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Destinations | Africa | Tanzania | Zanzibar | Mnemba Island Lodge

Mnemba Island Lodge Properties

Mnemba Island Lodge
10 Ensuite Banda Cottages

Mnemba Island features just ten en suite banda cottages, bordered on three sides by tropical beach forest and overlooking the beach and coral reef. Each exquisite banda has been hand-woven and thatched from tree branches and traditional Zanzibari palm-matting. The materials were chosen to allow the cooling sea breezes to move through the bungalow and, assisted by overhead fans, the cottages remain cool all day. From each room, a palm-covered walkway leads to an en suite turquoise bathroom. The shower water comes from the island's well or boiled rainwater. Each banda also has a spacious outdoor verandah. As is befitting an earthly paradise, Mnemba has near-perfect weather. The architecture of the lodge reflects this blissful serenity. You can wander through your lattice-wood doors across the wraparound verandah and stretch out on the beach on daybeds of wood and leather weave with soft white cushions. Zanzibar is famous for producing intricate and detailed wood carvings and some of the island's most skilled artisans have created the scrolled headboards adorning the beds. Balmy air wafts through the dining area and adjoining lounge/bar, unhindered by walls or windows. With grass mats underfoot and thatch overhead, these areas have an open view of the beach and coral reefs beyond. The island also has a curio shop and a small library with a variety of books and games. Cottages are situated on either side of the main living area. Mnemba is all about the sea and the beach, and when you tire of lying on the softest, whitest sand in the world, beach chairs and beds offer a chance for elevation. Baskets filled with tropical fruit, lobsters and fresh fish are sailed into Mnemba on traditional ngalawa outriggers. Mouthwatering cuisine with exotic delicacies are lavishly prepared and laid out for your bedazzled palate. Luscious fruit includes coconut, oranges, papaya, bananas, mangoes, lychees, guavas, star apple, jack-fruit, rambutans, breadfruit and avocado pears. Lunch is usually served buffet style or on large wooden carved Zanzibar platters adorned with delicious African Mezze (fingerfood). Dinner is served in the dining area or alfresco style on the beach. A table is placed under the stars, where you may dine with the waves gently lapping at your feet. You may also enjoy your meals privately on the verandah of your beach cottage. Our food has a Mediterranean and Moroccan influence - an exciting array of fresh salads, red peppers, olives, humus and aubergine spreads, feta, chillies and grilled vegetables drizzled with olive oil, all enhanced with African spices.
Mnemba Island, Zanzibar


July - March; avoid mid-June to April (monsoon weather)

The best months to visit Mnemba are from July to March. The island is closed from 1st April to 6th June (inclusive) due to the monsoons. The best time for big game fishing is mid January to mid March, and for fly fishing and bone fishing, mid July to mid October. There are good sand flats throughout the year. Turtles nest on the island from January to the end of March, with hatchlings arriving 60 days after eggs are laid.
Diverse Water Sports, Deep Sea Fishing, Snorkeling, Tours of Zanzibar, Scuba & Bird Watching.

The calm warm seas around Mnemba are nothing short of a giant aquatic playground. The clear blue seas provide unsurpassed visibility for snorkelling and scuba diving enthusiasts. We will provide you with all scuba and snorkelling equipment needed. Optional activities include deep-sea fishing, which is among the best in the world. Other options which are included in the rate, are windsurfing, kayaking, and, needless to say, swimming directly from the beach. On land, choose between bird-watching, walking or simply suntanning. You may walk the streets of the ancient "Spice Island" of Zanzibar and discover the history of the island. Cultural activities on Zanzibar include a Spice Tour or historical town tour as optional extras. It is preferable to do your sightseeing at the beginning or the end of your visit to Mnemba. Mnemba boasts some of the world's most beautiful diving site. Just a short boat trip from the island, coral reefs drop into the deep open sea. You can enjoy two dives daily. Please note that a valid diving certificate is needed. No need to worry if you have no diving experience - Mnemba offers a professional dive school designed specially for you, at extra cost. Our scuba diving course of three to four days is available. Most diving sites are close by, some right next to the island and others a 15-30 minute boat ride away. Speciality dives include deep, night, navigation, drift and peak performance. Or you may opt for the other kind of island life, where you can just lie back and relax in our library, play board games, Pictionary, watch TV or enjoy wildlife videos.
Local Info

These "Spice Islands" were discovered by Arab traders in the 8th century and have supplied the world with aromatic spices like cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon ever since. The exotic combination of heady perfumes, gently swaying coconut palms and lush vegetation make this an irresistible destination for lovers. As tribute to its allure, Conde Nast Traveller chose Mnemba Island as one of the three most romantic ocean destinations in the world. The lodge is conscious of the need to maintain good relations with the local fishermen. The fishermen benefit from tourism by selling fresh fish to the island. Mnemba Island is solely operated and owned by CC Africa - there are no other properties on the island. Our guests play a critical role in helping us realise our dream and our vision. You are our future ambassadors, the meeting place between Africa and the world. You are the engine that drives our dream of advancing the green and wild frontiers of the oldest continent on earth, of helping us to permanently re-establish our planet's endangered species and wild places.
Guest Reviews

"Everything at Mnemba Island Lodge is understated. There are ten cottages, every item of furniture and fittings lovingly hand-crafted and each with a royal family sized bed that could double as a soccer field."

"You may have heard enough beach hyperbole to last a lifetime: 'pure-white, lustrous, silica-soft sand, surrounded by a brilliant turquoise sea'. Mnemba is all these, and more."
- Sunday Mail Newspaper (Australia)
Press & Media

Conde Nast Traveller chose Mnemba Island as one of the three most romantic ocean destinations in the world.

Listed among US Travel & Leisure's Editor's picks for "Best Beach Resorts" in September 2000, "World's Best" feature

"Mnemba Island Lodge is a gorgeous, reef-encircled camp in Zanzibar owned by Conservation Corporation Africa, the continent's largest ecotourism company."
- Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine

"Dinner was a Prospero-like occasion which reminded me of the Arcadian feast the duke laid on for his faithful nymphs in The Tempest. Tables and chairs were carried down to the water's edge and we dined by firelight and flickering lamps. The sound of lapping waves and voices from half a dozen nationalities floated across the sand."
- Getaway Magazine
Insider Tips

Visit during the Turtle season December-May!!
Mnemba, an untouched atoll off the coast of Zanzibar, is therapy for the spirit. This is where Bill Gates comes to unwind and savour Mother Nature's delights, on our heart-shaped splash of sand in the blue depths of the Indian Ocean.
Mnemba, an Arabic word meaning octopus head, lies two kilometres north-east of the island of Zanzibar, a 20-minute cruise in a traditional 16 foot flat-bottomed boat. A pristine swathe of beach defines the island's one mile circumference. A protection zone surrounds the island, conserving magnificent coral reefs where giant turtles, Ghost Crabs and spectacular tropical fish drift through the lagoons. Fresh, delicate sea breezes waft through Mnemba Lodge, lending a castaway air to the entire island. Zanzibar and its islands are bathed in the heady scents and romanticism of a bygone era. You wake to bubbling dove song and the smell of coconut bread baking in a wood stove, as traditional dhows (coastal Arab sailing vessel) drift across the horizon. Gentle, soft-spoken islanders host you with warmth and grace. The only inhabitants of the island are lodge staff and guests, offering luxurious privacy and guaranteed exclusivity unparalleled on the African coastline.

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