Kwacha House is the inspired creation of two families – the da Mottas of Lusaka and the Dorias of Arusha – who had been friends for over 25 years. In their own words they decided to get together and build a special place to create memories for their children, share laughter and friendship and good company, tell tall tales of the past and dream of the future.

They have more than succeeded in their aims – and Kwacha House is a lovely and really appealing holiday home. Imaginatively designed and built, it is truly Swahili in spirit and style – combining Moorish Arab-influenced architecture with more simple and rustic African coastal designs and materials. The result is a very handsome, harmonious and happy house – and one of the very nicest places to stay on the Zanzibar coast.

“What a truly magical place. It is something so rare I almost don’t want to share it with anyone. A house built with love, to be enjoyed with love – it leaves you feeling thankful for such special times. Thank you for everything.”

Poppy, Nairobi

Kwacha House is ideal for four adults with up to six children – or for up to three couples. The four bedrooms are in the two lovely round towers at the front of the house, and the huge living and dining area plus kitchen is in the thatched ground-floor banda to the rear of the property. The central courtyard houses a private freshwater plunge pool for when the sun is high or the tide is low, and Jambiani’s beautiful beach is your front garden.

The North Tower has a double bedroom downstairs with a king-size Swahili bed. Upstairs is a triple bedroom with three ¾ size Swahili beds – two of which can be pushed together to make a large double. The South Tower has a children’s bedroom downstairs with three sofa beds, and up the spiral staircase a double bedroom with a large king-sized bed.

The bedrooms all have ensuite bathrooms, new floor-length mosquito nets and ceiling fans, and the windows have wooden louvred shutters and inner windows with mosquito gauze. The coloured glass window arches cast a lovely submarine blue light in the rooms, and the traditional white niru plaster is cool on the soles of your feet and easy on the eye.

“We have had the most incredibly relaxing stay at Kwacha House. A truly perfect stay in every way and just what we were looking for. The house itself is just stunning – we are totally in love with it – and it has the cleanest sparkling pool I’ve ever seen!”

Kate, Dar es Salaam, 2016

The two towers are linked by a crenelated bridge and covered veranda, and both towers have castellated roof terraces accessible internally from the spiral staircases – ideal for private sunbathing.

The main living area – the banda – is sandy-floored and makuti-thatched – with sailcloth awnings to provide shade and filter the breeze. There are two comfortable sitting and lounging areas with cushioned Swahili daybeds, safari chairs and coffee tables, a large dining table and a breakfast bar.

A third bathroom for guests occupies the back block of the banda – which also houses the kitchen and pantry. The kitchen is really well equipped – with gas oven, juicer, toaster, coffee percolator, a large fridge and a chest freezer to store your seafood in and provide plenty of ice. There is ample crockery, cutlery and glassware to cater for parties of up to ten guests.

“Our stay at Kwacha house was amazing! With the serene beaches of Jambiani as our backdrop, Kwacha house was a very special place to come together and enjoy Zanzibar for a few days. We were very well taken care of by all, and the meals prepared by Hilda were authentic and incredibly delicious!”

Julie, Chicago

Rentals include delicious Swahili breakfasts with tea and coffee, fresh juices and smoothies, tropical fruit, chapatis and mandazis. The lovely and kind Hilda is Kwacha’s housekeeper and chef for breakfast and lunch – with help from her assistant Thelba. The grounds and swimming pool are tended by Asante (“Thank You”) the resident Man Friday. Jumaa the house manager is also on hand to help out and can arrange all kinds of tours and excursions as well as airport transfers.

The house staff can also help with shopping – and by private arrangement can cook evening meals. Alternatively there are two freelance cooks lined up for guests to employ who can take care of all the cooking and are able to make a delicious range of local and international dishes. There are also several simple, charming and reasonably-priced restaurants and beach bars nearby which specialise in excellent fresh seafood.

There’s much to do in and around Jambiani in addition to relaxing at Kwacha House – swimming and diving in the turquoise sea, sailing, snorkelling and fishing trips with Captain Salim, kite surfing at nearby Paje Village, walks and bicycle rides down the beach, day trips around Zanzibar Island and Stone Town, wildlife viewing and visiting historic sites.

