Pemba Island, Tanzania
based on 7 nights
per person for 7 nights, based on two people sharing a beach front standard room on a full board basis (includes some drinks and activities)
At a Glance
Relax by the infinity swimming pool with fabulous views out to sea
Dive off Misali Island
Epitome of barefoot luxury
Snorkel by the jetty
Cocktails at the Jetty bar
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Situated only 6° south of the equator, Zanzibar enjoys ideal holiday weather. Temperatures average between 24°C and 27°C throughout the year with 7-9 hours of sunshine per day.
There are 2 rainy seasons: Acute, brief showers, lasting about an hour in the morning occur for a couple of weeks during November. The rains last slightly longer in April and May, but even then it does not rain every day. These rains replenish the Island and are often referred to as the “Green Season”.
To start planning your holiday to Fundu Lagoon
Fundu Lagoon is a barefoot luxury lodge lying on the remote and unspoilt island of Pemba, part of the Zanzibar archipelago off the Tanzanian coast. Fundu Lagoon is only accessible by boat and with its relaxed atmosphere, it is the epitome of shabby chic.
Fundu Lagoon lies on a wild and beautiful beach on Pemba Island, in the Zanzibar archipelago. There are 18 spacious thatched and tented rooms, including six suites with private plunge pools, set on a raised wooden deck with wonderful ocean views. At high tide, the white sand beach is perfect for swimming, while at low tide the reef is exposed and one can explore miles of unspoilt seashore, with its unique marine and bird life. Nearby lies Misali Island, an idyllic sand atoll surrounded by some of Africa’s best diving and snorkelling.
The rarely dived waters around Pemba are among the richest and most exciting in the world. Walls of pristine coral stretching for mile upon mile are home to a vast range of marine life and provide some of the most exhilarating drift diving in East Africa. The team of PADI instructors provide expert training and insider knowledge on all aspects of diving. The two dive boats can take up to eight divers each and are capable of the necessary speed to bring every dive site on Pemba within easy reach of Fundu Lagoon. All dives are guided either by an instructor or Divemaster and group numbers are kept small making the safety record second to none.
If guests prefer just to relax around the resort the Spa is the best place to head for. Fundu's own range of beautifully blended infusions are used in relaxing massages and a range of different therapies. There is a peaceful yoga platform overlooking the ocean for the ultimate sun salutations.
Accommodation is in 18 makuti thatched tented rooms and suites, all large and discreetly private with fantastic ocean views. There are eight Ocean View Rooms, four Beachside Rooms, one Jungle Suite, one Beach Suite, four Superior Suites. Suites have private chill out areas and plunge pools and Superior suites are generally larger with a choice of outdoor areas, as well as their own super-sized plunge pools.
There are 8 hillside rooms and 4 beachfront rooms. All are en-suite with private verandah.
Suites have more space inside and outside as well as their own private plunge pool
Superior suites are large spacious rooms with plenty of outside private space and a large plunge pool.
There are no specific child care facilities available at Fundu Lagoon, however, children over the age of 12 years are welcome to come and stay at the resort. There's plenty to keep teenagers active and occupied here, too - trying their first bubble dive in the pool, kayaking, fishing, forest hikes and more.
All the main areas are open sided with thatch roofing there are three bars, an excellent restaurant, a beautiful infinity swimming pool as well as the calming massage and treatment room. There is a snug satellite TV room tucked away in the heart of the lodge as well as a games balcony with both pool and darts and Wi-Fi in the reception area and bar.
Activities revolve mainly around the ocean and Fundu is surrounded by some of the world's leading dive sites. The resort has a fully equipped PADI dive centre offering a fleet of boats as well as snorkel equipment, water skiing, wake boarding, wind surfing and fishing. Snorkelling excursions to the house reef are at an additional cost. The nearby mangroves can be explored by canoe or take a sunset cruise for a more relaxing view of the coastline.
Deep Sea fishing is growing in popularity at Fundu Lagoon: Wahoo, Mahi-Mahi, Spanish Mackerel, Giant Trevally and Yellow Fin Tuna are regular catches. The Pemba Channel is also well know for its Bill Fish with Marlin and Sailfish regularly hooked. The latter congregate in huge numbers in January and it is not uncommon for over ten to be hooked in a days fishing.
