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“Affordable bungalows on the beach in Jambiani.”
Review of Uhuru Beach

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Uhuru Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 January 2013

We stayed at Shehe Bungalowsa for three nights and were very satisfied with our stay. Jambiani is very quiet compared to nearby Paje, and offers a different aspect of Zanzibar. The village is right behind the bungalows and the locals there are very friendly. Good value for money and really nice staff.

The bungalows have a ceiling fan and their own washroom with decent toilet, sink and shower (no hot water though). The beds are fine, and have mosquito nets.

The place is locally owned, so the money you pay stays in Tanzania. The restaurant is pretty good, but they don't always have everything on the menu.

All in all a recommendable place to stay!

  • Stayed: January 2013
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Thank Kasper-Copenhagen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (148)
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81 - 87 of 148 reviews

Reviewed 29 August 2012

First of all Jambiani is a stunning location: white sands and turquoise seas and behind the beach area is the village which is great to explore. The local people are beyond friendly. You do get the usual sellers on the beach but not as bad as other places. I was surprised to hear children asking "pen school?" but a pen is a luxury for them..So take some cheap pens to hand out! I found the place so relaxing and very quiet. It's not really the destination if you are looking for a wild night-life (although we were there in Ramadan: don't worry there is still alcohol on sale!).. However, there are many small hotels, eateries and beach bars.

We stayed at Shehe bungalows which is one of the cheapest places to stay in Jambiani. As a single person it is $28 - $30 a night but cheaper if you share. Not all bungalows are the same standard. I seemed to have lucked out and got an excellent bungalow with hot water and everything working. However, if there were issues the staff responded quickly. The staff were excellent and went out of their way to help us. I've stayed in some very upmarket places without the friendly attentive service provided here. The food was also excellent, and cheap!

As far as cheap beach bungalows go this is excellent. Housekeeping is provided and there is nice local furniture (beautiful canopy beds). My hut was directly on the beach. There were a few young backpackers, as you would expect, but also non-backpackers (myself included) and older guests: this wasn't Goa!

Do take a torch! Many nights there were black outs in Jambiani for a couple of hours but this only draws your attention to the stars in the sky which are phenomenal.

I like my creature comforts but was more than happy to stay in this bungalow for 10 days. I am planning to return next year to Shehe bungalows and my friends are returning at Christmas: I think this is all the recommendation needed!

Room Tip: Ask for a room with hot water
Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
Thank Azafata13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2012

Stayed here 5 nights and loved it. Jambiani is beautiful and Shehe has a perfect location right on the beach with its own beach area with loungers for sunbathing. Surprised by comments about unhelpful staff here, they went out of their way to help us and were very friendly. It is a budget option and some of the rooms are better maintained than others. The shower in one our rooms was broken but we asked about it and they had it fixed within the hour with a brand new shower hose which was quite impressive! Restaurant is decent and very cheap. You need to order in advance but that seemed to be the norm everywhere in jambiani when we were there. There are better restaurants but more expensive. If you're looking for a budget option you really can't complain, we paid about $15 a night and would go back no question but if you want a 5* hotel this isnt it!

Room Tip: Ask for one with hot water, not all the rooms have it. The rooms facing the sea are the most attract...
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank RosieB1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2012

My daughter and I spent four delightful days — reading under the thatched bonda, dipping in tropical blue ocean, walking white sands, viewing colorful sunsets through palm trees, enjoying the SheHe Hotel breakfasts, trying out beach restaurants, exploring the village and trying my limited Swahili at little dukas... I think people who rate this hotel low (even after they haggled the hotel down to $9 per night!) should go pay for a more luxurious tourist hotel and quit complaining. Our shower was not so hot but it's so warm in Zanzibar -- even in "winter" -- why care? Our bathroom and room were quaintly rustic (certainly way fancier than the village, or our recent Kilimanjaro climb!) but with such a beautiful beach and ocean, why would we mind? People living there were quite friendly, hotel staff also. Only one disagreeable incident: was a spoiled young beauty's loud and redundant complaints to the waiter, nearly ruining breakfast for everyone else (including her husband or BF). We would definitely return -- if I am so blessed as to travel to Zanzibar again.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank boni7777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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!
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Suzy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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...
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Gmercier311
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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Thank Wilburygang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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 #4 of 29 Speciality Lodging in Jambiani
Price Range: £21 - £58 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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