A bit of Hakuna Matata

Posted by Christi Nortier on 22 April 2020

Christi Nortier finds an Indian Ocean island resort that feels like a retreat.
Sandies Baobab Beach Resort, Nungwi, Zanzibar

Boats from the nearby village are on standby to take tourists out for the day. Image credit: supplied

Resorts are no place for an introvert, let alone one travelling on her own. The constant threat of being roped into a volleyball game or bingo next to the pool dictates much of where you hide away. This time, I felt I could roam around undisturbed.

Every morning I’d trade being a starfish in my king-sized bed under crisp sheets and an air-con breeze for floating like a starfish in the balmy sea. It was just a minute’s walk down past the swimming pool onto powder-soft Nungwi Beach.

I could drift as far out and for as long as I wanted. Afterwards, it was 10 steps back up to the resort and a sho’t-left to the open-air Beach Gallery for the breakfast buffet (pancakes and Zanzibar coffee go well together, trust me).

The resort is on the north-western tip of the island, so it’s unaffected by the tides. While travellers on other parts of the island have to contend with rocks and mudflats once the waters pull away, Nungwi’s ocean is full and still all day.

After breakfast I had the option of another dip, and another after lunch, or joining the day’s outing – to one of the spice farms or a snorkelling trip. Later, there was always a sundowner on the loungers as dhows slid past close to shore.

The resort’s design has a Swahili flair, as in this superior room. Image credit: supplied

Navigating the resort was easy – it may have more than 100 rooms, but the property is not large enough to get lost, even with all the winding pathways through lush foliage. The baobab trees that dot the property serve as landmarks, and no matter where your room is, the beach is close by.

The staff were ever-present, friendly and went the extra mile, like bringing me a helping of cardamom rice (despite it not being on the menu that evening) because I’d fallen in love with it. The food was sublime and extraordinary; I had sailfish for the first time, and tried every local dish from the elaborate buffet.

In Zanzibar I heard the phrase hakuna matata (‘no worries’) a lot. Sandies Baobab embodied this – it has a laid-back, quiet, warm atmosphere that rubs off on its guests.

I became so chilled that I found myself chatting to people treading water on my morning swim. In fact, I even joined them for a game of volleyball later.

Best Feature
The soft white beach lapped by turquoise water so close to the resort – having round-the-clock, unlimited access to it is a dream. Even if you aren’t on the beach or in the sea, the resort’s facilities all face onto it. It’s magnetic.

From R3,217 pp sharing (Garden Room), including all meals, most drinks and resort activities.

+255-772-180-222, baobabzanzibar.sandies-resorts.com


This article was first published in the December 2019 issue of Getaway magazine.
Get this issue →
All prices correct at publication, but are subject to change at each establishment’s discretion. Please check with them before booking or buying.


yoast-primary - 1012443
tcat - Accommodation
tcat_slug - accommodation
tcat2 - Accommodation
tcat2_slug - accommodation
tcat_final -