Small Islands Hotel
An idyllic retreat set just off the Coast of Zanzibar Island. Excellent for diving or just relaxing. Unspoilt paradise.
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 Zanzibar 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 snorkeling. Beautiful swimming beaches are readily accessible and guests can cavort in the waves regardless of high or low tide.
Highlights of Mnemba Island are:
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 staffs 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 Wild Watch 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-utilization of reef fishes.
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!
Small Islands Hotels
Fundu Lagoon represents the very best of beach lodge accommodation on the whole Zanzibar archipelago.
Fundu Lagoon is on Pemba Island, the sister island to Zanzibar lying across the Pemba Channel to the north. The hotel is situated on a remote and beautiful beach on the south western side of the island and is only accessible by boat.
Fundu Lagoon is the epitome of a “bare foot paradise” with a distinct Robinson Crusoe air in a remote and peaceful location. It is a place for guests to relax and unwind in casual, yet stylish surroundings.
There are eighteen rooms, consisting of designer tents, set under makuti (thatch) roofs on wooden decks and each with a view over the sea. The rooms are equipped with large double or twin beds, mosquito nets, ceiling and standing fans, and indoor and outdoor seating areas. Each has an ensuite bathroom with fresh hot water shower, toilet and basin. The rooms are connected to the main buildings by wooden walkways or paths through indigenous forest.
Standard rooms are located on the beach or hillside. All have Ocean views and can be provided with either double or twin beds.
Suites are located on the beach. All have fantastic ocean views and include a private plunge pool, private chill out area and a private sundeck in addition to all the standard features.
All superior Suites are located on the beach and include large Queen sized beds, an open plan lounge, a stone walled bathroom with double vanity unit and a large plunge pool in addition to all the features of a Suite.
The main areas are all built under thatch and are large and airy and overlook the sea. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the main dining area or at the jetty bar with a three course lunch and dinner, all with a choice of dishes of a high international standard.
A rustic jetty stretches way out into the sea and the jetty bar is situated about a third of the way along, offering a wonderful place to relax. The barmen are happy to mix your favourite cocktail for you, or teach you to play the local board game, Bao.
The hotel also offers a full Spa facility, which uses its own range of products, and has a yoga platform overlooking the ocean.
Due to its location on Pemba Island some activities are not practical, however Pemba Island is an unspoilt paradise with plenty to explore. The hotel can provide a variety of Dhow sunset cruises and canoe safaris through the mangroves as well as jungle walks.
Fundu Lagoon is ideally situated for some of the best diving on the island and naturally has a fully equipped dive centre.
Dive 710 offers a fleet of boats to cater for hotel guests. There are daily trips to nearby Mesali Island with a pristine beach offering superb snorkeling and diving.
Fundu Lagoon is a fantastic property aimed at the top end of the market. It is excellent for diving and beautifully rustic with a strong emphasis on service.
Fundu is very popular with those who wish to escape and have a magical intimate holiday in a perfect paradise.