A Zanzibar Vacation with a Difference

Do you fancy a Zanzibar vacation?

This beautiful island has become a small-scale tourist destination. Here are some details of an innovative approach to tourism that combines sound ecological principles, good community relations and exciting artistic workshops.

This article details a recent artist-in-residence experience provided at the resort and explores some of the other exciting things offered at Panga Chumvi beach resort.

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Panga Chumvi Beach Resort

A Zanzibar vacation - with art

In January 2014 Panga Chumvi Beach Resort, in Matemwe, Zanzibar, launched its Artist in Residence scheme with two visiting artists from the UK – Christine Felce and George Richards, both of whom are artist print and filmmakers.

Christine’s prints have developed from social and environmental issues she feels passionately about; George is fascinated by the interface between art & technology. They first visited Zanzibar in 2004 and were thrilled to return again to gain inspiration from the communities and culture of the island.

An eco-friendly guest house

Panga Chumvi is a locally owned and run beach-side guesthouse with a difference – it is very concerned about how a beach-side guesthouse impacts on the environment and the local community and culture.

Othman Nombamba and Abdulla Mzee (two of the owners) are Zanzibaris, who now wish to ‘give back’ to the community and together with Rebecca Maguire, from the UK, have developed a relaxed and creative centre where people from across the globe can enjoy the incredible, tranquil white sand beach and coral reef, at the same time as participating in creative activities and feeling comfortable that where they stay is working closely with the community to have the least impact possible on the environment.

Rainwater is harvested for use in the garden, which also houses a large area of wild indigenous plants. Hot water for showers is produced using solar water heaters, and all waste is either composted or recycled. All food is supplied fresh by local producers; local crafts and products are promoted across the hotel in many different ways.

Village life and culture

Panga Chumvi has had a long-standing relationship with the village of Matemwe. Two of its managers are from the village (and they were the ones who suggested that the land could be used for this purpose) and as many as possible of the staff are recruited locally. If the skills required are not available, then they take on trainees.

In addition to this, Panga Chumvi is working closely with tour agencies that promote the more ‘authentic’ and cultural Zanzibar, such as Colors of Zanzibar and Zanzibar Different. Together with a local entrepreneur, they can take guests to meet the seaweed farmers, crafts people and many other local people at the core of village life.

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More about the artists in residence

During their Residency in January and February 2014, Christine (see: http://www.cfelce.co.uk/) will be running a series of Reduction lino printing workshops, together with Zanzibari artists, a group of local Matemwe schoolchildren and visitors to Zanzibar who wish to take part. One of the founders of Impress International Printmaking Festival, in 2013 Christine exhibited in the Red Ink exhibition in the Cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral with a group of international artists. 

Her series ‘Roadkill’ shows her concern at the loss of life on our country roads. In 2011 she worked on large public art installation 'The Bigger Picture', a 8 x 3 meter image created by over 4000 visitors to the World Skills event in London. The workshops will follow this collaborative approach to create one large artwork made from many individual pieces of work.

You can read Christine's blog on her residency here.

For further details of this Zanzibar vacation opportunity, please contact: 

Rebecca Maguire, Panga Chumvi Beach Resort

e: info@pangachumvi.com 

t: +255 (0)777 862 899



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