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Unguja Lodge

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Unguja Lodge Zanzibar

Unguja embodies what Zanzibar is all about: relaxed, traditional, friendly and charming.

Unguja Lodge is a sensory feast for the nature lover. Owners, designers, hosts and all round fabulous people, Ralph and Elies have created a magnificent environment to enjoy Zanzibar at its natural best. The villas and public areas are nestled amongst vast, ancient Baobab trees, luscious scrub-land and coral rocks, providing homes to an array of wildlife.

See: Unguja Lodge Offers .

  • Unguja Lodge Holidays

  • Need to Know

  • FAQ

  • Expect to Pay

  • Awards

This hotel is available throughout the year. Below are some prices for holidays on selected dates intended as a guide:

£11607 Nights at Unguja Lodge for 2 people in a Baobab Villa.
Includes discounted rate, transfers, breakfast and evening meal each day.
Valid: January - March

£15407 Nights at Unguja Lodge for 2 people in a Seaview Villa.
Includes discounted rate, transfers, breakfast and evening meal each day.
Valid: January - March

Subject to availability. International flights to be quoted separately.


  • Excellent remote location for snorkelling and diving.
  • Popular with honeymooners and divers.
  • Unguja Lodge is owner occupied and run, something to look for if you appreciate good service and the personal touches.

Right for you?

  • Unguja Lodge has a small private beach, which is not available at high tide.
  • Unguja Lodge is a smaller resort and doesn't have as many facilities as many larger properties.

? I've read that there is an issue with the beach, what is it really like?
Unfortunately Unguja lodge doesn't have the largest beach on the island, however the architects and designers were well aware of this and have compensated beautifully when constructing the public areas. Realistically the tide will stop you sitting out on the beach for some of the day whilst it is in, but the rest of the time you will be fine. Because of this Unguja Lodge is one of the few places on Zanzibar you can go snorkelling right outside the resort.

$$$Prices for Unguja Lodge start at: $180 per person per night, including breakfast and evening meal, during Low Season.
Depending when you travel, room categories and party size prices rise to $300 per person per night during Peak Season.
Check rates for your dates: 0843 634 2258

Price Promise: We guarantee that booking with us is cheaper than with the hotel direct and we will beat any other operator, agency or website.

Need More Info?

We are THE Zanzibar Experts and will be happy to help whatever stage you're at.
Please call: 0843 634 2258
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the contact us page.

Unguja Lodge - The Details

As Ralph and Elsie relocated their family to Zanzibar, Unguja Lodge is also a family home and has a heartbeat so intimately linked with its natural environment that you cannot help but feel part of this wonderful space. The canvas that has been so richly enhanced combined with the fabulous hosting from all the staff, offers guests a unique experience not only to Zanzibar, but to the world.

The villas themselves are huge and offer all guests separate lounges and traditional Zanzibari day beds under Makuti domes, perfect for siestas and drinking in the wonderful elevated views out to the ocean. Their team have amongst them the best chefs and lodge management on the Island. We can’t sing this lodge's praises highly enough.

Unguja Lodge Picture Gallery


Room Descriptions & Facilities

The 11 villas at Unguja Lodge each have an enclosed bedroom beneath the vast thatched makuti roof. The villas also feature an upper mezzanine level with a day bed that can be used to accommodate a third guest or older children.

There are three categories of villa including a Family Villa designed for six adults.

  • Baobab Villas

  • Sea View Villas

  • The Family House

Baobab Villas

3 Baobab Villas feature a plunge pool, AC and ceiling fan in the bedroom, spacious bedroom with double bed (6x7ft, 185x215cm), mosquito nets, ceiling fan for cooling, private safe, open plan sitting room (baraza-style), open plan spacious shower room, separate toilet and a loft with extra double bed. The villas are also encircled by a lush garden.

The Baobab Villas are built beneath a huge baobab tree and orientated to the gardens with a private pathway down to the beach.

Sea View Villas

Seven Sea View villas each have a spacious bedroom with double bed (6x7ft, 185x215cm), mosquito nets over the bed, ceiling fan for cooling, private safe, open plan sitting room (baraza-style), Open plan spacious shower room, separate toilet, loft with extra double bed and private terrace with a sea view.

The Family House

The Family House is set over two floors. Downstairs there is a bedroom with double bed (6x7ft, 185x215cm), mosquito nets over the bed, AC and ceiling fan, bathroom and en-suite toilet, additional open air bathroom and toilet, indoor and outdoor sitting areas and a sea view terrace. Upstairs there are two smaller bedrooms. In each room there are two single beds that can be put together to make a double bed, mosquito nets, fan and AC, en-suite bathrooms and a shared balcony.


Resort Service & Facilities


The pool at Unguja Lodge has a shallow end for children and is perfect for both a quick cooling dip or swim and simply somewhere to sit up to your neck in cool refreshing water and relax. The pool is also used for beginners’ courses in diving.


There is a well-equipped PADI dive centre called 'Unguja Divers' within the lodge. Resident dive instructor Nick and his staff can take you out for some beautiful diving, snorkelling or trips in the Menai Bay Conservation Area. All PADI courses and equipment are available - whatever your level. If you would like to know more then please call our team on 0843 634 2258 or download the special ‘Unguja Divers brochure’.

