The Tanzanian retreat that’s redefining sustainability
As the first Design Hotels member on the Tanzanian archipelago, Zuri Zanzibar, a cluster of thatched-roof villas and bungalows perched on the Indian Ocean on a dazzling stretch of white sand, is the ultimate spot to take in the main island’s natural beauty and cultural riches. But Zuri Zanzibar is also a sustainability pioneer. From its use of regional materials and local produce, to community outreach and innovative water management, the property is making waves for its ambitious brand of conscientious hospitality.
LOCAL AND LOW-IMPACT
Zuri Zanzibar provides guests with handpicked amenities and services from local, sustainable, and fair-trade organizations. To ensure the hotel’s footprint is as light as possible, all roofs are made from either ‘’nyasi’’ (a Tanzanian grass) or local wood shingles, offering a more sustainable alternative to the typical Makuti roof, while the Zanzibari brand Dhow Furniture provides furnishings made from the recycled wood of old fishing boats. Fruits and vegetables are harvested from organic and small agriculture farms nearby, and the hotel’s fish and seafood is sourced from local fisherman.
PEOPLE COME FIRST
In addition to employing more than 250 locals, Zuri Zanzibar helped launch an ambitious new training program that offers locals a two-year course of study leading to a certificate in tourism and hospitality. Established in 2015 in cooperation with the Jambiani Tourism Training Institute, the program aims to ensure quality training for young people joining the Zuri team.
The team has also collaborated with the British academic retailer Blackwell’s to accelerate learning through access to high-quality books and reading materials. For every book collection that Blackwell’s supplies the resort, Zuri Zanzibar will also donate a book to the local school’s reference library. They have also established a library and IT corner in collaboration with the local Kilindi Primary School.
SMARTER ABOUT WATER
As the first African resort to adhere to EarthCheck’s Building Planning and Design Standard, Zuri has taken an ecologically responsible approach to water and waste management. The hotel’s water supply comes from its own wells and will not take from the water resources of Kendwa village. This water is run through a desalination plant that uses reverse osmosis technology, transforming the well water into high-quality distilled water.
Zuri Zanzibar is one of the first hotels in Africa to use the latest ozone technology for decontamination, removing bacteria from the entire water system and making it possible for the hotel to produce and bottle its own drinking water without the use of plastic.