I've been very bad at arranging swanky holidays recently. That is, proper breaks, without the children. In fact, over the past 18 months, the sum total of Mr and Mrs Bremner's trips away have amounted to just four nights in the South of France and two nights in Harrogate. I'd highly recommend both, by the way, but they're hardly in the Hello! category. When the chance did finally come for us to enjoy something more exotic, I faced an immediate problem - where, exactly, do you go for sunshine at this time of year? Political unrest in Egypt and the Maghreb, the bursting of Dubai's bubble and the likelihood of bumping into Michael Winner in the Caribbean have all conspired to narrow the choice.
Our criteria for a week's holiday were simple: less than ten hours' flying, preferably overnight; and a manageable time difference to somewhere offering both adventure and relaxation. The beaches of India, the Maldives, Indonesia and the Far East were deemed too far, even though Burma looks tempting now that Aung San Suu Kyi's 15-year staycation has come to a welcome end.
Eschewing old favourites Cape Town and Morocco, we contacted Scott Dunn and plumped for Zanzibar off the East African coast. Great call.
Zanzibar, the original Spice Island. The very name conjures up exotic images in the mind's eye: tropical beaches, spice markets, dhow sails in the sunset. Well, what your mind sees is what you get. In just under ten hours, good old British Airways had got us, comfortably and right on schedule, to Dar es Salaam, capital of Tanzania, where the tourists divide - some heading for the safari reserves of Ruaha, Selous or the Serengeti to see the animals ( the minibuses) in the Ngorongoro crater or climb Kilimanjaro.
Others, ourselves included, were transported to await our local onward flight in the VIP terminal. This is in fact a basic concrete waiting room with open sides where birds hop in & out, a handful of Africans doze and a couple of locals sit chatting at a cafe called The Art of Coffee, the 'art' apparently being to dispense coffee with as much nonchalance lack of interest as it's possible to muster. Welcome to Africa.
After a longish wait, our pilot arrived to tell us (reassuringly) that rather than wait another hour for fuel, we'd pick up some in Zanzibar before flying to our final destination: Pemba Island. The Arabs who settled here from the 7th Century called it 'Al Khundra', the green island, and Pemba, 50 miles north-east of Zanzibar, is just that. More hilly than its southerly sister, its coastline is fringed with mangroves, date palms and clove trees, three million of them, it's said - making Pemba the world's leading exporter of cloves. But just about everything grows here: bananas, papaya, mangos, coconuts, black pepper, grapefruit, and, of course, the spices that give this group of islands their name and guaranteed them such a key role in the centuries of trade that plied its way up and down the coast. Such was the attraction of the islands that in the 1830s the Sultan of Oman moved his court here and ruled Oman from Zanzibar. The Arab heritage survives today, with the island's population almost totally Muslim.
From Pemba airport, a 40-minute taxi journey takes us south, past villages, schools, acres of lush tropical jungle and roadside displays of cloves drying on mats. From the harbour, the hotel's boat takes us across the water to Fundu Lagoon. Like the Bounty hunters in those adverts, we came in search of paradise, and we found it. The grey, palm-thatched roofs of the hotel's 18 tents are just visible among the trees, stretching along the lagoon's shoreline & up the hillside behind.
Fundu may have been established by the fashion designer Ellis Flyte, but its charm is entirely natural. This is a barefoot, close-to-nature kind of place. The tents are the luxury safari type, varying in size but each having a bedroom (simple four-poster bed with mosquito net), bathroom with shower, sinks & loo. One night a playful vervet monkey kept my wife awake by rolling nuts down the roof.
Each tent has a deck area; the superior ones have verandas & plunge-pools. Meals are delicious, from the fruit platters, pastries or cooked breakfasts in the morning to three-course lunches and dinners - and all are served with the gentleness and friendliness that characterises Fundu. The place is magical, unpretentious relaxing, with the only sounds the lapping of the waves, the call of swifts and curlews and the gentle clinking of little shells as the water washes and caresses them back & forth along the shore. The lagoon is barely 30 yards from the beachside tents, & an evening swim in the beautifully warm water followed by a walk along the beach for a sundowner on the jetty candle-lit dinner in the dining room made for a perfect end to each day. On our last night, we took a sunset dhow trip with our fellow guests before being served our own private dinner on the beach, an unforgettable treat.
