Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is so special about a vacation in Tanzania and Ushongo?

 

Tanzania has always remained a special travel destination due to policies of the government favouring individual and small group luxury tourism in Tanzania. The Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater are world-famous given the variety of spectacular landscapes and the abundance of wildlife. Therefore, most of the Africa-theme movie and TV series are shot in Tanzania.

 

The Tanzanian coast is largely undiscovered by tourists. Ushongo not only offers endless sandy beaches, but also numerous coral reefs, the Maziwe Island Marine National Park and is also a stepping stone to Saadani Game Park, which is located one hour away.

 

Mass tourism has conquered many long-distance travel regions such as Thailand and Bali, but also the neighbouring Kenya . Ushongo, located on the mainland opposite the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, offers an almost deserted palm beach without concrete buildings, motor boats or animation. There are only a handful of private houses, three smaller lodges and a traditional village. Dhows (traditional sailing boats) cross the bay. Because of the limited accommodation possibilities there are very few tourists.

 

Is it possible to combine the beach vacation with a safari?

 

For a unique experience take the Northern Safari Circuit consisting of Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengetio, plus other smaller parks. The starting point for safari is Arusha in northern Tanzania. Tent safaris or lodge safaris in individual vehicles or as part of a group are possible and prices vary accordingly.  We have been cooperating with an experienced fully licenced company for several years. We have lived in Tanzania for a longer period of time, so we know the country very well and are able to check itineraries and offers for you.

 

For a small half-day to 2 day safari it is sufficient to drive from Ushongo to Saadani Game Park, which is only one hour away. There you can see antelopes, buffalo, giraffes, crocodiles and hippos.

 

What do our guests typically do all day in Ushongo?

 

The sunrise over the sea is worth getting up early and before breakfast you can swim in the still cool sea. During the day there are numerous options keeping an active person busy:  you can go for a walk on the beach or take a boat trip to Maziwe for snorkeling. The historical cities of Pangani and Tanga are ideal for excursions. On river trips on the Pangani River and excursions to the nearby Saadani Game Park you can experience nature from a different side. In Ushongo itself you can take scuba diving instruction, rent dhows, participate in a Sea Turtle Hatching Event, visit the village or just take endless walks on the beach. In the evening you can enjoy a sundowner and watch the sunset behind our house. After dinner you sit down on the beach with a drink and watch the spectacular starry sky.

In spite of the many recreational possibilities, many of our guests (and ourselves) let themselves drift, lounging on the terrace or on our beach place, enjoying the sound of the sea and watching the fishermen.

Are there any sports activities in Ushongo?

Sailing with traditional dhows, sailing with a Laser (ask at Tides Lodge for rental), Windsurf rental and school in Crab Resort at the end of the bay, snorkelling trips and diving: Ushongo is an insider tip for divers due to its coral reefs and Maziwe Island Marine Park. There is only a small diving school/PADI Dive Center http://www.kasa-divers.com/. Snorkeling trips can be organized with motor boats from the village. Jogging on the beach, deep sea fishing tour with motorboat (e.g. tuna). The tuna fish melts in your mouth. Tuna sashimi is a delicacy. Bluewater Cruising: We can provide contacts to go sailing on a 35 ft sailing yacht with a licenced skipper.

How much does the house cost per week?

The price depends on the season and the number of people. For an offer please go to the main menu and click on "Bookings". For long term stays we give you particularly favourable conditions. Last minute discounts are also possible.

Is the personnel included in the price?

Our personnel is included in the price: our maid cleans the house, tidies the kitchen, does the laundry and can also help with the preparation of meals. Our gardener can help you with errands and tours, e.g. to the village or rent boats for you. Then we also have a night watchman. From 4 persons it is recommended to add a second maid. If you were satisfied the three of them will be happy about tips.

What is the best time of the year to travel to Ushongo?

Actually there is no season which is not recommended for a trip. Here is an overview:

August to November, May:

Hotter time (27-30 degrees) A fresh breeze usually blows on the terrace

November/ December

small rainy season

November/ December

light rainy season Hot (30 degrees +), mostly only very little rainfall often stronger wind

 

Approx. mid-March to end of April

Main rainy season

It usually rains for only a few hours per day, then the sun comes out again Rather weak wind; the approach to Ushongo is only possible via Muheza/Pangani

June, July

Cool season (25 degrees),

dry often stronger wind

What is the best way to get to Ushongo?

Ushongo, near Pangani is located between the international airports of Dar es Salaam/Tanzania, Zanzibar/Tanzania and Mombasa/Kenya. Another international airport is Kilimanjaro, in northern Tanzania, ideal if you want to combine a beach vacation with a safari. There are scheduled and charter flights from Europe to all three destinations, e.g. KLM, Condor, Turkish, Swiss, Emirates, Quatar and British and Kenya Airways.

