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Live the dream: Buy your own Pemba Island resort for the price of a house in the ‘burbs

It’s every expat’s dream. Hell, it’s everyone’s dream … buy a tropical resort (for a lot less than you might think) and own a piece of the get-paid-to-have-fun industry.

Well, here’s your chance to leave cold, damp Europe behind and own an Indian Ocean resort off the coasts of Tanzania and Kenya, reachable from Europe in one day’s journey. Our friend and travel contributor Mike Eggers emailed us the other day saying that after 18 years, owners Cisca and Raf Jah are selling Swahili Divers and Kervan Saray Beach Lodge on Pemba Island, just 22 miles north of Zanzibar.

In “Pemba Island revisited … again and again,” Mike posted about his favorite diving destination. Mike’s been going to Swahili Divers every year since 2006. (By the way, that post got more than 10,000 page views and 2,500 social media shares … and at that time, Dispatches had only been live for two months!)



Here’s his description from his post:

The setup of the resort is to blend in with the local surroundings and be as environmentally friendly as possible. The bungalows are built from coral blocks quarried on the island and covered with Palm tree fronds. The windows are covered with wooden lattice to allow the ocean breeze to drift through.

The bungalows are divided into two large rooms with raised coral block bed platforms covered with a mosquito netting. The bathroom has a gravity-fed shower from the connected water tank. Water is delivered by cattle cart in a large plastic tank in the wooden wagon. There is a ceiling fan in your room to help keep you cool. The power is provided by a generator that runs between 1800-0400 each day – that’s when the ceiling fan is operational.

The dining room, lounge, beverage counter and kitchen are under a large open-walled thatched roof building. The meals are fresh and delicious, cooked on charcoal burners as it has been done on Pemba for hundreds of years. Sometimes we picked up a just-caught fish from a local fisherman on the way back from a dive and it would be cooked for our dinner.

divingA large wooden deck overlooks the waters of the Indian Ocean that flow between Pemba Island and the continent of Africa about 30 miles away. So, this is the environment I was ready to relax in, again, at the start of my tenth year of coming to Swahili Divers – yes, it’s a rough life.

That life has a price tag: 295,000 pounds, or about $385,000 at the current exchange rate. About the cost of a smallish house in a Midwestern U.S. suburb.

(By the way, this is not an ad. Dispatches gets a huge commission of zilch dollars and zero cents if Swahili Divers sells. No, we’re just putting this out there because it’s our fantasy to live in the tropics. And we want to see Mike’s favorite place go to a good owner.)

Here’s a list of accommodations from the ad, which you can see here on the Buy My Dream Hotel website.

• Guest Facilities On Site – Restaurant  Bar  Swimming Pool  Garden  Onsite mini-shop

• Attractions For Guests In The Local Area – Beach And Sea  Forests  Cultural interests  Area Of Natural Beauty  Tranquility
• Activities For Guests In The Local Area – Scuba diving  Sailing  Windsurfing  Surfing  Water skiing  Walking  Cycling  Mountain biking  Fishing
• Owner Facilities On Site – Owners’ accommodation  Off-street parking  Private garden  Outbuildings

For the non-divers, there’s snorkeling, sea kayaks, a mangrove kayak tour and tours to the spice and fish markets, the Ngezi Forest Reserve and the iron lighthouse the British built in 1901.

Let us know if you want to go halvies at: [email protected]

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