A mere ninety minute drive from Stone Town across the main Zanzibar Island, through lush spice plantations, are the inviting shores of the Zanzibar Archipelago. Guests wade knee-deep to an awaiting boat for a twenty minute crossing and a warm Mnemba reception. Pure unfettered bliss is the allure of Mnemba, where the dawn is greeted by dove song and the smell of coconut bread baking in the wood stove.
Mnemba Island Lodge offers a sheer unpretentious paradise – just ten rustic palm-frond bandas sit nestled in a tropical beach forest fringed by a white coral sand beach. A covered walkway leads to a shuttered en-suite bathroom with a huge glass beaded shower.
Zanzibar is famous for its intricate, detailed woodcarvings and the scrolled headboards adorning the beds are created by some of the island’s most skilled artisans.
Built in barazas on the veranda are perfect for afternoon siestas, and private beach salas feature traditional Zanzibari loungers for languid hours on the beachfront. Thatched dining and sitting/bar areas have beautiful open views of beach and spectacular vistas of Zanzibar beyond.
Baskets of fresh fruit, fish, lobsters, crabs and prawns are sailed into Mnenba daily on traditional ngalawa outriggers. Lunch is often served on large wooden carved Zanzibar platters heaped with delicious mezze. Romantic candlelit dinners are served on the beach with the waves gently lapping at one’s feet.
Just 1.5km in circumference, Mnemba Island is surrounded by an atoll of breathtaking reefs and boasts some of Africa’s most Magnificent Dive sites. Mnemba Island and its surrounding reefs have been declared as a Marine Conservation area. Mnemba Island Lodge is situated within this marine reserve, which is home to a diverse array of Indian Ocean wildlife.
The calm, azure seas surrounding Mnemba Island offer irresistible snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, fly fishing, windsurfing and permanent swimming directly from the beach. Just a short boat trip from the island, brilliant coral reefs drop into the deep open sea.
Turtle season occurs between December and May, and these prehistoric creatures can be seen laying their eggs on the beaches and within nine weeks, the beaches are filled with tiny turtle hatchlings.
The warm waters of the Indian Ocean are perfect for swimming and snorkelling. Beautiful swimming beaches are readily accessible and guests can cavort in the waves regardless of high or low tide.
Highlights of Mnemba Island:
An astounding array of reef fish and other underwater marvels occur on the reefs surrounding the island, and a number of magnificent dive sites are easily reached from Mnemba. The resident dive instructors are on hand to guide guests to the best sites and two dives per day are included provided that guests have valid dive certification. A wide choice of diving courses is offered at an extra charge.
For those wanting to take it easy, snorkelling around the island offers guests a memorable experience, with boats and snorkelling guides available to take guests to more remote reefs. Both snorkelling and scuba diving equipment are provided at no extra cost. More than 430 species of reef fish have been recorded on the house reef, a mere two minute swim from the beach. Bottlenose dolphin frequent these waters year round and guests have the opportunity to interact with these magnificent creatures either from the boat or in the water.
The ocean depths around Mnemba are a fisherman’s paradise, with game fish species such as barracuda, tuna, mackerel, kingfish, sailfish and marlin frequently encountered. Fly-fishing enthusiasts can fish directly off the island’s beaches, while deep sea fishing can be arranged at an extra cost. Mnemba follows a policy of catch and release.
For those wanting a little more exercise, kayaking and windsurfing off Mnemba’s white coral beaches are both available for guests.
Environment and Local Community
Mnemba Island seeks to maintain a low impact on the land while deriving high yield for their conservation initiatives by creating a very small luxury lodge that supports enormous tracts of biodiverse land, which remains untouched. In addition, they seek to limit their impact in terms of fossil fuels, by the use of renewable energy, water and waste management, and recycling.
At Mnemba Island Lodge seawater is desalinated for use on the island and local fishermen are sponsored to protect the surrounding reefs.
Conservation Lessons at Mnemba Island
In order to protect and preserve the rich and fragile ecosystem of the Zanzibar Archipelago and the beautiful Mnemba Island, the lodge has embarked on an ongoing campaign to inform and inspire the youth from the nearest community through interactive and exciting Conservation Lessons.
Mnemba Island provides a safe breeding refuge for Green Turtles which lay their eggs above the island’s high tide mark. Mnemba staff monitor and document all turtle breeding activities, and make their data available to local marine biologists. A number of individual turtles have been tagged under the auspices of the Zanzibar Dept of Fisheries and Marine Resources, and breeding data is published in &Beyond’s WildWatch annual.
Supporting environmental sustainability at local villages
Mnemba Island has no resident community but works closely with the villages of Matemwe and Kigini, situated on the main Zanzibar island. In addition to supporting schools and helping to develop vegetable gardens, Mnemba has erected a windmill and sponsors beach clean-ups. Financial support and housing for MIMCA staff has been provided and ways are explored to prevent over-utilisation of reef fishes.
Our Opinion on Mnemba Island Lodge
Mnemba Island is absolutely stunning. The lodge is fantastic and the surroundings even more so. Mnemba Island Lodge is one of the nicest lodges we have ever seen and definitely the choice romantic Island destination… Absolute paradise.
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Call: 01227 753 181
- Category5. Ultimate
- TagsMnemba Island Lodge
- Guide PriceFrom: $1155 pppn All Inclusive plus 2 Dives.
- ReservationsCall: 0044 (0)1227 753181 or Email: [email protected]