“The Crazy Mzungo cocktail is for 2-3 people, but you’ll probably be able to drink one to yourself.”
The first morning of my stay at Crazy Mzungo’s and I was unsure of how the barman Ramson knew me so well. Who’d he been talking to?
“English people drink so much” he said with a big smile.
Ah, phew, not just me then. Thought he might’ve spoken to one of possibly thousands around the world who’ve witnessed my enjoyment of the sauce.
And Crazy Mzungo’s in Bwejuu, on the beach in Zanzibar would definitely be a good place to enjoy it. I stayed in a private bungalow with a double bed just 10 steps away from the beautiful beach. Once on the sand I had the choice of six sunbeds – not your horrible white plastic melarkey, but beautiful wooden structures with rope tightly knotted across to ensure my afternoon siestas were comfortable and well supported ones.
In my ‘Om Shanti’ themed bedroom the mosquito net hung around my bed made me feel more ‘princess’ than ‘mosquito food’. My bed was comfy and for the first time in my 27 years I’m karibued (welcomed, some Swahili stuck) by a beautiful heart display featuring two towels and some flowers. Shame there was no one there to share the joy with me.
My bedroom was simple – and perfect. As well as my double bed I had shelves, which I quickly made a mess of and an ensuite bathroom too. The water was cold, but electricity is a luxury in Bwejuu, Zanzibar.
The owners Matt and Michelle opened on the day I arrived. I secretly worried it was for me, but there were three other guests so I’ll share some of the blame with them. Matt and Michelle are from Cape Town, but run Crazy Mzungo’s Flashpackers and two luxury villas during peak season from June to March. It’s the perfect place for anyone wanting to get away and chill out by the beach.
Matt told me the story of how he’d found this gutted and abandoned Beetle in Stone Town (an hour’s drive away) and hatched a plan to bring it back to decorate the bar. He painted it black, got someone with a steady hand to paint ‘Jack Daniels’ on it and through his contacts got Jack Daniels to sponsor Crazy Mzungo’s.
I ate at Crazy Mzungo’s Flashpackers every day. Partly because I didn’t have any Tanzanian Shillings and they let me run up a bill for two days until I did, but mostly because the food was delicious. They have a standard menu and a specials board too. This is what I made my way through during the three days…
- Fried Masala Fish – whole delicious fish with a sauce and salad – 12,000Tzsh (£4.90)
- Iced Coffee and Ice Cream – incredible – 7,000Tzsh (£2.85)
- Goat’s Cheese and Tomato Chipati 10,000Tzsh (£4)
- Scrambled Eggs on Toast 8,000Tzsh (£3.25)
- Falafel Sandwich 1o,000Tzsh (£4)
On the final day I managed to get hold of some currency and ate at a bar a bit further along the beach: big mistake. The food at Crazy Mzungo’s was definitely some of the best I’d ever tasted.
On my first night Michelle and Ransom the barman invited me to a party, which I err, slept through with a glorious 13-hour sleep in the comfy bed. And the second night I went to Vuvuzelas in Paje, the local club. On the third night I lay out on the sun loungers admiring the stars thinking about that part in the Lion King where Pumba, Timone and Simba discuss what they actually are.
Crazy Mzungo’s is in a great location in Bwejuu, just up the road from Paje in Zanzibar. There are plenty of bars lining the beach, little shops in the village and loads of water sports just ten minutes along the sand. The area is famous for its kitesurfing, but there are also plenty of tours to take around the little islands. Sadly I didn’t have the time or money for any of this, but I did have the time and money to sit and watch the tide come in and out from my sun lounger.
Book Crazy Mzungo’s, on the beach in Zanzibar, Tanzania with Hostelbookers.com. Rooms start from £19.72pppn.