“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”.
Although initially sad to leave Zanzibar, the 6 days we had there was enough. The 3 days in Stone Town and then 3 up in the northwest on the beach in Nungwi had been a good mix and enough time within the context of our trip. At the end of it I felt that we could have gone a little more upmarket in our choice of accommodation but we had made reasonable choices from the accommodation available. Zanzibar over the busy festive season was never going to be cheap and at another, less busy time of the year, one would get more bang for your buck and would be in a position to bargain for cheaper rates. The situation of the Tembo House Hotel right on the sea, centrally situated in Stone Town and in fact in a better position compared to its very expensive and exclusive neighbours the Park Hyatt and Serena Hotels, turned out to be a good choice. It also had a more authentic Zanzibar atmosphere than the 2 more modern but rather plastic and characterless neighbours. The biggest disappointment here were the breakfasts which were really not great. At the prices paid one really expected far more. Union Bungalows at the price of US$70 for an air conditioned room was a bargain but was in the budget category with none of the luxury trimmings that Anne might have enjoyed. We could possibly have elected for a quieter area than Nungwi, perhaps not quite as far north up the west coast or in fact on the northeast coast. Out of peak season I am sure Nungwi would be less busy but at least after New Year we were spared the notorious beach parties.
Abdul was on time to take us to the airport and I would advise those doing a similar trip to make use of his services. I am sure that transport and tours can be arranged at slightly cheaper prices if one has the time and inclination to shop around and haggle. Having our own prearranged guide for our entire stay kept all the touts and guides on the street at bay. There are many of these and they can be persistent and annoying.
Our driver/taxi as arranged by Peponi was waiting at Tanga airport. Ernest in fact used to be one of their barmen before scraping together the cash to buy his own vehicle. He charged us the apparently very reasonable rate of US$30 to transport us the 30 odd km to Peponi. Slow Donkey was fine and the stash of choice meat cuts we had stored in their freezer was intact. Carys at Peponi had kindly arranged this all at no charge which was exceptionally kind in this vicinity where little was for nothing. That night I indulged in the crab again. For TSh16,000 one gets 2 large mangrove crabs ordered with coconut rice and a Swahili vegetable curry source again. Surely one of the best and most reasonably priced dinners of the entire trip. The resort had emptied considerably since we had left and we had a taste of what it would be like over the rest of the year. I would definitely recommend time spent here but warn that an intended couple of days will very easily stretch into a number of extra days stay. The change of pace compared to most of the other places we stayed had been most refreshing.