Greetings! As I spent most of October in Zanzibar (flying through Dar-es-Salaam), I felt there were a few points that needed updating which hopefully will be included in the next edition.
In Dar-es-Salaam, I felt there was an important omission of a good mid-range place to stay: SWISS GARDEN HOTEL, I believe Swiss owned – it attracts a lot of European/Swiss travellers, aid workers, etc. You can google it to find all the info. I would thoroughly recommend this place, it is absolutely clean and the photos on the web site are very accurate. It is not pretentious, but the rooms are all set up nicely, with nets, screens, fans, and air con. I think they have internet access (using your own laptop) in the rooms/bungalows. If you dont carry a notebook, they have a computer terminal in their reception area which is at a nominal rate and fast hook up considering this is east Africa! The food here is very good, breakfast has good selection; on my way back from Zanzibar, I had dinner here – it was excellent. Their responses to all my queries and e.mails were very prompt and their pick-up/drop off with taxis was 100%. I sourced this hotel from Tripadvisor as I wanted a no frills, safe, respectable place to overnight on my way to and out of Zanzibar. To this end, it was perfect. I will stay there again. It is such a good place, I would like to see you include it in your Tanzania Guide book in the future.
ZANZIBAR STONETOWN – I notice you do not have any listing for ZENJI HOTEL. I visited this place just to check it out. It is quite good – Zanzibari/Dutch run, very clean I thought, and well organized, and popular. Not really my idea of a great location but as it is at the port end of town and priced well, it would suit a lot of people. One that should be in your guide I feel.
ABUSO INN -it is incorrect to now say it is “distinctly half finished” as the building construction (the hotel replaces the old family home) is now complete. If offers top value as mid-range in champagne location – i.e. it is situated between Tembo (directly across the street) and the Serena Inn. I stayed there for six nights and the owners (Zanzibari family) are trying hard.
ALSO: may I suggest you research the KONOKONO RESORT, situated I think the southeast. I have not been there but from TripAdvisor and brochures I think this place would be upscale and well worth inclusion in your next guide. I intend to try it on my next visit to Zanzibar in 2011.
One little point you also might like to check out for accuracy: on page 326 Princess Salme article it states that she later lived in London. However, from my reading of the book on her life and the Princess Salme display at the House of Wonders in Stonetown, she actually went there on a visit to try and see her half- brother who was visiting Great Britain at the time. Sad to say, her intention of re-uniting with her half-brother was scuppered by the then British government, and she sadly returned to Europe without the reunion due to these political pressures.
Kind regards, Dianne Heslop (Cairns – Australia)