Zanzibar Hotels

Fish Eagle Point

For a service dedicated to serving travellers who wish to visit Zanzibar, it may seem rather ironic that our featured venue is not actually on the archipelago, but is actually some 32 miles west of Pemba, and 61 miles north of Unguja. We do, however, have quite carefully considered reasons for our choice.

While Zanzibar is undoubtedly one of the most pristine beach environments on earth, has some of the best diving, some of the warmest waters, and - in places - some truly excellent standards of hospitality; we are sensitive to the fact that some of our guests may feel a modicum of regret that a special component of what they have imagined about escaping to an unspoiled tropical paradise, is missing, and may feel disappointed with us that we did not apprise them of this consideration during their planning phase. This concern will certainly not apply to every visitor, but in our experience, while the vast majority really enjoy their stay on Zanzibar, a significant number of people express surprise at how very dense the population of fellow visitors can be at many places on Zanzibar, throughout much of the year.

Probably one of best choices for a peaceful and tranquil stay on the entire Indian Ocean

For young people who are hoping to make new acquaintances over drinks and noisy music, or interact with foreigners from many other countries, some of northern Unguja’s hustle and bustle may be exactly what is sought, and a stay in Kendwa would probably be the proposal of choice. But for what we perceive to be a growing number of people who already lead active and varied professional and social lives at home, what is often desired is to escape hoi polloi and be somewhere where one can forget the busyness, constraints and controls of the developed world, let off a little steam, and perhaps just get to know one’s family, better-half, or oneself a little better. It is with those in this camp in mind, that we heartily recommend Fish Eagle Point.

Minimal environmental-impact lodging

Quite a number of visitors nowadays are conscious of the environmental impact that their holiday can have on the very environment that they have travelled so far to cherish, and the knowledge that their accommodation provider is asking their immediate natural resources to undertake quite a considerable sacrifice to accommodate visitors, can detract from the sense of restfulness and stress-release that many visitors seek. While certainly not run by judgemental eco-fascists that get worked up when a shower lasts longer than four minutes, Fish Eagle Point nonetheless places a strong emphasis on their aspirations to minimise the ecological impact of their operation and are on a steady course to bring this reasonably close to zero, as profits are ploughed directly back into their sustainable micro-infrastructure.

With a view to providing what is necessary for a relaxed and comfortable stay, Fish Eagle therefore makes no pretensions towards luxury, and visitors should perhaps consider some alternatives if they have their heart set on the very highest infrastructural specifications. The rooms are totally open to free flow of air, with the main walls at the front and sides rising only to waist height. Although equipped with nets, it is surprisingly rare to encounter mosquitoes here. On our last stay we failed to identify any mosquitoes and were advised by the owners that this is likely due to the extremely low population density of the environs.

Each room is en suite to a spacious shower room that uses sea water, rather than relying on heavy trucks to bring in fresh water as most of the luxury grade hotels are required to do. Since the whole building plan is open to the ocean breeze, each room also connects to its own walled safe room with a metal-gridded door, so that bags and clothes can be left without concern.

The restaurant area is inspiring, affording open access directly onto a very private beach where honeymoon couples can find a secluded cove, or youngsters can explore.

All in all, we find this place to benefit from the perfect combination of a laid back and laissez faire attitude, and at the same time the high personal and corporate standards of professionalism that we have long come to expect from the experienced and conscientious couple that owns and runs it.

How to get to Fish Eagle Point

The cost of the very special privilege of being at Fish Eagle is its remoteness. While a little extra time and cost needs to be invested to reach Fish Eagle Point, frankly we feel that those who can afford the time for at least a three night stay would in retrospect be disappointed to be assailed by some of the crowds that are inevitable at most of the Indian Ocean idylls, especially Zanzibar.

The adventurous method

Perhaps the most imaginative and memorable way of getting to Fish Eagle is by heading overland on the last day of a wildlife safari that ends with game viewing at Tarangire. Unless working with one of Tanzania’s high volume safari operators, who usually confine their safaris to the beaten track, it is possible to undertake rather an extraordinary adventure that heads through some of the native Maasai lands where very few westerners have ever set foot and where the Maasai culture is still visible in its authentically raw and fascinating form.

Quitting Tarangire National Park at lunch time, the rest of the day’s drive east through largely uncharted African savannah will take you to a very rudimentary, but rather unique, wilderness camping area, which your safari operator will need to equip fully with lightweight tents and mobile ablutions facilities. The following morning is probably best spent on a bush walk with the local Maasai, learning about their hardy way of life, the plants they use for medicines, their herding and hunting techniques, and their boma culture. After lunch a further drive east should take you to a rendezvous point on the main road, where a representative of Fish Eagle will be waiting to drive you to Tanga. At Tanga Boat Club, where weather and sea conditions permit, an extremely special method of final approach to the hotel is to board Fish Eagle’s traditional dhow and sail directly into their private cove, wading the last few metres onto the private beach!

Alternative methods of access to Fish Eagle Point

More conventionally, visitors can either travel on Fish Eagle’s private minibus from Arusha to Tanga and from there - again, with conditions permitting - sail in a dhow onto their private beach; or else simply fly to Tanga airport, where a representative can meet you and assist your local transfer to the hotel.

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