Pongwe Beach Hotel
Northeast coast of Zanzibar
Pongwe Beach Hotel
Combining one of Zanzibar’s best beaches with romantic Swahili style, and smiling hospitality, it’s little surprise that Pongwe Beach has been a favourite since first opening in 2001. It’s simply perfect and perfectly simple with pretty lime-washed rooms, hammocks strung between palm trees and mouth-watering seafood. Unpretentious gorgeousness.
Pongwe Beach Hotel is all about life’s simple pleasures rather than luxury. If you want perfect rooms and immaculate service, go elsewhere, but if you’re happy to lie back in a hammock beneath the trees, laze on a lounger on the beach, wander among the fragrant gardens, cool off in the rim-flow pool and treat your tastebuds to succulent seafood – Pongwe is restful, restorative and recommended! And the staff are really friendly and welcoming.
The beach here is particularly lovely, but as with most beaches on Zanzibar, the tide goes out a long way. This is when the lovely pool comes into its own.
Guests do have the option of various activities, but really Pongwe is more about kicking back and doing nothing very much. If snorkelling and diving is your thing, there are far better places to come that are closer to the good underwater sites. However, mix relaxation with swimming, kayaking and boat trips, and, on dry land, mountain biking, a visit to the nearby village, a massage by the pool, and all manner of island excursions, and you have plenty of different ways to fill your days if you need to be kept busy.
Don’t leave it until the last minute to book this place. You’ll definitely be pipped to the post as not only is Pongwe lovely but it’s one of the best prices on the island.
Times to Go
Pongwe Beach Hotel is closed for much of the long rains (March – May). There are short rains in November and December which we find don’t really impact too much on visitors, and the weather is warm and dry at other times.
Pongwe Beach Hotel highlights
- Gorgeous sandy, palm-flanked beach
- Infinity pool
- Simple relaxation for a great price
Pongwe Beach Hotel location
Pongwe Beach Hotel
- 20 rooms
- Open from early June till April
- Children of all ages welcome
- Infinity swimming pool
- Free Wi-Fi (slow)
- Massage service
- Lazy beach days
- (Snorkelling and diving is best some distance away)
- Boat trips (optional)
- Handline fishing
- Go kayaking and stand-up
- Visit Pongwe village
- Explore by bike
- Variety of excursions (optional)
- Snorkelling at Mnemba Atoll (optional)
- Game fishing (optional)
- Beach dinner (optional)
Pongwe Beach Hotel rooms
The 20 simple thatched rooms are arranged in the gardens and facing the ocean, and have fan and breeze-cooled interiors, white-washed walls and Swahili-style decor, and incorporate thoughtful touches like a basket with beach essentials including a flag to summon your waiter!
Each room has a terrace, and suites come with a plunge pool, and there’s an early morning tea and coffee service to kick start your day. All have hand-made wooden doors and beds, and there are mosquito nets and ceiling fans, an en-suite shower room and a private terrace.
They are basic, don’t have air-con, and you’ll find the tap water to be slightly saline, but they are comfortable enough. Pongwe is not really about the rooms.
The 3 types of room are garden view (3 rooms), the slightly larger beach front (13) and sea view suite (4), the last with their own plunge pools. Triple and quadruple occupancy can be arranged.
Twiga the giraffe likes this because…
“Pongwe Beach Hotel has close connections with the local community. At the outset, most of their building materials came from local villages, and to this day food is sourced locally and the hotel works with local people in developing its range of excursions.”
And don’t forget … for every booking we get, Tanzania Specialists plants trees in deforested areas of Africa through The Travel Forest, and we back The Tribes Foundation’s conservation and social projects.
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Self confessed Africa-lover, but keen on all new travel experiences, Amanda is passionate about getting to know different cultures.
Tracy was been born and spent her youth in South Africa, the draw of the animals, the people and wilds of Africa have always run through her veins.
Sinead caught the travel bug following a year out after university. She has worked in the travel industry ever since, and visited many countries including South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia.
The African dust is firmly planted in Chris’s heart. Born in Tanzania she spent much of her childhood in and around Ruaha. Travel and safari was part of life and through into adulthood fun and travel has never left her.