Jambiani Village Tour Zanzibar
The small village of Jambiani lies in the southeast coast of Unguja (commonly known as the island of Zanzibar). It is about 4 kilometres long. It gets its name from the beach that’s famous for its sparkling white sands. The village has over 6000 people who call it home. The interesting thing about the village is that it started as 13 small independent villages. Today, they are all one integrated space but still retain their original names. What they are joined by is a life that moves with the tides and the weather. Fishing is a huge pastime here. Women farm seaweed and the men fish for the freshest fish and aquatic creatures including octopus.
When you step into the village, you feel a sense of warmth and the joy of the simple life. People are friendly as are the animals and birds. The inquisitive hen, the busy goat, the mild mannered cow and the quacking duck might keep you company as you amble along.
Jambiani is about 45 kilometres from the historical Stone Town in Zanzibar. Travelling is made easy by a great paved road. Taxis are available but for a truly Zanibari experience, hop on the minibus of the country- the Dala dala. Mind you, this is not nearly as comfortable as a taxi and will reach you to the village in about 1 to 2 hours. Seating is rudimentary- wooden benches and not much protection- open vehicles. But the people and the experience, providing much dinner party conversation, that will accompany you on your trip may compensate for the discomfort.
Don’t be fooled by the word ‘village.’ Jambiani has more than a few schools, a hospital and a health clinic, and many modern conveniences. While the village folk are mostly involved in the traditional task of fishing, there is awareness in the village of the benefits of tourism. This makes for a great experience for travellers. The children can play games on the beach and the grown-ups can admire the beautiful brick houses tinted coral that dot the village. Lounge on the beach, snorkel, indulge in some cookery classes.
Zanzibar is known for its absolutely breath-taking coastline and it would not be an exaggeration to say that the stretch between the village of Jambiani and Paje is especially stunning. In fact, the village is often touted as the quintessential rural experience in Zanzibar. Picture if you will, warm waters that’s almost transparent, the sands as white as you can imagine, soft enough to walk on and run on, and the coral that make the waters home adding more colour and drama to an already spectacular landscape.
In a world of make-believe and impersonal holidays, Jambiani offers an authentic experience like none other. This is a ‘keep it simple’ holiday. Basic amenities are available at the beach, but that doesn’t compromise on the comfort that travellers can expect. There are many restaurants that dot the beach and enough bars for you to indulge. There are many lodges and hotels in and around Jambiani suited to all budgets and offer a pleasant stay.
A torch is recommended because the darkness descends pretty quickly. Some mosquito repellent may be wise as well. Wear your slippers when you’re walking around and do keep the culture of the country in mind.