Matemwe Beach Village is a small guesthouse located out on its own on an idyllic, long stretch of white sand beach on the the northeast coast of Zanzibar. Just off-shore is the world-famous Mnemba Atoll, whose circling reef has some of the best diving in East Africa. Along the beach lie palm-thatched villages, where the local people live a traditional life dominated by fishing.
The thatched en-suite cottages are grouped at varying distances from the beach. They all have private verandas with views of the tropical gardens or ocean. There are also some suites, providing more spacious accommodation suitable for small family groups. The Asali Suite is in a secluded position and comes with its own plunge pool, beach and chef,making it ideal for honeymooners and those looking for ultimate luxury.
The lodge is centred around a single large open-sided space looking onto the beach, which serves as the lounge, complete with books and board games, bar and restaurant. There is a swimming pool and sundeck. The menus change daily for every meal and are based on fresh local produce.
One of the main attractions here is the world-class diving at Mnemba atoll. There is enough variety on Mnemba for about 4 to 5 days worth of good diving, maybe 8 to 10 dives. The on-site diving school is able to offer the full range of PADI certificate courses, as well as try-dives and snorkelling trips for the non-divers. Other activities include beach walks, reviving early-morning ocean swims, sailing, fishing and cycling.
Open: Matemwe Beach Village is open from 1st June till 14th April.
Location: Matemwe Beach Village is on the north east coast of Zanzibar, a 45-minute drive from Stone Town and an hour from the airport.
Rooms: All rooms and suites (22 in total) have private bathrooms and are furnished with local fabrics. Kajiji Rooms are arranged in the gardens and have verandas with garden or sea views, and sun loungers. Shamba Suites offer more spacious accommodation and can be used for small families. The Asali Suite is ideal for honeymooners or those wanting extra privacy and comes with indoor and outdoor showers, its own chef, plunge pool and beach. All rooms are air conditioned.
Activities: Swimming in the sea or the pool, snorkelling, sailing, walking along the beach, visiting Matemwe village and cycling are all possible at Matemwe Beach Village. Diving is also a popular option and the Mnemba Atoll is just a short boat ride away.
Facilities: The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and the pool bar offers a range of snacks and drinks throughout the day. Private dinners can be arranged on request. There is a swimming pool. Massages, manicures and pedicures can be arranged. The lounge is equipped with books and board games and there is a coffee area and shaded beach bandas. The dive operator, One Ocean, is on site.
Dining: Meals are taken at individual tables.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is internet access at reception but this can be unreliable.
"Good beach-side location, with staff who worked hard to make us comfortable and welcome. Good food, and loved the touch of providing coffee and tea on the beach for anyone who was up early enough to watch dawn - and sunrise over the ocean was well-worth getting up for. We had a neat upstairs area in our room for hanging out, but it turned out to be disappointingly airless and hot. Special mention for the staff who pulled out all the stops for my birthday dinner by the beach!"