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A flying visit to Jambiani, Zanzibar

Updated: May 11, 2019

Tired of trudging through sooty Dar es Salaam markets to fill in time during a 2-day flight layover, I found a Wi-Fi cafe and checked in on Facebook. Luckily for me, a friend immediately came to my rescue and insisted I took a 20-minute flight over to Zanzibar.

With some quick research and flying off a few emails, I found a room for two nights and was on my way to the chilled-out beach of Jambiani.

Arriving at the Zanzibar airport, a willing taxi driver whisked me off for AUS $50 (recommended rate online).

As we approached Jambiani, the roads got narrower and bumpier and the buildings became more primitively constructed with mud walls, threaded palm leaves for shelter over the window openings and thatched roofs galore.

Squeezing down a skinny, dusty lane, I was thrilled to see that my booked accommodation really was at the beach front. The front lawn was sand, and a hammock swinging between 3 coconut trees was virtually over the edge of the breaking water.

Little stalls dotted around the beach were abundant in fresh coconuts and mangoes. I could hardy wait to unpack my book, buy a few coconuts and jump into that beckoning hammock.

The afternoon was lusciously lazy. The incoming tide bringing crashing waves was meditative, but as the tide turned, the Indian Ocean became a lake of insane turquoise blue.

Then like ants, a line of local’s waded out through the shallow waters to retrieve their catch from woven baskets, that had starting bobbing up like buoys from their anchored plots. Fresh seafood gets bought back to shore carried in overladen baskets amazingly balanced on the well poised heads.

Heading to the beach with a handful of other tourists, I got to choose which pristine fish would be my dinner. Primitive clay pots were bought out by children, and numerous fire pits were promptly constructed on the beach.

As well as being totally captivated by Jambianis simplicity of life and complete authenticity, this was the best seafood I had ever eaten. It was so hard to leave.

Best Bits: Having my dinner cooked on the beach.

Best Tip: Take a book, plenty of hammock time.

Worst Bit: 2 days is not long enough.

Next Trip: Come back to Jambiani, Zanzibar and take time to also visit Stone Town and check out the house where Freddie Mercury used to live.


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