Reasons to Visit
Zanzibar, an island located just off Dar es Salaam, is blessed with a coastline of picture perfect beaches. There are miles of white sand leading into shallow turquoise water lined with offshore reefs and dotted with small fishing villages sheltering under
At high tide all the dhows sail in to the various beaches and harbours on Zanzibar and lively bartering for the day’s catch ensues. Cruising around the islands on a traditional dhow boat is one of the best ways to experience Zanzibar.
Mafia is the site of Tanzania’s first marine national park, covering 800 square kilometres and with over 460 species of fish and fantastic corals. There are a wide variety of dive and snorkel spots in the Archipelago with something to offer for all abilities.
There are some very busy beaches, backed by large resorts which we don’t use. We have driven all round the island and found quiet beaches with small boutique hotels and simple lodges. We’ll drive you across the island to these and you can relax in peace.
Flanked by the sea, Stone Town is exotic and steeped in Swahili history. Laden dhows sail in to the port, crumbling buildings cast shadows over labyrinthine streets and the smell of spices fills the air. Much of Stone Town was built in the 19th Century and remains unchanged to this day.
The most commonly found turtle in Zanzibar is the green turtle, followed by the hawksbill. Both nest in Zanzibar and Pemba is one of the best places to see them. There are several projects being run to help protect these endangered animals and their nesting sites.
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Africa and The Indian Ocean
Matemwe is a small friendly hotel, built on a low coral cliff overlooking the ocean. The beach has dazzling snow white sand and is very picturesque with its small fishing village.
Matemwe is a small friendly hotel, built on a low coral cliff overlooking the ocean. The 12 individual bungalows are widely spaced and surrounded by beautiful gardens and are all en suite with showers and double basins. They all have private verandas, complete with hammocks. The furniture and wooden shutters are carved from local coconut wood which is truly beautiful. All the bungalows face the sea so you can enjoy the lovely views as you swing in your hammock. There are two swimming pools at the lodge plus a spa room, with views across the sea.
In addition to the standard bungalows there are four suites called the Matemwe Retreats which are situated up on the hill with great views over the ocean. They are superb, with high airy ceilings and furniture crafted from old dhows. Each suite has a huge living terrace area with comfy seating, bar and dining area, spacious bedroom enclosed by wooden shutters, and a spectacular Arabian style roof terrace with small private plunge pool. The Retreat is ideal for couples looking for total privacy. You can use the main Matemwe facilities if you wish or you can take your meals in the privacy of your suite, with your own butler to cater for all your needs.
For families, there is Matemwe Beach House, formerly the manager's house, in an idyllic spot right by the beach. There is a large deck area with sunloungers and a plungepool, a dining room and lounge, and two ensuite bathrooms. There is an additional loft room with twin beds, so the house can accommodate a family of six.
It is easy to pass the time at Matemwe. You can go sailing, snorkelling, diving and of course relax on the beach and swim. There is a watersports/activities centre on the beach where you can organise any number of activities to keep you occupied. Finally, the adventurous can take a trip with the local fisherman and if the chef isn't run off his feet he'll even cook your catch for dinner.
The largest of all the islands in the archipelago, Zanzibar Island is home to turquoise waters, pristine white sand beaches, and the old and facinating capital, Stone Town.
Our rating: First Class
Our rating: Medium
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Further reading:Tours in Zanzibar ArchipelagoWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout Zanzibar Archipelago
Other countries in Africa:BotswanaKenyaMadagascarMalawiMauritiusMozambiqueNamibiaRwandaSouth AfricaTanzaniaThe SeychellesUgandaZambiaZimbabwe
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