Sahari Zanzibar is a story of longing fulfilled. It tells of how dreams unfold when you let go of expectation and embrace life’s detours with openness and curiosity. It’s a story about how the pull of your heart can set you free.
In the autumn of 2020, two families from Austria’s Vorarlberg region had plans to embark on a year-long adventure. They had travelled together for years on wanderlust-fuelled journeys to destinations near and far. A few days here, a few weeks there. Never for a whole year. Carolin and Martin Hefel and their friend Mario Barfus had prepared well, creating a plan that would allow their businesses to continue thriving in their absence. Life had other plans.
That autumn, due to Corona, the world shut down. Every destination the friends had planned to visit was closed. Driven by their longing to feel free and unbound, they began searching for a new place to satisfy their dream. They discovered Zanzibar. Knowing nothing more than it was open and they were welcome, they made a new plan that changed their lives in a beautiful and surprising way.
During that serendipitous trip – to a small hotel on a palm-fringed beach in a place they knew nothing about – they found a treasure. To say that they fell in love with Zanzibar and that little hotel is just a part of the story; a hidden place inside their hearts was opened, and instantly they felt at home, at peace, and exquisitely alive.
Two years and three visits later, they became owners of the hotel that in their hearts was instantly ‘theirs’. These entrepreneurial friends never set out to be hoteliers. They bought Sahari Zanzibar because they simply couldn’t risk losing it to change. It is their Shangri-La…a home that quenches an enigmatic longing, filling them up each time they arrive and calling them back when they stray too long. So no, these friends are not your typical hoteliers. They are homeowners who have left the doors open, so that we may all have the chance to follow the longing in our heart and arrive home.
The hosts and managing directors of digibon: Caro & Martin Hefel, Mario Barfus