch of beach on the island’s east coast. With only 11 rooms, this premier lodge provides its guests with a private and personalised high-end experience that not many other properties on Zanzibar can rival! Despite its relatively small size, White Sand’s room categories are flexible – five one-bedroom villas, five two-bedroom villas and a five-bedroom presidential suite. This variety allows the lodge to cater for a broad spectrum of holiday goers – from honeymoon couples to larger families. White Sand also offers its guests a wide range of activities, including kite surfing, diving, snorkelling and the use of beach bikes!

Pongwe Beach Hotel

Situated on the quiet south-eastern side of Zanzibar, Pongwe Beach Hotel can arguably be considered one of the best value-for-money properties on the island, whilst providing consistently high-quality food and service. Pongwe Beach Hotel has its own private beach, which is a rarity on Zanzibar. Due to this privacy, Pongwe doesn’t have to contend with the nuisance of hawks and touts, unlike many other lodges. The secluded beach is ideal for guests who just want to relax on holiday. Whilst Pongwe doesn’t have its own watersports centre, snorkelling and diving excursions can be arranged via Reception – great news for more adventurous visitors to Zanzibar!

Kilindi Zanzibar

Kilindi is quite simply the ultimate honeymooners’ getaway. Each of its 12 pavilion rooms is isolated and boasts an uninterrupted view across the Indian Ocean. The Pavilions consist of a large, airy bedroom and a bathroom with a view to die for. These rooms are split by a patio and dipping pool – and there is certainly enough space for guests to while their days away without ever having to go to the communal areas! With its high standards of service and an excellent kitchen, Kilindi without doubt earns a place in the premier category of lodges. It is also located a mere 20-minute walk across the beach from Kendwa, which is arguably the best beach on the island!

Matlai Boutique Hotel

Matlai Boutique Hotel is in many ways quite unique on Zanzibar, both in its style and in its approach. There are currently only four rooms, although a further four are being built and are due to be completed in the coming months. This small scale allows Matlai to really pay attention to a guest’s every need. Flexibility is the norm here – and as a result, meal times and meal locations vary according to what the guest wants to do. Like many lodges on Zanzibar, Matlai does not have its own watersports centre, but guests wishing to snorkel or dive can do so through the dive centre on the nearest beach. The hotel is also located just a stone’s throw from The Rock, a famous restaurant that sits on a small coral outcrop off the beach and can only be reached by boat.

Ras Kutani

Located some 40 kilometres to the south of Dar es Salaam along the Swahili coast, Ras Kutani offers an idyllic and isolated beach getaway. With its restful, laidback atmosphere, this lodge is ideal not only before a safari after a long international flight, but also after the rigours of early mornings and game-viewing activities. Watersports activities are somewhat limited here, with just snorkelling and canoeing available, so Ras Kutani is best suited to guests who are happy reading a book and generally relaxing.

Pole Pole

Pole Pole is located within the Marine Reserve on Mafia Island, which makes up a part of the Zanzibar Archipelago. While Pole Pole does not have the best of beaches, it does offer what can be considered the ultimate diving along the East African coastline, along with a good number of other activities – both on the water and in the form of excursions to neighbouring islands such as Chole. The lodge itself is intimate and comfortable, and the excellent food is truly the cherry on the cake!

Venue: Milimani City Conference Complex, Dar es Salaam Tanzania

Date: 1st to 3rd October, 2015

It’s that time of year again when we start preparing for the Swahili International Tourism Expo (SITE) 2015, taking place from the 1st-3rd October at the Milimani City Conference Complex in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. We’re all on board to welcome you to a truly East African experience coupled with great hospitality with a diversity of cultures making SITE a not-to-missed show!

Exhibitors from outside and within Tanzania will be promoting their product(s) with over 60 local and international trade visitors that have confirmed their attendance, in order to build new relationships, re-affirming old relationships and also grow new business validating Africa as a destination of choice. SITE 2015 also boasts a fabulous line up of Conference Speakers, including Mr Terry Dale, President of USTOA who will be sharing vital knowledge about tourism and Nigel Vere Nichol CEO of ATTA who will talk about the changing face of Africa- a tourism perspective.

The highlight of this year’s show is the Cultural Pavilion which will form the heart of SITE as it brings together various cultures showcasing Tanzania’s diverse ethnicity and diversity. Local cuisine and delicacies will form part of the restaurant serving up the taste and smell of East Africa in the form of Nyama Choma. Live performances, Theatre of arts and crafts, henna, face painting and shopping all form part of the cultural vibe at the village.
SITE will also have a dedicated hosted buyer lounge enabling business deals to be conducted and sealed, a media centre accrediting journalists a place to work and a conferencing facility hosting relevant and topical discussions grappling East Africa’s tourism sector. Registered exhibitors will have access to an on-line diary with sophisticated matchmaking system to arrange targeted meetings with clients.
This year we have 3 exciting competitions, which is a weekend away at Ledger Plaza Bahari Beach! Be sure to visit the website ( to register and also stand a chance of winning!