Summary

  • A delightful and welcoming family home with pool
  • Lovely unspoilt beachfront village location
  • Ideal for families and children
  • All kinds of water sports and activities available
  • Sleeps 6-10 guests in four double/triple ensuite bedrooms
  • Standard Rental Rate $400 per night

Detailed Information

Accommodation and facilities

  • Staff include – house manager, housekeeper and assistant, handyman, night guard
  • Full-time chefs available by separate arrangement
  • Rental includes Swahili breakfasts and laundry
  • Two double bedrooms – both with ensuite bathroom
  • Two triple bedrooms – both with ensuite bathroom
  • Freshwater plunge pool
  • Large living and dining area
  • Large and well-equipped kitchen
  • Guest bathroom
  • Two private roof terraces
  • Covered veranda
  • Beachfront location
  • Wifi internet
  • Good cellphone signal
  • Massages and beauty treatment available

Available nearby

  • Swimming
  • Snorkelling
  • PADI diving
  • Sea fishing
  • Dhow trips
  • Kite surfing
  • Bicycle Hire

Location

Jambiani Low Tide

Jambiani Low Tide

Jambiani is a small coastal village with a beautiful white sand beach and a handful of guesthouses, hotels, and resorts. It is situated just south of the larger villages of Bwejuu and Paje on the South East coast of Zanzibar Island, just over 50km by road from Zanzibar Town and the island’s airport.

Jambiani is a real Swahili village – quiet, traditional and largely unspoilt. Most of the residents are still fishermen, seaweed farmers and smallholders with small farms or shambas a little inland from the coast where they keep goats and other livestock, grow fruit and raise some crops.

Jambiani Village

Jambiani Village

There is reasonably good local shopping in Jambiani – and Paje village, just 6 km away, has two well-stocked supermarkets and a Superduka selling wines, beers and spirits. Jumaa the house manager can organise all kinds of fresh fish and seafood to be delivered to the house. Along the beach to north and south are several recommended beach bars and restaurants.

Blue Oyster Hotel Jambiani

Blue Oyster Hotel Jambiani

The Sea View Lodge next door to Kwacha House has a bar and restaurant, internet, spa and small boutique. A few metres further on The Seahorse is run by Zube who is a rotund and friendly chap and a jolly good cook. Sale & Pepe offers a delicious fusion of classic Italian dishes with a Swahili twist. The Blue Oyster Hotel has a good lunch and supper menu and is also a PADI dive centre and can organise snorkelling trips to the excellent coral reef close to the beach.

Paje Kite Surfing

Paje Kite Surfing

Nearby Paje is also famous worldwide as a kite surfing destination, and all kinds of other water sports and activities are available along the nearby beaches. Jumaa the house manager also runs trips and excursions around Zanzibar – he offers the full range of activities on the island from Stone Town tours, to Jozani Forest colobus monkey trips, outings to the Sea Turtle Sanctuary and Butterfly Farm, Spice Tours, Caves and Ruins trips – and more.

Zanzibar Town Seafront

Zanzibar Town Seafront

If you can tear yourself away from the relaxing pleasures of Jambiani, no trip to Zanzibar is complete without a visit to Zanzibar’s historic and culturally fascinating old Stone Town. Former capital of the Zanzibar Sultanate, and flourishing centre of the spice trade and slave trade in the 19th century, when Tanganyika and Zanzibar joined together to form the United Republic of Tanzania in 1963, Zanzibar kept a semi-autonomous status, with Zanzibar Town as its seat of government.

Zanzibar Town

Zanzibar Town

The heart of Stone Town consists of a maze of narrow streets and alleys lined by houses, shops, bazaars and mosques. Its architecture has a number of distinctive features – the result of an intermingling of Arab, Persian, Indian, European, and African influences. Typical Zanzibar buildings have long stone baraza benches along their outside walls, enclosed verandas and balconies with tin roofs and elaborately-carved wooden front doors.

Zanzibar Alleways

Zanzibar Alleyways

Key historic buildings include The House of Wonders (or Beit-al-Ajaib) the former Sultan’s Palace built in 1893, now a museum. The adjacent Old Fort was built in the 17th century by the Omanis – its internal courtyard is now a cultural centre. The newly-restored Old Dispensary was built by a wealthy Indian trader to serve as a charity hospital for the poor. It is one of the town’s most finely- decorated buildings, with large carved wooden balconies, stained-glass windows and neoclassical stucco adornments.

