As General Manager and Co-Owner of Driftwood Beach Lodge, Kerry Pollen knows a thing or two about making the most of your time on Zanzibar. We asked her for her top Zanzibar tips, and to reveal some of the Zanzibar secrets she’s learned during her time in the Spice Islands.
Most memorable Zanzibar moment?
Wow, there have been so many, it’s hard to choose! I love taking the time to look out at the ocean view from the lodge – it changes constantly and there’s always something new to see. My favourite time of the day is dawn, when I take the time to sit on the edge of our infinity pool and watch the sunrise as I drink my coffee.
What can people look forward to?
There’s a lovely, laidback feel to Driftwood Beach Lodge. It’s a cosy, relaxing space where people can unwind and just be themselves. Perhaps that’s why so many friendships form between our guests. Driftwood is an easy place to make friends and share memorable experiences.
What’s your favourite Zanzibar activity?
For me, it’s definitely the strolls along the beach. Living here on Zanzibar, I don’t exactly have many worries, but any that do come along soon disappear again when I kick off my sandals and feel the sand between my toes. Our Paradise Island snorkelling trip is my go-to way to create the perfect day: between the colourful world of the coral reef and a traditional local lunch on a sand bar, it’s easy to lose yourself in the moment.
Coolest Zanzibar hangout spots?
If you’ve just conquered Kilimanjaro or been on safari, relaxing poolside with a glass of something cold is likely to be your top priority. For guests that want to be a little more energetic, we can point them in the direction of our favourite local restaurants and beach bars, where the only thing fresher than the seafood is the beats.
What makes Zanzibar stand out?
Everything! The places, the culture, the history, the food… Zanzibar has so much to see and do, but the best part about it is the warm and friendly people.
Insider tips for first time visitors?
It’s definitely worth reading up on the weather in the different seasons, so that you can choose the best possible time to visit. Don’t forget your sunblock, and also make sure you have had your Yellow Fever vaccinations.
If tomorrow had to be my last day on Zanzibar…
I’d definitely take an early morning walk on the beach, followed by coffee and a fresh fruit platter. I’d spend the day lazing around the pool, with the occasional dip in the ocean. And I’d certainly enjoy a gin and tonic or two! Basically, I’d make the most of this being the most chilled place I know.
What might surprise people about Zanzibar?
Heading for Jambiani, you might not expect to witness the simple life that many of our neighbours lead in roadside villages. In Stone Town, the bustling narrow streets full of people, scooters and cars take many people by surprise. Mostly, people aren’t prepared for just how much they will love the Spice Islands.
Must do activities for guests?
There are so many activities and experiences on offer that I’ll just mention a few here. Some of our most popular activities include spending the morning at Kizimikazi and swimming with the dolphins, touring a spice farm in Zanzibar, or combining a visit to Nakupenda white sand bar with a trip to Prison Island. Jozani Monkey Forest is always a fun excursion, while if you want to spend more time on or under the ocean, you can take kite surfing or SCUBA diving lessons just along the beach from Driftwood.
Best sunset spot?
As Driftwood Beach Lodge is on the south coast of Zanzibar, we don’t see the sunset – but our sunrises more than make up for it!
If you have questions about Zanzibar that Kerry hasn’t answered here, please feel free to contact us and we’ll always do our best to help.