Join Terry Dale, President/CEO of USTOA at S!TE 2015 in Dar es Salaam, ‪#‎TANZANIA‬ October 1-3, 2015!

USTOA Terry Dale to speak at S!TE 2015 The Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) is pleased to announce that Terry Dale, CEO and President of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) will be a ...



By Charles Runnette

Oct. 20, 2015

Tanzania’s Rubondo Island—home to abundant wildlife including a colony of chimps—is a welcome detour from the same-old same-old safari experience

THE ROAD TO Rubondo Island is neither easy nor well trod. After three bush flights, I found myself at an airstrip in Northern Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, where the flights to Rubondo originate. 

“Is this your first visit to the island?” my young, RayBan-sporting South African pilot, Denise Ellinas, asked me as we walked to the plane ahead of the handful of other visitors. “Yes,” I nodded, wondering if she could possibly be mistaking me for the sort of adventurer who makes a habit of returning to one of Africa’s remotest corners. 

“I’ve flown all across Africa and I can tell you that Rubondo is special—a really unique spot,” Captain Ellinas said.

The wild and unlikely tale of Rubondo dates to the 1960s, when the Tanzanian National Park service turned over the keys to this densely forested Nantucket-size island in southwestern Lake Victoria to famed German zoologist and Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Bernhard Grzimek.

Quickly seeing the deserted island’s potential as a protected habitat for endangered wildlife, Mr. Grzimek began to introduce a number of species to the island, including elephants, giraffe and gray parrots. Somewhat surprisingly, all of the newcomers established habitats on the island without upsetting its native wildlife, which includes vervet monkeys, spot-necked otters, crocodiles, hippopotamus and sitatungas (a cousin of the antelope). But Mr. Grzimek’s greatest coup remains his successful population of Rubondo with chimpanzees from zoos and circuses across Europe roughly 45 years ago. Unwanted by their previous owners because of aggressive behavior toward humans, the eight males and nine females he brought to the island rapidly adapted to their new home. Today, the colony is thriving and has more than doubled in size.

As our plane descended in the fading light after the two-hour flight, Captain Ellinas offered up a quick aerial overview of the island. Just south of the airstrip, on a small beach, sits Rubondo Island Camp, the island’s only guest accommodation, comprised of eight luxury huts, a sprawling open-air main public area and a luxury tree house. To the north of the camp is the ranger station and, at the very top of the island, Africa’s newest—and possibly best-protected—colony of chimpanzees live in the forest under a thick canopy of trees. 

“The chimps are settling into their nests for the night just about now,” Captain Ellinas told us just before we landed. (Chimpanzees, it turns out, literally make their beds almost every night.) 

Signing in at the open-air hut that functions as the island’s airport, I felt we’d landed in an otherworldly place. There was no cell service and we were clearly outnumbered by the wildlife. “I’m expecting Mr. Rourke to appear any moment and say ‘Welcome to Fantasy Island!’” said Jeff Graper, who, along with his wife, Janet, was visiting from Eugene, Ore. Moments later, our guide, a Tanzanian 20-something named Elisante William, greeted us with Champagne on the airstrip.

Later that evening in the open, breezy, public area of the camp, which has an old-school Mexican-resort vibe (shades of “Night of the Iguana,” but in a good way), I met with Mr. William and Milton Mpuche, the camp’s general manager, to talk about tracking the chimpanzees the following day. 

I’d read that the odds of actually spotting Rubondo’s chimps, who are naturally wary of humans, are low, and Mr. Mpuche did not offer false hope. “The rangers have been staying close to the chimpanzees for more than a year to habituate them to humans,” he said. “But it takes time. Right now you have no more than a 40% chance of seeing them up close.” 

Ever the optimist, I signed on for a demanding all-day hike deep into the lush, unspoiled forest the next day.

Lake Victoria, nearly the size of Lake Superior, has the sort of imposing white caps you see in the ocean, which made for a bumpy, hourlong speedboat ride to the northernmost tip of the island. When we arrived, Mr. William, two armed park rangers, Mr. Mpuche and I waded to the shore past a few hungry-looking crocodiles and into the thick of the chimpanzee habitat. 

The dark, humid forest streaked with vines seemed prehistoric. Thick fig trees and evergreens created a heavy canopy that made my sunscreen entirely unnecessary. During our grueling five hours of nonstop hiking and bushwhacking, we startled several wide-eyed sitatunga and saw a couple of elephants ambling down a nearby path. We had one “whoa-that-was-close!” moment with a Great Dane-size monitor lizard and came across dozens of chimpanzee nests, which the animals make from branches. But no matter how hard we strained our eyes in the dimness of the forest, we could not make out a single chimp.