Anglican Cathedral and Slave Monument

Anglican Cathedral and Slave Monument

The Anglican Cathedral was built at the end of the 19th century by Edward Steere, third bishop of Zanzibar. It was constructed on the former site of the island’s main slave market, and a monument to the slaves and museum on the history of slavery sits beside the church. The Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Joseph, based on Marseilles Cathedral, was built by French missionaries between 1893 and 1897. Its facade, with two high spires, is one of the best-known Stone Town landmarks.

Zanzibar Town Rooftops

Zanzibar Town Rooftops

Fordham Gardens is a small park on the seafront, recently restored by the Aga Khan Trust. Every evening the gardens host a popular, tourist-oriented market selling grilled seafood and other Zanzibari recipes which attracts both tourists and locals. There is excellent shopping and eating in Stone Town and the huge and vibrant Darajani Market, which sells everything from colourful kangas to spices and fresh seafood is a must-see.

House of Wonders and Forodhani Gardens

House of Wonders and Forodhani Gardens

How to get there

By Air

Fly540 flies direct to Zanzibar from Nairobi and Mombasa

Precision Air flies direct to Zanzibar from Nairobi – and also via Dar es Salaam

Kenya Airways flies direct to Zanzibar from Nairobi – and also via Dar es Salaam

Qatar Airways flies to Zanzibar from Doha via Kilimanjaro Airport

Ethiopian Airlines flies to Zanzibar from Addis Ababa via Kilimanjaro Airport

Various other airlines make the 20 minute flight from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar including ZanAir, Coastal Aviation, Hahn Air and Fast Jet

Zanzibar Airport and Zanzibar Town are about 50km from Jambiani by road – and the trip should take just over an hour

By Sea

There are various different ferries – passenger and car – from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar and which vary in cost, seaworthiness and journey time – the voyage takes between 90 minutes and 3+ hours.

Visitor’s Book

“Our stay at Kwacha house was amazing!  With the serene beaches of Jambiani as our backdrop, Kwacha house was a very special place to come together and enjoy Zanzibar for a few days. We were very well taken care of by all, and the meals prepared by Hilda were authentic and incredibly delicious!”

Julie, Chicago USA, 2016

“This house on the beach is stunning and beautifully designed and decorated. My husband and I rented the entire house for ourselves. The staff, including the property manager and house / kitchen staff were super-friendly and helpful. Hilda made a yummy breakfast every morning, which is included in the rental.  It’s a magical place and you will not regret booking this spot. Everything about Kwacha house is spectacular – from the views to the comfortable beds, Zanzibar-style furnishings, and private plunge pool.  We pampered ourselves with reasonably-priced massages at the house –arranged for us by Kwacha house staff – and a little bit of henna painting for fun. It is within walking distance of several restaurants. Walks on the beach, trip out on a local dhow for snorkelling, relaxing in the pool or any of the beautiful “lounging spots” – it was the best part of our Zanzibar trip. If you plan to visit Zanzibar go to Jambiani and rent this house!”

Kimberley, Malawi, 2016

“We have had the most incredibly relaxing stay at Kwacha House. A truly perfect stay in every way and just what we were looking for. The house itself is just stunning – we are totally in love with it – and it has the cleanest sparkling pool I’ve ever seen!  Hilda the housekeeper was so friendly and very sweet, and the whole team was very efficient, organised and friendly. We felt very safe and very well looked after.  I only wish we’d found you earlier on when we arrived in Tanzania we would have probably spent most of our holidays here! But we definitely hope to be back again soon and will be telling all our friends about Jambiani.”

Kate, Dar es Salaam, 2016

“The best holiday we’ve had since before the babies were born. Waking in the morning to the sound of the sea, somnolent afternoons and actually being able to eat breakfast with children playing in the sand at our feet – fantastic!  Juma and Hilda were very good hosts. We are certain to be back, and to send all of our friends.”

Ant and Rawana Kaschula, Zambia, 2015

“What a truly magical place. It is something so rare I almost don’t want to share it with anyone. A house built with love, to be enjoyed with love – it leaves you feeling thankful for such special times. Thank you for everything.”

Poppy, Nairobi, 2014

Rates

Sleeps 6-10. Standard rental rate $400 per night, bed and breakfast.