Spirited Away

THATCH LIFE: Fundu's suites offer clear views of the ocean

Opening a hotel is never easy. But you have to admire the way the Fundu Lagoon resort on the lush island of Pemba has overcome obstacles. Just off the coast of Tanzania and north of Zanzibar, this small isle boasts few roads. Many parts are only accessible by boat. Then there are the dark arts. "Witch doctors will come to probe the deepest mysteries of voodoo," British author Evelyn Waugh wrote of Pemba in 1931. "Everything," he said, "is kept hidden from the Europeans."

The place is far more welcoming to foreigners now, but making a go of...

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