Pemba Island, Zanzibar camps - Fundu Lagoon
Fundu Lagoon is one of the top luxury beach locations off the Tanzania coast. It has an understated cool feel and is by far the best location on Pemba Island. The lodge is a perfect compliment to the country's best safari lodges, places like Sand Rivers and Jongomero.
The hotel is set on the west coast of Pemba Island well away from any other developments; it's built up a small hill, with some rooms along the water front and others up the side of the hill. All rooms over look the water and this is one of the few places in East Africa where you can watch the sun set over the sea.
The whole place is well designed and looks good - there's a long and much photographed jetty that sticks out a fair way into the sea and looks straight out of that Bacardi ad from the late 80s (linen clad 30 somethings running to catch "the last bus home"...remember it??).
And there's a dining area and bar half way out, which is really nice at night for dining and drinking under the stars. Food and service are as good as you'd expect from a place like this and the whole operation runs smoothly.
The beach in front of the hotel isn't as good as some beaches, it's quite narrow and leafy with mangroves along the back, but this is more than made up for by Mesali island which is only a short distance from the hotel in the truly impressive speed boats that the lodge uses (250 horse power engines and consoles like aircraft, all very 007). For those who can't take such excitement there is a newly built swimming pool on one of the highest parts of the plot, with amazing views, cool sea breezes and an equally cool crowd.
Mesali is a nature reserve where the beaches are pure white and stunning and you can spend much of the day snorkelling from the beach or lying on the sand. The hotel has a good diving operation and there are some beautiful dives. Nowadays the trips to Mesali are no longer included in the cost of staying at Fundu, so you should be prepared to pay a small extra fee for these, which will be worth it.
The rooms at Fundu lagoon are all within large safari tents,which we initially felt might have been a disappointment as many people may have just done the luxury camp thing in the bush, however, the rooms are comfortable and airy with well equipped en-suite bathrooms and the design works well. Fundu also offers dhow sailing from the hotel, meandering around in the sun set, drink in hand is a superbly laid back way to spend an evening unwinding after a stressful day on the beach…
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