Zanzibar Hotels

Karafuu Hotel and Beach Resort

Located in Pingwe on the north-east peninsula of Zanzibar, this large four star resort offers comfortable and hassle free accommodation on the Indian Ocean without the worries that a trip to Africa can arouse. The hotel offers half-board, full-board or all-inclusive packages.

Accommodation at Karafuu Hotel and Beach Resort

The accommodation on offer is various. There are 28 standard (Garden) rooms. These are located some distance back from the ocean front and beach and do not offer attractive views as the resort lies between them and the sea. These lower priced rooms are basic but pleasant. All are en suite with air-conditioning and ceiling fans, hairdryer, mini-bar, safe and telephone. Note that water in this region often runs brackish for bathing.

The hotel’s Cottages are nearer to the coast and have far superior views. Additional facilities include verandas, private garden entrances, and dressing rooms. The rooms are also a considerable amount larger and probably represent better value for money. Junior Suites differ from Cottages in size and proximity to the ocean. They are also decorated sumptuously and offer tea making facilities.

Food and Drink at Karafuu Hotel and Beach Resort

Food at Karafuu is good The resort’s 3 restaurants mean there is plenty of choice. Breakfast is not exciting but is filling and fresh; breads, fruits and pastries with hot options available (eggs and bacon). The included dinner is from an extensive buffet. There are always meat, fish and vegetarian options on offer as well as various salads and desserts. Dinner can be eaten outdoors, but one must be prepared to eat either early or late to secure an al fresco spot. Changing live entertainment accompanies dinner nightly.

The hotel also offers a choice of two bars. Drinks are good and the wine-list, though not as extensive at other resorts, is acceptable. Drinks are not cheap at the hotel however. Many guests choose to explore the bars at other resorts in the area. With most packages bottled water is not free. Guests coming from Stone Town might consider buying large bottles to bring with them.

Service at Karafuu Hotel and Beach Resort

Staff at the hotel are generally friendly. At peak times the resort does get very busy and staff may come across as colder. Staff are competent and knowledgeable and will be able to help with most queries. Service is mostly professional, but not perfect by Western standards.

Things to do at Karafuu Hotel and Beach Resort

Karafuu is ideally suited to those who are interested in relaxing, diving, snorkelling and enjoying the in-house entertainments (including a disco).

The beach at Pingwe is great for strolling along and one can watch the local fishermen at work. Hardened sea-swimmers will be fine bathing, but those with young children simply wishing to take a dip may feel safer sticking to the hotel’s large pool as the sea is only accessible down a slippery concrete jetty. However, the same living reef that makes relaxed sea-bathing difficult does prove delightful for snorkelling.

There are tennis courts, spots for beach volleyball and water aerobics lessons for the sporty and for the less so, a TV corner and pool table as well as WIFI access. The hotel also has a massage room for those who want to de-stress.

Various excursions can be arranged through the hotel, though these may prove cheaper to arrange independently. Furthermore, the hotel’s remote location does make such trips costly.

Other facilities offered by the Karafuu include a boutique (more expensive than many of the market stalls and shops of Zanzibar), conference centre, exchange service (rates tend to be far worse than at banks on the island and at Dar Es Saleem) onsite PADI dive centre and wedding and honeymoon services.

Getting to Karafuu

The resort is about fifty minutes drive from Stone Town or Zanzibar Airport. The hotel can arrange transfers from either or one can take a taxi or hire a car.

Much of the coastline of this peninsula has been developed to reflect the luxury requirements of Western travellers. However, the surrounding villages and the roads reflect the poverty of Tanzania. Although hotel websites may advertise these places as ‘charming and traditional’ they may simply appear run-down.

Although the tourist industry has proved a destructive force in many parts of the country, it is also useful to bear in mind that many resorts and hotels are now contributing to funds to support locals, and that eco-tourism projects are advancing throughout Zanzibar.

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