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Insights from Paradise: My Journey as a Trainee at a Hotel in Zanzibar

Jambo! Hello!

My name is Amaechi and I invite you to join me on my adventures during my internship in

Zanzibar. My internship takes place at Boutique Hotel Matlai in Michamvi Pingwe. Michamvi consists of two districts - Pingwe and Kae.

beach in front of Boutique Hotel Matlai
Beach in Pingwe

Pingwe is known for the incredible shades of blue of the sea, where it is rather tranquil, with few small accommodations and restaurants. Kae, on the other hand, is mainly visited for the beautiful sunsets over Chwaka Bay.

Upon my arrival in Zanzibar, I was greeted by a friendly taxi driver named Eddy, who took me from the airport to Boutique Hotel Matlai. Even on the way there, I could hardly believe the number of coconut and mango trees we passed – a promising preview of what I hoped to find. Eddy asked me what I was most looking forward to.
Without hesitation, I replied, "The food, especially the fruits." So for breakfast in HoteI Matlai, I can recommend Herson's French toast and tropical fruit salad.

One day, I was fortunate enough to see a gardener harvesting fresh coconuts from the palms in the hotel garden. It was an unforgettable experience to taste this fruit directly from the source. One of Zanzibar's
most famous fruits is undoubtedly the delicious Dafu - fresh coconut. This can be enjoyed directly at our hotel. With its sweet coconut water and flesh, it is a great addition to a sunny day.

The second time I tried dafu was in Paje.

Paje is famous for its wide sandy beaches with turquoise waters, ideal for water sports.
If you don't want to be active yourself, you can relax in one of the beach bars and cafes; take in the vibrant hustle and bustle along the shore, where there's always something happening and the atmosphere is lively and engaging.
Hello Capitano Cafe’ serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. They offer a rental service for SUP’s, Kayaks, Surfboards, Kite and Windsurfing gear as well as lessons to learn those water activities. You can find this cafe right on the beach, therefore you have a stunning view over the Indian Ocean.

It's always nice to support local businesses that promote traditional craftsmanship and local products. And ‘Mwani’ is one of them. With the knowledge of generation after generation they make creams, oils and soaps from algae from the beaches in Zanzibar. Sometimes you see them collecting algae. The soaps in the bathroom of our hotel are also from Mwani. If you like them, why not stop by their shop in Paje?

vietnamese coffee shop

In Paje, you can find nice cafes, shops and friendly people left and right. I walked past jewelry and delicious food. Now, I also own a bracelet in the colors of the Tanzanian flag. And now I know Kim and her ‘Hanoi House,’ a tiny café on the main road in Paje. Kim is Vietnamese and serves traditional drinks and dishes. From Coconut Coffee and Bao Buns to Chia Pudding, you can find everything your sweet-loving heart desires. Even though Paje is a bustling village, in this café you will find peace and comfort.
Kim also runs a Vietnamese restaurant called Duyên Home Cooking at Hotel Matlai as part of the hotel's own Zatiny Restaurant.

Only a couple of metres away from Hanoi House is another cafe you must visit. ‘Corina Pastry’ is also a great place to enjoy your coffee, desserts and breakfast. There you can taste European Pastries as well as her extraordinary creations like Mojito Cheesecake, Passion Fruit Cheesecake and Dates Cake.
Nearby you will l find an Italian bakery, where Pizza, Bruschetta and Focaccia are waiting for you.

Michamvi and Paje are two very different places on the southeast coast of Zanzibar. Those seeking tranquility should opt for accommodation in Michamvi, while those who prefer livelier atmospheres and enjoy partying will likely prefer Paje. Since Paje is only about a 25-30 minute taxi ride from Michamvi, one can also enjoy a mix of both experiences.

See you in paradise!


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