Unguja is fortunate to be the only location on Zanzibar with a ‘house reef’ within swimming distance from the lodge itself. They keep the boats outside the reef at low tide; this means that all the water activities are unrestricted by the tide. Just a short boat ride away you will find several unspoiled coral gardens: easy to dive and offering an abundance of sea life. For the more adventurous divers there are several spectacular deeper and wall sites where the bigger fish thrive.

Diving at Unguja Lodge is very personal and efficient. The dive centre is located adjacent to the pool and the access to the beach. Diving is always in very small groups. They use either a spacious traditional dhow or a smaller fibre boat depending on the dive sites and weather conditions.


The bar is a sociable and comfortable meeting point with a fantastic cocktail list and knowledgeable barman to shake them from bottles to glass. Whether you’re chatting at the bar on stools or lounging on the sofas with a book or a friend, you’ll be well watered and not want to leave!

Beach Activities

There are some great rock pools nearby and it is possible to watch the local villagers gathering shellfish - and sometimes even catching octopus. Exploring these pools is great fun for children and adults alike. Snorkelling is also easy to do from the beach. There are coral towers within a short swimming distance, just ask us Ralph or Elise to point you in the right direction.


Each villa is provided with a tide schedule so you can plan your day as the villagers do. Swimming from the stairs to the beach is great at high tide. South of the lodge there is a permanent village beach unaffected by tidal movement and you can reach this by a short nature trail.

Trips and Tours

  • Robinson Crusoe

  • Sunset Cruise

  • Village Walk

  • Jozani Forest

  • Zala Park

Robinson Crusoe

You can spend a full day on the water where Unguja Divers takes you out on the traditional dhow for a picnic lunch on a deserted sandbank or island at sailing distance. On the way you can snorkel or dive, see the dolphins, practice sailing and relax in the sun on the beach or the water.

Sunset Cruise

If you want to experience the romance of a dhow ride as the sun sets, Unguja can arrange a special sunset cruise for you. What could be better than enjoying a sun downer on a traditional Arabic sailing boat as the sun sinks over into the sea?

Guided Village Walk

Unguja Lodge organises guided walks to explore the village and surroundings. You will see traditional coral block built houses, meet fishermen repairing their nets, and women making rope from coconut fibre. Rachid Ali Hassan (one of Ungujs’s senior staff members) shows you around and explains the traditions and culture. They simply ask for a small donation for the village walk which is then spent with the village on school or medical projects.

Jozani Forest

From Unguja Lodge it takes just 20 minutes to reach Jozani Forest. It is the only remaining indigenous forest on Zanzibar and here you find the largest population of the Red Colobus Monkeys, which are unique to Zanzibar.

Zala Park

Zala Park is just 20 minutes from Unguja Lodge and a visit can be easily combined with Jozani Forest. You can observe indigenous animals, mostly reptiles like snakes, lizards and chameleons but also tortoises, dik diks, monkeys and hyrax. The zoo is run by the very enthusiastic Mohammed Ayoub. From Zala Park it is also possible to walk through the forest and mangroves to the shore and be picked up by a dhow to take you back to the hotel.

Community & Conservation

For Ralph and Elise, understanding the environment and respecting it are an integral part of running the lodge. From the very beginning they aimed to have a positive impact on their surroundings. The construction of the lodge is an excellent example of this in action.

The area chosen to build the lodge on was scrub bush and instead of clearing the whole area to build, they carefully marked out and cleared only the areas where buildings would be. As a result, the lodge is embedded in verdant natural bush and Indigenous plants, bushes and trees thrive. This approach also meant that many of the smaller animals and birds stayed on the site throughout the building period. Once construction was completed even more animals, birds, insects and reptiles moved in. The lodge provides a haven of well protected natural habitat and the population is booming.

Unguja Lodge - Opinions and Reviews

Unlike many operators we not only visit all the hotels we offer regularly but we also stay in them. Please find a few hints, tips and opinions from our staff plus some genuine feedback from our clients below.

Unguja Lodge – the Robinson Crusoe paradise lodge where the sounds of nature are all around you and the beach is perfect for swimming and snorkelling all day long with little tidal movement ( the East and Northern Beaches see the tide rolling out a significant distance ). This lodge has the real tropical island home from home feel with wonderful hosts, great food & a characterful bar! For me it really captures the essence of Zanzibar from the traditional Makuti thatched villas to the unspoilt and secluded coastline where you haven’t another resort in sight. It’s a perfect place for family time, far removed from the ‘mod cons’ of our everyday western lifestyle.

Susie Buckley


We are THE Zanzibar experts and would be happy to discuss anything from this page and more anytime on 0843 634 2258.

Check prices & availability for your dates:

Need more info?

We are THE Zanzibar experts and would be happy to discuss anything from this page and more anytime on 01227 753 180

Price Promise: We guarantee that booking with us is cheaper than with the hotel direct and we will beat any other operator, agency or website.

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About Us

Pure Zanzibar Ltd
Registered in the UK
Company No. 5905581
ATOL Protected: No. 10212

Pure Zanzibar was started in 2006 and is still owner run and 100% independent.

We favor smaller more intimate lodges and camps and know the island better than anyone else.

Get in touch

Give us a call on:
01227 753 180
New York: (646) 513-4227
Cape Town: 021 300 2166

Email us at

24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Recommended by:

Conde Nast Traveller ABTA Magazine Brides Magazine Square Mile Magazine Lonely Planet National Geographic Advanced Photographer
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