Matemwe Beach House. Zanzibar. Tanzania

Why we love it

The house is an integral part of a large village and its easy to feel part of the local people’s daily life in an easy relaxed way as you watch the fishermen bring in their catch off local sail boats and the women search for octopus in the shallows. We loved that Matemwe Beach house had most activities included and also had access to the main lodge next door for a change of venue and added activities. And of course..Mnemba Atoll ( a marine reserve) is right across the bay, a mere 20 minute boat ride – with exceptional snorkelling and regular dolphin engagement.

What to expect

The villa is small, it’s not super grand. It has two double rooms with their own bathrooms, and a small low-roofed room upstairs that would suit young kids. The deck outside is where you spend most of your time, and the plunge pool is excellent after a day of snorkeling. Your butler is what makes it quite special – he is always on hand to help out with your smallest needs. But the main lodge is available – you can eat their anytime, visit their spa, or enjoy their bar and pool. Meals are fresh and local and quite delicious, especially their coconut icecream!

What to do

The cost of the villa includes one day of snorkelling at Mnemba, endless kayaking, a village walk, and a reef amble. There is also a spa at the main lodge and they can help plan the usual excursions such as a spice tour, Stone Town and the safari blue dhow trip.

Kids : Our kids loved Matemwe – they played endless soccer games with the local kids, they went kayaking with Geroge our butler, they went night walking on the reef to discover ink-squirting snails and eels, and visited the local fishing market to see the daily catch. Jenga with George and carving fruit with the chef also a must!

Best time to visit

Monsoon season in Zanzibar is from March to early June, and most of the island shuts for this time. Nov – March is very hot, and June /July a bit windy. But expect humid hot days all year round with lovely sea breezes in the evenings.

How to get there

From Zanzibar airport, it’s a short drive of about one hour to the house which is easy to arrange and roads are good until the last few km which are a big rough. Recommend a night or two first in Stone Town to experience that part of the island.

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