In Dar es Salaam the flights usually arrive in the afternoon until evening. It is recommended to stay overnight before continuing your journey to Ushongo. Our recommendation is the Slipway Hotel in Msasani Peninsula. There you can also eat your first lobster on a terrace over the sea and shop the next day in the supermarket.

Continuation from Dar es Salaam:

Flight with a local airline, for example Coastal or Safari Airlink to Pangani-Machado. From there 15 min by cab to our house. One way tickets cost 100-250 USD per person. Small propeller planes are used. You have fantastic views of coral reefs, Zanzibar and the coast. 

Taxi-trip to Ushongo through the Saadani Game Park (about 6-7 hours, costs about 350 USD plus parking fee). We recommend our local cab driver Mohamed. Our guests enjoy the ride as an introduction to the nature and landscape. Sometimes you can see elephants, almost always antelopes.

Bus ride from Arusha or Dar es Salaam to Tanga with Scandinavian Express Bus about 7 hours, costs about 50,000.- TzSh = 20 €). A low cost option, which is not quite unproblematic after a night flight.

Speedboat from Zanzibar to Ushongo: by cab from the airport to Kendwa Rocks near Nungwe (1,5 hours); from there by speedboat to Ushongo, 1,5 hours 20- 100 USD pP ). A nice undertaking. You see dhows, sometimes dolphins and flying fish.

Zanzibar: mostly charter flights arrive here. Continue your journey:

Onward flight to Pangani-Machado (see above)

Flight to Zanzibar (see above)

Speedboat (see above)

Mombasa: Also a popular charter flight destination. Onward journey:

Journey with cab, about 5 hours, about 400 USD

Flight to Zanzibar, continuation of journey see above

How do I get around in Ushongo?

Ourselves we move around almost exclusively on foot. If you want to make excursions by car, we recommend our taxi driver.

Where can I buy groceries?

But all basic food, such as rice, fish, chicken, vegetables, fruit, water, beer and soft drinks are available in Ushongo. If word gets around that there are guests, flying merchants will come by, which will save you some shopping.  The nearby village Mwera has a small market. A better selection and lower prices can be found in Pangani, 17 km away. You can take a cab to Pangani yourself or send our gardener by motorcycle cab to do the shopping. Ushongo has no supermarkets. "Luxury goods" like butter, olive oil, flour for baking bread, noodles or beef are only available in Tanga, Zanzibar Stone Town or Mombasa. In Dar es Salaam we recommend the Slipway Supermarket, Shoppers Plaza and the South African butcher (filets, biltong, sausages, etc.).  If you travel via Dar es Salaam it is recommended to shop there. Otherwise our taxi driver can do the shopping for you in Tanga. We will be happy to send you a sample shopping list.

 

Which health hazards should I be aware of?

If you take a few hygiene and precautionary measures, Tanzania is a safe country to travel to. Fruit and vegetables should be washed thoroughly. Tap water is not suitable for drinking. You should protect yourself against Malaria in three ways: Apply cream at dusk, spray the bedroom, sleep under a mosquito net and make sure that mosquitoes cannot penetrate. If you want to be 100% sure you should take medication as recommended with your doctor, such as Malarone or Coartem. Medication can have side effects. Ushongo is not suitable for guests with chronic diseases who need constant medical attention. A good travel/health insurance is important.

How about security?

We never had any security problems. Windows and doors should be closed/locked before going to bed or when leaving the house (when the maid is not there). We have a night watchman who takes care of the security from 6pm to 6 am.

Is there a house brochure?

As soon as you confirm your booking we will send you our house brochure with house rules for safety and comfort, detailed information about the journey, the house and Ushongo. The 26-page brochure contains a variety of tips that make it easy even for guests without any experience in Africa to prepare for the trip and find their way around.

Who will look after us before the trip and in Tanzania?

Since a vacation cannot be compared to a package, we take our time to answer all your questions in detail. Many things are explained in our house brochure (see above). But mostly there is the necessity to clarify further questions in a telephone call or by email. So please do not hesitate to contact us. On site you will be looked after by our house staff. If you have any further questions you can contact us at any time via Whatsapp.

Where can I find more information and photos of other guests?

https://www.facebook.com/BeachVillaTanzania

How do other guests rate your vacation accommodation?

Our house is consistently rated excellent, i.e. with 5 stars on AirBnB, Homeaway and other vacation home portals (see main menu > Reviews).

Got any more questions?

Do not hesitate to send us a message through the chat function or contact form (main page). We speak English , German, French and will somehow also manage Spanish and Italian.