Kendwa is famous for its beach with fine white sand or ground shells. The water is turquoise blue, the sunsets spectacular and the local boat activity picturesque. The village exists mainly for touristic purposes, the beach bungalow hotels face the sea and there's a connecting back road, with a couple of african houses. Kendwa is a little off towards the south of the touristic development.
Kendwa is about 1½ km west off the main road to Nungwi. The connecting unpaved road from the main route was re-graded in 2007 but is already in a bad condition again.
From the main bus station in Stone Town you can get on a daladala headed to Nungwi for about Tsh 2,000 per person. Ask the driver to let you get off at the Kendwa junction, from there it's another 1½ km west. There’s not much shade and this can be a tough hike in summer. You can also continue with the bus till Nungwi and catch a taxi from there to Kendwa for about Tsh 10,000.
A taxi or private car from Stone Town will set you back at least Tsh 70,000 (this is doing well though - $40+ is more common) and the trip takes about 1½ hours. Expect to pay more than this if coming from another beach.
This collects you from your accommodation and drops you wherever you like in Kendwa. From Stone Town the journey takes 1½ hours and costs US$10 p/p and from the South East coast it takes around 2 hours and costs US$12 p/p. You need to book tickets online from here: The Zanzibus
You can also take a private boat to/from Nungwi (from Tsh 20,000, 10 minutes).
Coming from Nungwi, it’s an easy walk (about 3 km, 30 minutes) along the beach during low tide. Due to a rocky coast the route becomes impassible with higher tides. The only option at high tide is using the back roads, which are unpleasant to walk due to heat and traffic.
There is only a few meters difference here between high and low tides so swimming is possible any time of day. There may be some cloud and wind and quick rainshowers in June/July but the sun is usually out and the weather very pleasant.
One could perhaps walk to Nungwi at low tide and take the sunset cruise from there and ask to be dropped off at Kendwa or take a bus back to the Kendwa junction (Tsh 300 per person) and walk from there.
Meals are US$5-12 at the various restaurants on the beach. Although some of the restaurants have smaller portions, the food is delicious and mostly cooked well. Seafood dishes are recommended over beef or chicken.
- At the Taj Mahal restaurant of the Amaan Kendwa hotel a whole fish per person (red snapper) is grilled to perfection.
- The restaurant at Kendwa Breezes has excellent Prawns Pili Pili and Lobster Thermidor.
- Mama Mzungu (on the back road, next to the fruit shop). This local eating place is only for the shoestring traveller or people who enjoy the ubiquitous rice, pilaw or French Fries dishes. Sometimes there’s also Samousa or a selection of fried fish (Tsh 300-1,500). There’s a lot of flies swarming around. Tsh 1,500.
- Snorkeling trip. You can get them at any hotel, but it's worth shopping around a bit to either get a cheaper tour or a private one according to your preferences. The local Coral Gardens (2-3 hr boat trip from Tsh 60,000 per boat or Tsh 15,000 per person in a group) are relatively small, heavily damaged from fishing and tourism and the fish populations are very low, so it may pay off to take a full day trip round the northern tip of Zanzibar to Mnemba Island on the east coast (US$17-20). These trips are on the steady wooden dhows that are built in Nungwi with even the beams and benches hewn from trees. Although motorised, sails are hoisted to utilise the wind.
- Full Moon Party. The Kendwa Rocks hotel hosts Full Moon Parties on Saturdays before and after a full moon. The music and the crowd is always great.
- Walk along the beach. If you walk left when reaching the beach (south), you'll hit some gorgeous empty beaches with no buildings and no infrastructure. The perfect place to get away from the touts and have your own paradise. Beware though, that it's not always safe to walk in remote and lonely areas.
- 1 [dead link] Zanzibar Parasailing, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 9AM-6PM. Offers various watersport activities; you can take a flight on a microlight boat, parasail, scuba dive, jetski, flyboard, ringo, banana boat or SUP.
Kendwa has limited accommodation and prices are still on the rise. During high season (July & August, December & January) reservations are recommended. Particularly around New Years Eve, the Kendwa hotels can be fully booked as far in advance as the preceding July. If you don't find a place here, consider staying in Nungwi which is not too far away.
- Amaan Kendwa, ☏ . Pleasant clean bungalows in attractive garden. Bathroom en suite with hot shower, hair dryer. Also kettle, mosquito nets, fan, air conditioning, fridge, smallish wardrobe, veranda, beach towels.
- Kendwa Rocks, ☏ . The bar and restaurant well known for their Full Moon Party. They offer a variety of accommodation, from simple bungalows (bandas) with outside bathrooms to nice beach houses. They also have simple & cheap rooms (twin US$30), but avoid these (esp. when raining), since the roof leaks, there’s visible fungi mould and the floor is completely wet after a rain. While the beach is beautiful and perfect for family vacations, parents with small children might want to avoid this place during the full moon, as the place then typically attracts a younger and louder crowd. (non-negotiable) beach banda: US$50-70, beach house: US$150.
- [dead link] Les Toits De Palms, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. This chilled and beautiful budget place only six bungalows and four beach bandas and thus fills up quickly. It's located toward the northern end of the beach and thus a bit calmer than the larger resort places like Kendwa Rocks (although you should check ahead if there's a party planned in which case you won't close an eye until 3am). The beach is slowly being eroded by the sea and this place will be one of the first victims. They are trying to stall the inevitable fate using sandbags. double for (negotiable) US$70 incl. breakfast (2014).
- There’s also a guesthouse off the beach at the backroad, which might be worth trying.
- Sunset Bungalows, ☏ . Is just up the beach from Kendwa Rocks. It offers a bar and restaurant, and many rooms at a variety of prices. They have been expanding and upgrading continuously. Some rooms have air conditioning, all are self-contained. The staff is quite friendly and helpful. double US$85.
- La Gemma de l'est. Is an Italian all-inclusive resort with own tarred road to main road. Offers package deals including airfare from Italy.
- [dead link] Kendwa Breezes Beach Resort (after White Sands Bungalows and just before La Gemma de l'est), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A small, quiet boutique hotel with a fantastic setting and fabulous staff.
- La Rosa Dei Venti +255 777 411 314
- Malaika Bungalows +255 777 856 167
- White Sand Bungalows, ☏ , .