Imagine dining under the Africa night sky with stars twinkling above, and with lanterns glowing all around you.
The ocean breeze gently wafts and blows away every stress and worry in your life.
Your problems seem a million miles away as you experience this ever-present, perfect moment.
This is a moment my son and I shared, that I will never forget.
This is where we are!
We are here on Zanzibar Island for a whole month, and we want to explore ALL of it, so for the top north-western coast, we selected to stay in a secluded villa.
Explorason was determined that he wanted some quality time with me – away from other people, and a place where we had a chance to be or to meet and engage with the locals, especially the children that we love so much.
So we booked Villa Tatu, one of the 2 villas on the Milele Villa property. The name ‘Milele’ means ‘forever’ in Swahili, and the aim of the owners is to merge habitation with nature so that the environment will last forever. With their awareness programmes they have in place, this is a sustainable possibility.
Here tranquillity, serenity, peace, and rest for both the body and soul can be achieved as the ocean breeze wafts gently through.
This villa we are staying in is different.
This property operates on solar power, they pump their water, and it is far from the touristic zone. Even the toiletries are eco-friendly – with lovely aromatherapy bar soaps wrapped in banana leaves; presented perfectly on timber furnishings made from the old African Dhow boats, and decorated with shells collected from the sandy beach.
There are two villas on the property, but both are totally separate; separated by lush garden vegetation, but both connected by one thing – exceptional and personalised service from the staff.
When we arrive, we are welcomed by a really cheery Tanzanian man who offers us a refreshing fruit cocktail. A cool towel was also given, and after the hot bumpy drive (in our 4WD from ZanCars) to Milele from the eastern coast of Zanzibar, I was feeling rather flustered, but soon cool and calm again, and we were shown around the property.
So Many Choices
We had the entire Villa Tatu to ourselves. These villas are rented in their entirety, not room-by-room, which means the central entertaining area is all ours, along with our own swimming pool.
Main Living Area
Explorason had a great time selecting which room he wanted to sleep in. In the end, we decided to sleep in the day bed in the main living area as it opened out into the verandah and pool, and it was so large and spacious.
I could work on the desk, and we could pop out for a swim anytime we wanted – day or night!
We unpacked, and the first thing we did was to take a dip in our cool and inviting private pool. Once in, I did not want to get out. For me, this is actually the first place I’ve started to unwind, destress and relax in a long time.
We have been on the go, and we move on average every three days. Packing and unpacking can get tiring.
One night we enjoyed a late night swim under the stars – it was amazing. I’ve not done that in years.
We’ve just been going too fast, so to slow down, is perfect for us here.
We have selected Zanzibar as we knew it was small and contained and we could limit our travels for the next month.
And we have selected this villa because it is gated and safe, with personalised non-intrusive service for their guests. It is a private beach front so there is also guards on duty, but there is only local villagers nearby, and it felt incredibly safe to me as a single Mum.
One of the staff in a traditional African style shirt knocks a while later on our door and asks what time we would like dinner to be served.
We are asked about allergies and food preferences too.
We were also asked WHERE we would like dinner served: on the terrace; the rooftop; the ocean causeway; the garden; the gazebo etc – there were so many choices!
Dining under the African Sky
We chose a sunset dinner in the garden for our first evening, so at around 6:00 pm we see him setting a table adjacent to the pool for us. As this is a relaxed place we can wander down to our table and squish our toes in the sand, and sit and relax. (I’ve started my health kick, so I’m not drinking any alcohol for a while, and so it is water and freshly made juices for us.)
On the Menu, there’s a Soup, an Appetiser, Main Course with a choice of vegetarian, fish, or meat/chicken (sometimes more), and Dessert.
That is a lot to fit in, but what surprised me the most is the price.
Only $20 per person for ALL such an array of exquisite cuisine!
We have recently dined at a place on the east coast of the island, and their Main Course alone (which was tiny) was charged at more than $20 each.
I found the food here to be excellent value for money, and I noted little things like fresh cooking oil, lovely spices (after all we are on Spice Island), gorgeous fresh flowers, and presented perfectly.
On our second evening, they served a fabulous BBQ dinner close to the beach end of the property.
Local children from a neighbouring village stood on the sandy beach front to watch, and three girls came up to me. The oldest spoke a few English words, and proudly showed me she could count to ten in English. I just wanted to hug her – she was just so lovely and the girls were dressed so colourfully.
You would think you were at a 5-star resort with food for a large group of guests as it was plentiful and with many choices. There was an array of dishes, and perfectly cooked meats, fish, chicken and vegetables were BBQ’ed along with a lovely mango salad, soup and other goodies for our starter dishes.
I loved this dinner so much. I noticed the people in the neighbouring villa had a small bonfire each evening, but for me, the weather was too warm, even though the fireplace was laid with wood ready for our own personal fire if we desired it.
Dining Over The Indian Ocean
On our last evening, we chose to dine out over the ocean on the newly-made stone causeway. We chose an early time in the hope of some sunset photographs.
The personalised, but non-intrusive service here was just faultless.
I loved my cheerful delivery of coffee at 7:00 a.m. Explorason slept, and I could sit and relax by the pool in the garden and watch the locals as they set about their day. This is also my time of thankfulness.
Beach And Local Ladies
Each morning I would take a stroll along the beach – sometimes alone, and other times with Explorason. I’d collect shells and take amazing photographs.
This was a private cove, not an open beach area, and I watched in awe as local ladies walked barefoot across the coral rocks to collect seaweed. They might be lucky to get one bag a day as they painstakingly bend over (with aged and I’m sure aching backs) to pick the sea plants.
Once they have collected the seaweed, they’d stop by a rock-pool and wash it clean in the salty ocean water before placing it in a pan, bucket or bag. They sell this to the Tanzanian Government so I am told, but only after they have laid it out to dry at home for three months.
We loved our time here so much. It was so lovely and relaxing.
Milele Villas have it all. Villa Tatu boasts the following:
Villa ‘Tatu’ gets its name from the Swahili word “three’”, as it is composed of 3 sections.
The two outer buildings accommodate 2 large triple rooms, each with a king-size double and a single bed and en-suite bathroom.
The central section is a vast lounge with sitting area, a bar counter-like table, and an additional double bed.
It is the perfect spot to relax and watch the sunset through the wide glass front facing the Indian Ocean.
Upstairs 2 double rooms with en-suite bathrooms provide fantastic ocean view and the rooftop terrace invites to have dinner under African stars.