If you're easily bored, you can take a kayak out on the lagoon, have an excellent massage with either of the sweet Balinese therapists in the pool spa, visit the local village or explore ruins in the mangrove creek. The diving, too, is excellent and suitable for beginners or the advanced, with great visibility and a much praised variety of fish & coral.
A handful of villagers pass along the beach (reminding us that people live here), to its credit Fundu is actively involved in local village and community projects.
Four nights there was only just enough - we wished it could have been more.
January February are the hottest months and some may find the tents uncomfortably warm and airless at night, despite the ceiling fan. That apart, we absolutely loved it, in common with a huge majority of TripAdvisor reviewers. Complaints about millipedes and 'People Staring At My Wife' are far outweighed by praise for Fundu's peace, atmosphere
Ms Clare Hine (Guest)
The diving and snorkelling was great and the dive instructor was excellent!
Giles Trotter (Staff)
What most appealed to me about Fundu, though, was the close relationship the management maintained with the villagers, many of whom built and now staff the hotel. Apart from creating jobs, the hotel also runs weekly shopping trips and medical visits on Mama Casa, its largest dhow. In return, the villagers have blessed Fundu during traditional cleansing ceremonies such as the one involving goats. The cult of voodoo still has many followers here, but while some visitors are here to study the dark arts, most come for the world-class diving particularly off tiny Misali Island, where notorious pirate Captain Kidd is rumoured to have buried his treasure
A dhow trip on the coast of Zanzibar
Sailing in a dhow, the traditional sailing boat used in Zanzibar, is the best way to view the island's coastline. Sailing in the late evening to watch the sun set is the best time of day and is wonderfully romantic.
A historic walk through Stone Town
Visit Zanzibar Towns old quarter, Stone Town on the west coast of Zanzibar. Here you will find beautiful architecture and historic buildings dating back to the 19th century, revealing the complex history of Zanzibar and its links with the slave trade.
Diving at Fundu Lagoon
The Indian Ocean surrounding Pemba offers some of the best diving and snorkelling spots in the world. There is a huge diversity of marine life in these shallow coral lagoons that drop off to incredible depths.
Diving in Zanzibar
Located off the eastern coast of Africa, in the warm and clear Indian Ocean, Zanzibar is home to some great diving locations. Head to the tiny atolls off the north coast of Zanzibar, or take a trip to its neighbouring island of Pemba.
Fishing at Fundu Lagoon
Whether you're looking to lie back with a beer and dangle a rod off the edge of the boat, or go after some more challenging and exhilarating quarry, the fishing at Fundu Lagoon, Pemba has something to offer everybody.
Shopping in Stone Town
Stone Town, Zanzibar Town's old quarter, has an abundance of local shops selling a wide variety of antiques, textiles, and jewellery. Spend a whole day wondering through the narrow streets and pick up some truly unique finds.
With the Spice Islands named as they are you cannot visit this particular part of the world and not delve into its history by taking a Spice Tour on the island.
Ruaha National Park & Pemba Island
from £6100 pp inc flights & transfers for 11 nights
- Get the personal touch at these owner run lodges, where your every need is catered for.
- Fall asleep under the blazing stars, as lions call in the distance at Ikuka’s romantic and Insta worthy sleep out deck.
- Combining these remote lodges is a breeze with straightforward flights and direct transfers, making getting off the map carefree.
A non-refundable 50% deposit is required at the time of booking for stays between 18 Dec - 10 Jan.
Full payment is required 30 days prior to arrival.
Location & directions
Pemba Island, Tanzania
Fundu Lagoon is on Pemba Island, in the Zanzibar archipelago, lying across the Pemba Channel to the north. The hotel is situated on a remote and beautiful beach on the south western side of the island and is only accessible by boat.
How to get there
Guests may fly to Pemba from Dar-es-Salaam or Zanzibar daily with the normal scheduled flights. Following your flight you will arrive at Pemba’s airport in Chake Chake, which is located at the centre of the Island. Fundu Lagoon staff will be waiting to greet you and transfer you by vehicle to Mkoani harbour, which will take approximately 45 minutes. Then its a private boat (20-25 minutes) which cruises from Mkoani Port around the peninsular to Fundu Lagoon.
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