After an exhausting trip through southern and eastern Africa, my husband and I were hoping to relax on the beach for just one day. We chose Jambiani because we'd seen a documentary on the seaweed farmers and thought that it looked absolutely beautiful; we also typically enjoy places that are off the beaten path and not overrun with tourists. When we got to Shehe, we were immediately overcome with the feeling that it's heyday was long past and it hadn't been updated or properly cared for in awhile. We were shown to our room, which was fine, save that the lights flickered, the plumbing didn't work, and there was no toilet paper. We changed and went down to the beach, where we were harassed by a non-stop flow of locals looking to sell us things, who could not take "no" for an answer. The beach in front of our bungalows was dirty and full of seaweed - aka, not maintained at all. I got up to go back to the room and saw the chef in the garden with his pants down.
My husband and I spent the rest of the afternoon at a tiki bar about 10 minutes down the beach from Shehe, which was part of another bungalow development. This place was just what we needed. The beach was clean, the staff was friendly, and the locals didn't bother us much.
We returned to Shehe for dinner, cooked by the same chef I saw in the garden earlier, and it was actually surprisingly good, briefly making us feel better about our choice to stay there. We were exhausted and decided to get an early night. The mosquito net above our bed was attached to a very solid, heavy, wooden frame, which was attached to the ceiling with nails. When my husband very gently tried to take the mosquito net down, one side of the wooden frame, nails and all, fell, hitting him in the head and landing on my legs. The other side was still precariously attached to the ceiling, right above my head. Luckily, there were no bodily injuries. Jambiani is in the middle of nowhere. We briefly thought about trying to sleep in the other bed, which was a twin, but when we pulled the sheets back, bugs ran out in every direction.
We went to find a staff person to get a new room. It was 8:30 p.m. The place was deserted.
That was the final straw. We packed our bags and headed down the beach to the tiki bar from earlier in the day. They had a room; it was perfect. The End.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Uhuru Beach (formerly Shehe Bungalows) is situated on the lovely coastlines of Zanzibar island at Jambiani village on the east coast of the island. It is a beautiful, intimate place, is perfect for those looking for relaxation on an idyllic tropical island, based in whitewashed, thatched beach bungalows, the spacious, airy rooms are decorated in traditional Zanzibar design. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Shehe Bungalows Hotel Jambiani
- Uhuru Beach Zanzibar Island/Jambiani