Lazy Lagoon

near Bagamoyo, East Coast & Dar, Tanzania Book from

For blissful, barefoot indulgence of the sand-and-sea kind, this Indian Ocean retreat is hard to beat
After the full-on thrill of an East African safari, your natural inclination is to head for the beach, kick back and savour your wildlife experiences. The Fox family know that beach and bush are natural bedfellows, and a stay at their Lazy Lagoon lodge dovetails perfectly with a visit to one or a number of their game camps.

Their makuti-thatched lodge and 12 bandas hug the southernmost tip of a 7-mile long peninsula which arcs out from the Tanzanian coast. All that separates you from the mainland is a 15-minute ride by motor launch across the lagoon, yet as soon your feet hit the white coral sand it feels as if you’ve found your own Treasure Island. There’s precious little to do apart from beachcomb, swim, kayak or snorkel in the warmest of seas, or laze in your hammock and watch the passing dhows. But if ‘lazy’ and ‘indulgent’ figure high on your holiday wishlist, this place will be for you.

Highs

  • The bandas are intimate, comfortable and airy living spaces; you’ll be loath to drag yourself away from your ocean-facing deck
  • Nine km of postcard-perfect, deserted beach; as ideal for families as for courting couples to stroll along
  • Dine just yards from the ocean with your toes in the sand
  • The lodge feels remote and Eden-esque, yet is easily accessible from Dar es Sala’am
  • Sunrises over Zanzibar and sunsets over a palm-fringed coast: this place is romantic with a capital R
  • Genuinely friendly staff and young, enthusiastic managers helped make our stay at Lazy Lagoon doubly special

Lows

  • The water supply to the bandas was a little sporadic when we stayed
  • If you’re looking for an action-packed destination, Lazy Lagoon won't be right
  • Be aware that there are strong currents in the lagoon so check with camp staff where and when it is safe to swim – although there's always the pool

Best time to go

Lazy is open all year round but would be far less appealing during the rainy season, which usually lasts from March through to the end of May. July and August are a great time of year to be here as you’re guaranteed sunshine throughout the day. But when you choose to visit may well depend on whether you intend to combine Lazy with a safari at one of the Foxes’ camps. See our separate listings for the best times to visit for wildlife.

Our top tips

Pack snorkelling gear, good books a Swahili phrase book, a head torch, sun cream, your iPod, your anti-malarials and plastic sandals to make swimming off the reef more comfortable.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Foodie
Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Beach Resort
  • 12
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Snooker Table
Room:

Rooms

The 12 bandas stretch north along the beach, away from the main lodge. Each has been pushed back into the coastal bush a discreet distance from the next, so when you gaze out from your deck it feels as if the beach is all your own. They are open to the elements on all sides yet your intimacy is guaranteed thanks to the low-drop makuti thatch roofs which give the stilted, post-and-thatch huts a distinctly South Sea guise.

Each banda is large enough to comfortably sleep a family of 4+. On the main deck are 2 mozzie-netted, ornate Zanzibar-style double beds, plus extra mattresses can be added to the mezzanine platforms that are slotted high beneath the thatch: kids would just love it. Each banda has a small sofa and low table, simple wooden shelving for your clothes, a safety box and eye-catching bedside tables made from dug-out canoes.

Out on the deck there’s a hammock and 2 deckchairs and at the foot of the steps leading down to the beach is a jug of water for rinsing off the sand when you return. Remember to bring in your shoes or you may find that Sammy or Mino, the lodge’s resident (friendly) Dobermans, get them before you do!

Bathrooms are similarly light and airy and come with double sinks, toilets and showers concealed behind wooden divisions. You’re provided with beach and bath towels, mozzie repellent and the standard range of Foxes’ toiletries which are all locally sourced. Expect to have electricity for about 12 hours a day when the camp generator is running. Any clothes deposited in your woven laundry basket in the morning will be returned washed and pressed by the evening, a complimentary service provided at every Foxes’ lodge.

