Set on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, Zuri Zanzibar proudly supports environmental protection, works with the community, and aims to better the lives of locals. During construction, architectural firm Jestico + Whiles used regional materials to highlight the long heritage of local craftsmanship, creating a lush and leafy haven that resembles a traditional African village. Inside, spaces are decorated with art and artifacts from Tanzania’s markets. Zuri was the first hotel in the world to be awarded with the EarthCheck’s Sustainable Design Gold Certification. The water program is particularly ambitious, using ozone technology—the first resort in East Africa to do so—and a desalination system that doesn’t rely on the water resources of the local village. Putting its water expertise to good use, Zuri Zanzibar helps build and fix wells in the surrounding community.
In harmony with the terrain, larger buildings were positioned on the flat top while smaller bungalows “float” to protect most of the original flora. Hundreds of local plants and trees were added and a spice garden accessible to guests was preserved. Coral stone from the foundation was reused in the construction and roofs are made from Tanzanian grass or wood shingles.
Items that are not needed are donated to local hospitals, veterinarians, and the community. The interiors feature furniture crafted from recycled sailboats. All kitchen scraps and wood and paper waste are composted. The hotel started the “Keep Kendwa Clean!” project with local waste management company Zanrec. Straws from natural materials and glass water bottles reduce the use of plastics.
Zuri Zanzibar uses LEDs, automatic sensor lighting in specific areas, and offers guests the option to choose the Evening Breeze cooling system over standard air conditioning, saving up to 75% energy.
Water is purified using ozone technology—the first resort in East Africa to do so—and desalination plant systems, so the hotel does not use local village water sources. Water is mineralized by the BWT Aqua Mondo magnesium technologies and the water process goes from supply to disposal.
With their pack-to-give project, guests can donate items to local education and healthcare systems. The hotel has inventoried and conserved indigenous plants and introduced tropical plants to support wildlife. Established an English club that supports the Kilinidi school and rewards the best students with a Mnemba snorkeling trip. The Wimbi gift shop features local vendors.
The hotel offers visits for guests to the local school, recycling shops, a zero-waste cooking class, non-motorized water sports, local tours, and regular Kendwa village clean-up drives.
Zuri Zanzibar runs a schooling project with Jambiani Tourism Training Institute, where students work at Zuri after completing a two-year tourism and hospitality program, supported by monthly stipends. The hotel offers training for supervisors and leaders, personal development plans, and a clean water program.
The hotel shares news in its newsletter and has published a sustainability brochure. Before guests arrive, they receive an email with information about the pack-to-give program and a mindful checklist with tips on how to support sustainability efforts during their stay.
Fruit and vegetables come from organic and small agricultural producers. Seafood is sourced from local fishermen who respect good fishing practices. Room amenities are organic and locally made in collaboration with the Mwani Zanzibar. Guests who purchase the Zuri water bottle support the local community directly.
We spoke with the team at Zuri Zanzibar to learn the latest on the hotel’s conscious journey.
At Zuri Zanzibar, our philosophy is to connect with nature and the local community by focusing on educational, environmental, and waste management initiatives.
We employ local communicators and involve village leaders in our decisions. We listen to and support their needs. Our kitchen is supplied with fruits and vegetables from organic and small agricultural producers and seafood from local fishermen that respect good fishing practices. Room amenities are organic and locally made in collaboration with the Mwani Zanzibar. By purchasing the Zuri water bottle, guests can directly support the local community.
We are investing into the future of the community by supporting the Kilindi primary and secondary school. Thanks to donations, both financial and in-kind, we have successfully opened an English Club regularly run by one of our experienced team members. To motivate the children, we have rewarded the best students with a Mnemba snorkeling trip. We also run a tourism training project with Jambiani Tourism Training Institute, nurturing skilled young individuals.
We face a lack of interest from other local resorts to participate in large community projects. Sometimes, there can also be a lack of local community awareness/education to understand the reasons for various activities. In cooperation with a variety of local groups, we support education for school children and local mothers’ groups to explain the influence of our current actions on future generations.