Matemwe Lodge is set between two idyllic beaches in north-east Zanzibar looking out towards Mnemba Island. The lodge is perched on an outcrop overlooking a shallow coral-fringed lagoon and the peaceful Indian Ocean, offering guests powdery white sand beaches, clear aquamarine water and beautiful reefs. Matemwe Lodge is adjacent to a long stretch of beach on the east coast. This beach has not been noticeably altered by tourism and remains an important thoroughfare for locals. The lodge has a close relationship with the local fishing village situated on the far side of the beach. It is home to many of the Matemwe team, with the lodge actively supporting the local school.
Matemwe Lodge is a great, small lodge with rustic rooms and exquisite views of Mnemba Island. Nestled in bougainvillea-filled gardens and facing the endless Indian Ocean, the spacious thatched cottages are secluded and incredibly comfortable. Electricity comes from the sun and air conditioning from the sea breeze. Matemwe Lodge is a relaxed and friendly beach lodge which offers good service and a great atmosphere.
Matemwe is a village on a beautiful stretch of coastline on the north-eastern coast of Unguja - the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago. The main purpose of coming to Matemwe is its beach - the longest in Zanzibar - with classic broad white-sand, palm-backed beaches fronted by a stunning fringe of reef and lagoon and nearby, the offshore atoll of Mnemba, Zanzibar’s best diving location.
In Matemwe the tides govern the rhythms of the day. At high tide the fishermen stream across the lagoon in their billowing dhows – a dream for photographers. The lodge is a daily stop for the fishermen who sell fresh crab, lobster and fish to Matemwe for lunches and dinners. At low tide the lagoon is too shallow for swimming but it does reveal a fascinating reef which you can explore for hours. Fish species often spotted in the area include giant trevallies, trumpetfishes, anthiases, groupers and snappers.
Matemwe lodge offers 12 luxury suites with high thatched roofs, each with an en-suite bathroom consisting of a large bathtub and walk-in shower. All rooms were completely refurbished in September 2013. Six of the newer rooms have a split-level mezzanine floor with a second double bed, a sunken cushioned Baraza, with 2 of the rooms offering a private plunge pool. The older rooms have 1 floor and are a little more private, with a double sofa and a very comfortable hammock on the veranda to soak up the sun and ocean views.
The communal areas have a very relaxed feel to them with an open-sided restaurant situated just along from the infinity pool, with great views over the beautiful ocean. The lodge has two swimming pools, one of which is an infinity pool with views across to Mnemba Island. From this pool, a waterfall trickles down to a second pool below.
Children over the age of 6 are welcome.
Matemwe’s restaurant is designed to maximise the view of the ocean and the fishermen who head out at breakfast and return at lunch. A cosy lounge area provides refuge from bad weather, and dinner can be served alfresco around the pool under the palms when the weather is nice. Fresh fish is a specialty at the lodge and is combined with fresh local produce to create a fine dining experience. Lunch is a selection of buffet-style African and European dishes while dinner includes meat, fish and vegetarian options. Before a meal, guests can enjoy a delicious cocktail at the poolside bar.
Guests have a variety of daily activities to choose from. Dive with the on-site dive school, Dhow Divers, on nearby Mnemba reefs which offer everything from sandy shallows for beginners to 70m walls for experienced divers. Guests can sail on the hotel dhow or with a local fisherman on his ngalawa (outrigger) with the chance of seeing dolphins or even whales; kayak along the coast in the enclosed waters within the fringing reef or snorkel from the hotel and see the reef up close.
After the day’s activities, you can relax on the shaded beach bed, at the sociable bar, or on your private hammock with a delicious cocktail or great book.