After pushing our way through bush and shrub, climbing up and down hillsides and through at least a dozen small valleys, our guide told us we were getting close to the chimps. Mr. William radioed ahead, the rangers radioed back; we ran in one direction, the chimps ran in the other. Able to swing from the vines hanging from the fig trees and completely at home on their own turf, the chimps remained consistently just out of sight. Exhausted, we admitted defeat and headed back to camp on the boat. We motored through the lake more slowly this time to watch the white-headed African fish eagles hunting for a meal, crocodiles slipping in at the water’s edge and hippos lazily grazing on the shore. 

I spent the remainder of my three days on Rubondo taking shorter hikes in the forest and boating on Lake Victoria to birdwatch while others fished for Nile Perch and tilapia. Oh, and I spent plenty of time by the pool.

While wildlife is the highlight of any trip to Rubondo, my night in the Robinson Crusoe-style treehouse was a close second. Perched in a tall tree overlooking Lake Victoria, the open platform with a copper tub and a bed draped in mosquito netting might actually have been my closest chimp encounter: I heard plenty of rustling all through the night, but I can’t say with any certainty which of the noises were made by chimpanzees. 

Though I didn’t see any chimps, I agree with fellow guest Mr. Graper, who said, “Would I come back? In a heart beat! It’s worth a second trip even without the chimpanzees.”


(October 1, 2013, New York, NY) Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) announced the 2013 winners of the annual TTB Tourism awards. Hon. Amb. Khamis Kagasheki, Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism joined by Hon. Amb. Liberata Mulamula, Tanzania Ambassador to the United States presented awards to three of the honorees at the Africa Travel Association (ATA) eighth annual Presidential Forum held at New York University.
The three honorees who received the TTB Award in New York were:
Elite Traveler Magazine received the Tanzania Tourist Board Luxury Travel Media Award for extensive coverage of Tanzania including the Serengeti Migration being named as one of the top African safaris. Tova Syrowicz, Travel Editor, accepted on behalf of Elite Traveler Magazine.
African Travel, Inc. received the Tanzania Tourist Board Tour Operator Southern/ Western Circuit Award in recognition of their stand-alone safaris to the Southern/Western circuit of Tanzania which include many of Tanzania’s hidden gems such as Katavi and Ruaha National Park. David Schwenk, Sales Manager for North East, accepted on behalf of African Travel, Inc.
Africa Adventure Consultants, a Colorado-based tour operator, won the Tanzania Tourist Board Tour Operator Product Development Award in recognition of offering 34 Tanzania-only itineraries, including the “In Livingstone’s Footsteps” series; representing a 36% increase from 2012. Kent Redding, President, accepted on behalf of Africa Adventure Consultants.
The Awards program was created in 2000 to recognize and show appreciation to the travel professionals and media who have worked hard promoting and selling Tanzania in the US market, as well as to provide an incentive to increase the numbers even more in the coming years. TTB selected the Annual Africa Travel Presidential Forum to present the awards to show support for ATA’s ever expanding global reach in promoting tourism to the Continent of Africa.

Full List of Tanzania Tourist Board Award Winners 2013

1. Business Travel Media Award Premier Traveler Magazine
2. Luxury Travel Media Award
Elite Traveler Magazine
3. Tour Operator Southern/ Western Circuit Award
African Travel, Inc.
4. Tour Operator Product Development Award
Infinite Safari Adventures
5. Tour Operator Product Development Award
Africa Adventure Consultants
6. Supporting Local Airline Award
Precision Air
7. Hotels/Lodges/Camp Sustainable Tourism Award
8. Supporting International Airline Award
Qatar Airways
9. Tour Operator Humanitarian Award
African Environments
10. Tour Operator Southern/ Western Circuit Award
Foxes Safari Camps
11. Supporting Local Charter Company Award
Coastal Aviation
12. Lodges Tourism Promotion Award
Serena Hotels
13. Hotels Tourism Promotion Award
Southern Sun Hotels
14. Journalist Award
Apolinario Tairo
15. Blog Award
Tembea Tanzania
16. Supporting Local Media House Award
Channel 10

About Tanzania
Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, is focused on wildlife conservation and sustainable tourism, with approximately 28% of the land protected by the Government, the largest percentage of any country in the world. It boasts 16 National Parks and 31 game reserves, 50 Game Controlled Areas, one special Conservation Area (the Ngorongoro) and three Marine Parks. It is home to the tallest mountain in Africa, the legendary Mt. Kilimanjaro; The Serengeti, home to the "Great Animal Migration" that was named the New 7th Wonder of the World by USA Today and ABC TV's Good Morning America; the world acclaimed Ngorongoro Crater, often referred to as the "Eden of Africa" and the “8th Wonder of the World”; Olduvai Gorge, the cradle of mankind: the Selous, the world’s largest game reserve; Ruaha, now the second largest National Park in Africa; the spice islands of Zanzibar; and seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Most important for visitors, the Tanzanian people, with a rich history and diverse blend of cultures, are warm and friendly. Tanzania, an oasis of peace and stability with a democratically elected and stable government, celebrated its 50th Anniversary of Independence in 2011.
For more information on Tanzania, visit
Editorial Contact:
Karen Hoffman/ Chanel LeMond
The Bradford Group
Tel: (212) 447-0027


