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Kendwa

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... is a stretch of coastline located to the north-west of Zanzibar Island off the coast of Tanzania.

This particular area has what many consider to be the best beach on the island. Certainly it is one of the best for swimming, being considerably less tidal than most areas and with the white-sand of the beach extending out under the water to make for easy footing. It also happens to face westwards, which can make for stunning sunsets.

As late as 1995 this was a remote beach with just one basic guest-house consisting of simple thatched bandas. We were actually offered the whole beach for USD 75,000 back then, but not only did we not have the money, we also didn't have the vision to see what was about to happen. We could have made millions, but we would never have forgiven ourselves.

Over the next ten years a collection of backpacker guest-houses grew up and the place developed quite a scene, centred on the beach bar at Kendwa Rocks, notable for its outrageous Rastafarian full moon parties.

In 2006 the enormous packaged holiday resort Gemma dell Est landed like a spaceship at the northern end of the beach. Since then the small guest-houses have been gradually replaced by ever larger and more commercial beach resorts.

Kendwa has now become one of the most heavily developed beaches on Zanzibar and the intrepid travellers have largely been replaced by packaged holidaymakers. The cool crowd has moved on, largely to new kite-surfing areas of Paje in the south-east.


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Lenny Franklin
Lenny Franklin, Senior Safari Consultant
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