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“Beautiful area but below average hotel”
Review of Uhuru Beach

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Uhuru Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Beautiful area but below average hotel”
Reviewed 2 May 2012

I stayed in Shehe with a couple of friends last October. Jambiani is a gorgeous area, but the hotel itself was not great! In fairness it was pretty cheap - I think in the end we paid about $9/night each for a room with 2 single beds & a large double.

On the plus side, it was in the perfect location right on the beach, & it was cheap. Good breakfast & lunch. The bedroom is fairly basic, but comfortable enough beds, with a pillow and a thin sheet (which is all you need as it gets quite hot).

OK - the negatives: The shower was freeeeeeeeeeezing, and the owners did not admit that the water heater was broken until we noticed it ourselves, having earlier handed over the money for a weeks stay. (They did allow us to use a shower in another room, but we had to let them know half an hour before we wanted to use it so they could turn on the hot water). The toilet in our room also smelled really bad. The fan in our room worked but was so noisy we couldn't keep it on when we were trying to sleep. There was often no power - but i think this was the area, not just the hotel. We didn't enjoy the dinner at Shehe, ate there once - had a fish curry or something and it was just awful! Thankfully, there are lots of other restaurants along the beach to eat at, although you do need to order about 3 hours in advance of your meal (Recommend the Rainbow restaurant - a little way into the village!!!!!)

I would not stay here again.

Room Tip: Haggle to get a cheaper room price, and check that there is hot flowing water in your room!
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Suzy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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136 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2012

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.

Room Tip: Go down the beach a ways...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Gmercier311
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hove
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2012

We stayed here for a week, and found it to be poor value for money, with staff who are complacent and food that was just edible. We were very disappointed, and if we hadn't booked and paid for the week would have moved to another place- there are better value lodges and bungalows nearby.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Wilburygang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Athens, Greece
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2012

Don't go if you are into luxurious hotels. It is very basic and definitely could use a generous renovation. The location is perfect if you prefer to experience the local essence of Zanzibar. i hope that they have a generator by now, because we had to stay for 3 days without power.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Yiannis O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2011

Jambiani is Paradise! Its just about the most relaxing place on earth. Yes, the Shehe is basic, but its clean and the staff are friendly and helpful and the food is great. Some people complained about the electricity failing but that just happens in places like Zanzibar, and its almost part of the charm.. its such a peaceful safe relaxing place that nothing should really worry you.
The Shehe is right on the beach so you open your door onto the sand and at night can hear the beautiful sound of the sea. Breakfasts were amazing, and fresh fish and curries for dinner.. just perfect!
For around us$10 we went out on a dugout fishing boat so we could snorkel as the men fished (for lobsters)... an awesome experience.
I just wish we could get enough time off work to get out to Jambiani again.. and if we do, we will definitely be staying at Shehe!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank wsj_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hasselt, Belgium
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 15 August 2011

For a basic, budget stay on the beach: we think the best in Jambiani.
The bungalows are on the beach, , no rocks, no stairs ...just open the door and there is: sand, see,beautiful nature, coulors, dayly life from the village people on the beach.
Location : super
Catering : minimum
Remember : this is a budget ( no Resort, no Hilton) in Afrika.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Rita188650
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pretoria, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2011

Very clean, great location and helpful staff. Had a wonderful time. Will definitely recommend it!

Room Tip: I will suggest staying in one of the garden rooms. The hawkers are not allowed in the resorts.
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank TrouVrou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Uhuru Beach

Property: Uhuru Beach
Address: | East Coast of Zanzibar, Fishing Village of Jambiani, Jambiani, Tanzania (Formerly Shehe Bungalows)
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Jambiani
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 29 Speciality Lodging in Jambiani
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 18
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

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