Features include:

  • Deckchairs
  • Extra beds
  • Free laundry service
  • Hammock
  • Internet access
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries

Eating

A highlight of our trip to Tanzania was eating dinner on the lodge’s sweep of coral-white sand. With the Indian Ocean lapping just yards from our table, the moonlight dancing on the waves and the lights of the coast twinkling in the distance, the setting couldn’t have been more romantic.

Our meal was a match for the setting. Fish is a mainstay of Lazy’s cuisine and is bought daily from the passing dhows which ply to and fro across the channel. After an entrée of spicy crab cakes we feasted on red snapper in a creamy coconut and coriander sauce with cumin-flavoured rice accompanied, as at all Foxes’ lodges, by masses of fresh vegetables. A rich chocolate mousse, scrummy South African wine and crabs scuttling across the sand helped make this an unforgettable experience.

Our other meals were also perfectly orchestrated events. Tea or coffee is brought along to your banda first thing before you wander along the beach to breakfast. Expect fresh fruit salad accompanied by the Foxes’ flagship cinnamon bread and any variant you should like of a cooked breakfast. Fish was also on offer at lunch, as well as lamb, pasta, potato croquettes and several different salads. We couldn’t find fault with any of our meals at Lazy Lagoon and could hardly blame the Foxes if we ate far too much!

Features include:

  • All meals included
  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Restaurant
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Take a day trip to Bagamoyo, one of Tanzania’s 7 World Heritage sites, to visit the old town centre, the slave quarters and the amazing fish market

  • Walk or jog along the beach with Lazy’s Dobermans in tow. Keep your eyes peeled for stunningly bright starfish on the rocks

  • Kayak, swim or snorkel out from the beach. The canoes are free to borrow, as is the snorkelling equipment, and if you're lucky you'll see a range of great marine life, including lionfish

  • Borrow a windsurfer or go sailing in one of the hotel's Lasers

  • Play volleyball on the beach or shoot a game of pool in the lodge

  • Sail out on one of the lodge’s dhows to fish for red snapper at sunset

  • Swim in the pool then laze in your hammock and watch the dhows returning to the lagoon as the sun sets

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Fishing
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Sailing
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Windsurfing

Kids

Children are welcome at the lodge, (the owners and managers have long promoted family safari trips in Tanzania), and Lazy is clearly a place that sees them as part of the picture rather than an inconvenience. Kids would get great measure out of the relaxed vibe that permeates the lodge.

Unusually Lazy Lagoon offers swimming at all tides, and there's 9km of uninterrupted beaches with no-one else to share it with – superb for back-to-nature families looking for a barefoot holiday.

Children between the ages of 1-12 are charged at half price when sharing with 2 adults.

Best for:

Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Every room has an upstairs bedroom for children (kids love sleeping on this mezzanine floor), with the master bedroom on the ground floor

Children's meals:

Meals can be tailored to special requests and mealtimes can be altered to suit

Kids Activities on site:

  • The pool
  • The beach
  • Strolling around the island
  • Rock pooling
  • Resident pets and animals in the surrounding bush
  • Watersports including windsurfing, sailing in Lasers, two kayaks for a family of four to explore round the island and through mangrove swamps, paddle boards

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Hire a boat with a picnic lunch to snorkel along a reef from a nearby sand island
  • Half-day excursion to Kaole ruins on the mainland opposite Lazy Lagoon, and also Bagamoyo (6km across the water) to learn about C12th Arab trading settlement, and the slave trade

Families Should Know:

Be aware of the strong currents in the channel; staff will happily advise on where and when it is safe to swim. Everybody wears lifejackets in the boats. A Maasai escort will ensure families get between their rooms and the facilities safely. Lazy Lagoon is a lower risk for malaria than populated places like Dar or Zanzibar but anyone visiting Tanzania should take anti-malarials if they pass through Dar or Zanzibar when travelling to Tanzania

Distances:

  • Airport: 90 minutes (Dar) + 15 minute boat trip to island
Kid Friendly:

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