24-Hour Room Service: Fundu Lagoon, Pemba, Zanzibar

Click to follow
The Independent Travel

It takes more than a hop, skip and a jump to get to Fundu Lagoon on the island of Pemba – unless you follow the advice on the resort's website and hire your own plane. From Dar es Salaam in Tanzania you have to fly or catch the ferry to Ujunga island, the one everyone calls Zanzibar.

It takes more than a hop, skip and a jump to get to Fundu Lagoon on the island of Pemba – unless you follow the advice on the resort's website and hire your own plane. From Dar es Salaam in Tanzania you have to fly or catch the ferry to Ujunga island, the one everyone calls Zanzibar. Then it's another ferry or flight to Pemba, the more unspoilt of the two Zanzibari islands. You then face an hour's drive across theinterior to Mkoani Port. A speedboat transfer is the last leg – 20 minutes when the tide is low, five when it's high. When you clamber on to the jetty, the bar at the end encourages you to crawl the final stretch for a very necessary cocktail. At this point you realise that everyone there seems to be on honeymoon.

The resort is the creation of the British fashion designer, Ellis Flyte (the staff waft by in kaftan-style tops and sarongs). It's run by ex-London scene managers Jonathan, in shades and designer gear, and Hannes, who used to run the Groucho Club. The Jetty Bar might rock, but the restaurant snores. At dinner couples gaze adoringly at each other in silence; either that or they've already (worryingly) run out of conversation.

As you'd expect, the resort is stylish. Rooms are a safari-on- the-beach affair; dark-green tents under thatched roofs. It's rustic yet luxurious, blending into the vegetation, the main areas linked by wooden walkways. There's miles of white beach and not a lot else apart from watersports: snorkelling, waterskiing, fishing, sailing and kayaking. The resort isin one of the top Indian Ocean diving locations, and has a PADI diving centre.

Location, location, location

Fundu Lagoon, Pemba, Zanzibar (00 255 24 223 2926, www.fundulagoon.com) covers 18 acres on the west coast of Pemba in the Indian Ocean.

Time to international airport: even if you fly from the main Zanzibar airport to Chake Chake airport on Pemba, you're looking at a two-hour transfer.

Are you comfortably?

There are 20 tent rooms on stilts, 10 on the hillside and 10 on the beach. We had number 10. Steps led up to a wooden verandah with deckchairs and a view across the bay. Inside the furniture was made of coconut wood with a large wooden bed slung with mosquito netting. The bathrooms are wood-panelled with slatted showers.

Freebies: the exclusive toiletries ("am" and "pm" shower gel, detox shampoo, revitalising conditioner) are intended to remain in the bathroom, but can be bought in the resort shop.

Keeping in touch: there's a satellite TV room tucked away for those who can't switch off, and a telephone at reception.

The bottom line

Rates during the high season (15 Dec-28 Feb) are $240 (£165) per person per night, including all meals plus snorkelling trips, mangrove canoe safaris, a dhow sunset cruise and the boat transfer to and from Mkoani Port. In low season this drops to $220 (£151).

I'm not paying that: Swahili Divers (00 255 24 245 2786, www.swahilidivers.com) is in an old colonial house in Chake Chake; dorm rooms from $7 (£4.85) per person and double rooms from $30 (£20.75).

Comments