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“You get what you pay for”
Review of Uhuru Beach

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Uhuru Beach
Certificate of Excellence
worldwide
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“You get what you pay for”
Reviewed 6 January 2014

We paid only 15Euros/night for our lodgings here, and it certainly wasn't worth any more than that. We booked for 3 nights, and were asked to pay the whole balance upon arrival-we decided quickly that this was probably because if we hadn't, we may have left earlier. We asked to move rooms after the 1st night when we found out that our room 'wasn't attached to the hot water'. Although we were told to carry all our belongings to another room, when we got there there were no light bulbs or mosquito nets:after about 3 hours these were brought to the new room. The rooms and materials (nets, towels, sheets etc) were not that clean (nets especially were filthy) and our room wasn't cleaned while we were there.
The electricity was out for 2 of the 3 nights we were there, and although the food was cold and late, the cook made up for this with a fabulous and delicious dinner. It was a bit worrying that she was locked in the kitchen from the outside. The lack of electricity (no generator, unlike some other lodges along the beach) meant it was boiling hot in the airless bedrooms at night.
On the upside, the place is right on the beach (which is very pretty and white sand and lovely) and the masseur there was excellent, and did a good job for a good price.

Room Tip: Ask for one that's hooked up to the 'hot water'
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank pearlkp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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142 reviews from our community

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London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 September 2013

The bungalows are in a great location and right on the beach, but be warned they are cheep for a reason. The room was clean enough but the water supply was erratic and you will need to ask them to restart the pump (which we found out on the second day of no water) and really is just a trickle of cold water so difficult if you have long hair to be washed!

The staff were nice and friendly when there, but the reception area is normally deserted. The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch but difficult in the evenings but quite nice food for budget accommodation.

As for Jambiani, it is quite wonderful. Very different from the West coast beaches and much more exposed to the elements so a pristine beach it is not but quite spectacular in other ways. If you are looking for a very quiet beach location then it is great but be warned there is nothing going on in the evenings. You can get dinner but nothing else and everyone seems to be in bed by 8:30pm!

Room Tip: Fabulous location, only book if you are happy with very basic accommodation or you will be disappoin...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank KRob78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2013

We stayed at Shehe in July- we found it by walking along Jambiani beach going from hotel to hotel looking for the best value- and this was it! Its a cute little place, no frills but sweet. We had a bungalow that was en suite, with mosquito nets and a fan. We had our own porch and were literally on the beach. Jambiani beach is serene, quiet not very touristy and so relaxing! We didn't eat at the restaurant here so I can't comment on that, but went to nearby Coral Rocks (expensive to stay but a very nice restaurant!). The staff were helpful and organised a snorkeling trip for us. They also had access to the tourist shuttle bus between Jambiani and Stone Town which was helpful.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank TanzTrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dorset
Level 6 Contributor
46 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2013

We stayed at the Shehe Bungalows (which are very good value at $35 inc breakfast). These white washed, coral-rag bungalows are in a fabulous location right on the beach but to be honest the rooms are very basic. The sea is absolutely stunning in this area – the turquoise and blue colours just amazing.

Our room, was spacious with a double and single bed with mosquito nets, fan and private bathroom with cold water shower. The bathroom is rather dated, but OK (sink drained straight onto the floor). There is a sitting area outside, with chairs and a table and your room is directly on the beach! Note: some of the other rooms are much smaller and so would be less airy. The room price also includes breakfast which consists of fresh fruit, eggs, bread, jam and self service tea and coffee.

During our stay the electricity and water supply was very erratic .This is probably more to do with the local infrastructure than anything else. So, be prepared to not always have lights or running water. Keep your torch handy (and shower before dusk!) There did seem to be a water pump that could be turned on at request behind the rooms. This provided at least a trickle of water for a shower. In fact the supply was so unpredictable that we filled up a dozen empty water bottles for use in the shower just in case.

The main problem we had with the room was that the mattress was very smelly. These rooms are very hot (Zanzibar is one of the hottest, most humid places we have travelled to!). So the combination of hot guests, often without a fan as the power is off, has lead to sweaty mattresses. The pillows were just as bad (made worse by people using them on the sunbeds). For other reasons, we got the mattress changed for a new one for our last couple of nights and that was wonderful!

In front of the bungalows is a nice fenced area with plenty of sunbeds. There are a few Massai wandering along trying to sell things and a few kids selling doughnuts etc, but really not much hassle at all.

Regarding swimming - depending on when you are there you may or may not be able to swim. The East Coast is very affected by the tides (which vary according to the phase of the moon). Tide times vary every day - you may be lucky and have the sea by 1430, on other days the tide could go out at 0900 and not come back in until 1700 or so!) When the tide goes out - it goes out for miles! Don't worry about the seaweed - local people farm it but it is not a problem.

We were very lucky to be in Jambiani when there was a full moon. Apart from being amazing to see this made us feel much safer walking along the beach after dark (without the moon it is pitch black). Even with the moon out the stars are amazing and we even saw the Southern Cross!

We ate at Shehe on our first night and had a good prawn curry. We also enjoyed eating and drinking at El Happa, the Blue Oyster, Coco Beach and the One Stone restaurant.
Jambiani is a really nice village where you can mix with the locals a bit (there is a lot of activity on the beach - fishing, seaweed farming, kids playing, football etc plus a simple village with a few small shops – don’t forget to cover up when you visit). In Kendwa and Nungwi (which we also visited) the tourists seem to be quite separate from the locals.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank pier21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level 5 Contributor
97 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Kasper-Copenhagen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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
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Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Azafata13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
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...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RosieB1979
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 #6 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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