TANZANIA (eTN) - To ensure security and diplomatic support to foreign visitors and tourists visiting Tanzania, the Tanzania Police Force has established a special unit charged to take care of the safety requirements of diplomatic mission members and other foreign tourists visiting destination Tanzania.

Commanding Officer of the Unit, Tanzania’s Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mary Nzuki, said Tanzania Police Force had decided to form a special unit to ensure that tourists who come to visit this African safari country would enjoy maximum security throughout their stay.

“We in the Police Force recognized that it was high time we establish the special unit which will be responsible for the security of diplomats and tourists visiting our country,” said ACP Nzuki.

She noted that her mission was to meet tourist stakeholders to learn more about the tourism and hospitality industry and establishing how they could work together for the benefit of the industry.

She visited the Tanzania Tourist Board and assured the board’s management and other stakeholders of her full support through the police.

The Tanzania Tourist Board Managing Director, Dr. Aloyce Nzuki, said the Police Force’s move would make a significant impact on the development of the tourism industry in Tanzania, because peace and security are critical factors in attracting more visitors to any destination.

“You may be endowed with unique tourist attractions, but if there is no peace and security, tourists will never come,” he pointed out.

Tanzania government had last month decided to establish special units within the Tanzania Police Force to address security issues pertaining to investment ventures, mining in particular, tourism, and environment in an effort to reduce crime in key tourist areas including cities, towns, wildlife parks, historical sites, roads leading to remote tourist sites, hotels, and lodges.

Tourism and mining sectors are Tanzania’s leading foreign exchange earners. The tourism industry is currently under the stress of illegal hunting that is threatening the elephant population and black rhinos, all of which need strong committed police protection.

Tanzania Gains Seventh World Heritage Site

The Kondoa Rock Art Site in Tanzania has just been named as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) along with four other sites in Africa.  This site will be the seventh World Heritage Site existing in Tanzania.  The other sites are: Kilimanjaro National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara, Serengeti National Park, Selous Game Reserve and Stone Town, Zanzibar.

Kondoa Rock Art Sites in Dodoma Region, on the eastern slopes of the Maasai escarpment bordering the Great Rift Valley are natural rock shelters, overhanging slabs of sedimentary rocks fragmented by rift faults, whose vertical planes have been used for rock paintings over at least two millennia. The spectacular collection of images from over 150 shelters over 2,336 km2, many with high artistic value, displays sequences that provide a unique testimony to the changing socio-economic base of the area from hunter-gatherer to agro-pastoralist societies, and the beliefs and ideas associated with them. Some of the shelters are still considered to have ritual associations with the people who live nearby reflecting their beliefs, rituals and cosmological traditions.

New Endangered Fish Species Found on Tanzania's Mafia Island

New endangered fish species have been discovered on the beautiful island of Mafia, off the coast of mainland Tanzania on the Indian Ocean.  This new discovery increases the number of the world's threatened species found in Tanzania.  Marine experts say that "whale-shark" one of these rare fish species was found in the country's waters some two months ago.  Whale-shark is mostly found in deep sea, about 200 meters below the water surface.  What makes this discovery so unique is that the fish were found in shallow waters ion Mafia.  Mafia Island and Mnazi Bay Marine Parks are amongst Tanzania's largest marine protected areas.  Other protected reserves are Mbudya, Pangani and Bongoyo Islands.

Other endangered species (Dugong and Coelacanth) were found in the coastal areas three years ago.  Coelacanth, which has been re-discovered in some parts of the world after over 64 million years of apparent extinction was found in the coastal areas of Tanga, Kilwa, Lindi and Pangani.

John Mapepele, a Senior Information Officer of Marine Parks and Reserves Unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism said the country is also endowed with a variety of the world's threatened fish species &endash; tuna, barracuda, turtles and others. Tanzania is so rich in marine sources and one can find dolphins and whales as well as sea urchins, fruit-bats, starfish and octopuses.  Mapapele said the Ministry wants to put more emphasis on ecotourism in an effort to attract more tourists. 

Tanzania Tourist Board/ USA New Email Address

The Tanzania Tourist Board in the U.S. has a new e-mail address for all inquiries:

For more  information on Tanzania visit;
in the US (212) 447-0027; email