Shooting Star Lodge is a small, relaxed locally owned and run hotel set in lush gardens overlooking the white sand beach of Kiwengwa. The atmosphere is intimate and tranquil, and the lodge is popular with couples and families alike, and only an hour from Stone Town and the airport.
Accommodation is in white limewashed cottages and lodges. Interiors are kept cool by air conditioning and ceiling fans. There are three styles of rooms: garden lodge rooms, sea view villas and monsoon villas, with the garden rooms being the most simple and the monsoon villas the most exclusive, set a short distance away from the others and with rooftop terraces and plunge pools. All have private outdoor space and en-suite bathrooms.
The open-air restaurant and bar have views over the tropical gardens and Indian Ocean. The open-sided dining area has a similar outlook, so you can admire the beautiful views as you dine. A wide variety of African and international cuisine is served, and the lodge specialises in lobster, meat grills and smoked fish, using traditional African recipes.
While here you can venture out across the coral reef and explore the marine life amongst its tidal pools; visit fishing villages, or shop for locally-made gifts and souvenirs. There are opportunities for scuba diving, PADI courses, snorkelling, fishing, island excursions, boat trips and water sports.
Open: Shooting Star Lodge is open all year.
Location: Shooting Star Lodge is on Kiwengwa Beach on the north-east coast. The lodge is about a 1-hour drive from Zanzibar airport.
Rooms: There are 3 garden lodge rooms, 11 sea view villas and 2 monsoon villas. All are air conditioned, have ceiling fans, mosquito nets and en-suite bathrooms. Garden lodge rooms have private terraces with sofas and views of the tropical gardens. Sea view villas, as the name suggests, look out over the ocean. They are light, high ceilinged and spacious, with 4-poster beds, seating areas and large verandas. Some have an upper level with a bedroom on each floor and make good family accommodation. The monsoon villas, named Kusi and Kaskazi, are on the hilltop a little way away from the other rooms. Each has 3 floors of accommodation with 2 en-suite bedrooms (a single/twin downstairs and master bedroom on the upper floor, roof terrace with day bed, plunge pool and bath tub. Indoors they have tea and coffee making facilities and a fridge for storing cold drinks. These secluded suites are ideal honeymoon accommodation.
Activities: Swim in the pool or beach (at high tide), go for walks along the beach to see rock pools, take a dhow cruise to Kiwengwa coral reef, snorkel and dive in the sea at Mnemba Atoll, take part in water sports such as parasailing and kitesurfing. Excursions include a spice farm tour, Jozani Forest to see red colobus monkeys, and visits to Stone Town. Activities and excursions can be arranged and paid for locally.
Facilities: The main social area is the covered lounge, with lots of cushioned seating and views across the beach and ocean. The bar leads off the lounge and there is a dining area next door. The lodge has a lovely rim-flow pool overlooking the sea, and lots of loungers by the pool and on the beach. There is a beach bar for drink, snacks and light meals. Also, by the beach there is a small spa offering massage, wraps and manicures.
Dining: Meals are eaten at individual tables in the covered dining area and by the pool.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome. They can supply cots and high chairs, and babysitting can be arranged. There are no special activities or facilities for children.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is mobile phone coverage and Wi-Fi internet access (pay locally).
"Our favourite room of the entire trip. An excellent personalised service "