Ras Nungwi is a privately owned independent hotel opened in 1996 and completely refurbished and updated in 2006/7. It’s located on the northern tip of Zanzibar Island which makes it perfect for diving and fishing.
The beach here is, like much of the island, very clean, clear and unspoilt. The reef is relatively nearby and at low tide it’s possible to find lots of marine creatures in rock pools and such, however at high tide the beach all but disappears.
Accommodation at Ras Nungwi is in either chalets or lodge rooms each with a private balcony and en-suite facilities (including shower, hand-basin & toilet). All 32 rooms have air conditioning, electronic safe, whitewashed walls and hand-crafted four poster beds beneath voluminous mosquito nets.
All rooms have garden view, air conditioning and hand carved 4 poster beds complete with mosquito nets.
All types of chalet room have a sea view, although the higher category rooms are closer to the beach.
Superior deluxe chalet rooms are located closest to the sea front and have upgraded bathroom facilities, CD players and a few other special touches.
The Ocean Suite
The Ocean Suite is a large detached suite entirely enclosed within private gardens. It has its own plunge pool, spacious living area and a roof terrace.
We found Ras Nungwi to have quite a variety of features, more common in much larger properties. The restaurant was good, using local organic products, when possible, and serving good quality international food with a Zanzibari twist. The bar was well stocked with South African wines and stayed open as late as you would like.
The property includes:
*Designer deck level fresh water swimming pool.
*Mountain Bike hire facility
Two or three times a week there is live music.
Ras Nungwi also runs its own on-site watersports centre. It’s a Gold Palm (Five Star) member of the PADI International Resort Association and includes a PADI dive school.
Ras Nungwi offers a wealth of activities to suit all types. Options include; Scuba, Snorkelling, dhow cruises, kayaking, wind-surfing, water-skiing and deep sea fishing. All activities are organised and run by the hotels own staff from the on-site water sports centre.
In addition to these you are well sited for many land based activities. The hotel can offer darts, table tennis, pool, volley ball and numerous board games. They have a secluded TV room showing international sports, movies and news channels and can offer live music once a week.
A 15 minute walk, or short bike ride (mountain bike hire available from hotel), will take you into Nungwi village where you can get a spot of lunch whilst taking in the Zanzibari way of life in the many bars and restaurants. Nungwi village is also home to a turtle sanctuary and is the Dhow building capital of the island.
Environment and local community
Ras Nungwi is situated in a glorious natural paradise, and the vision is for nature and the hotel to coexist harmoniously so that guests can enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings without forsaking creature comforts. An eco-sensitive approach has ensured that the delicate balance of land and sea, flora and fauna is preserved for all to enjoy in the years to come.
A short fifteen minute walk from the hotel is Nungwi, the neighbouring village, with a population of approximately 8,000 people. The villagers predominantly live off fishing and some agricultural and small scale production activities, mainly arts and crafts. Additionally, two-thirds of the staff were born and raised in Nungwi village and many have worked for the hotel since it opened.
As part of Ras Nungwi’s commitment to the local community, they were the driving force behind the establishment of the Labayka (“The Voice”) Development Fund (LDF), a local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). LDF aims to support and steer sustainable socio-economic development, promote good health & hygiene practices, support education and training initiatives, and offer family counselling for the general population and families in Nungwi village. Furthermore, LDF aims to protect and preserve the natural environment at Nungwi, as well as its cultural and historical assets.
LDF is managed by an Executive Committee of 10 volunteers, all of whom live and work in Nungwi village. Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel is the main sponsor of LDF, currently accounting for more than 90% of its annual operational budget, and has additionally assisted the NGO in several specific projects since its inception.
Ras Nungwi represents a good balance between the smaller more intimate guest houses and the larger boutique properties. The location is great for diving and the proximity to Nungwi village provides options external to the hotel.
We would strongly recommend upgrading to the Superior Deluxe rooms as these have most recently been refurbished and are better located.