MNEMBA ISLAND LODGE
AN AWARD WINNING BAREFOOT BEACH PARADISE OF THE COAST OF ZANZIBAR
This private island is a perfect beach hideaway – an idyllic, award-wining jewel, and one of the most romantic places on earth. Situated off the northeastern coast of Zanzibar in the azure Indian Ocean it forms part of an exquisite atoll, which has been declared a marine conservation area. Mnemba Island Lodge is a spectacular barefoot beach paradise with attentive staff and increadible cuisine. Mnemba’s rustic exclusivity is unmatched on the African coastline. It is ringed by stretches of white coral beaches, crystal clear blue water and spectacular coral reefs boasting some of Africa’s most wonderful dive sites.
Mnemba Island Lodge is a place that awakens the senses and captivates the very essence of Africa. The view of the ocean lapping over a coral reef is amazing and the tide brings thousands of shells to the beach each day. In the evening the romantic ambience of the day is enhanced by candlelight. Fleeting footprints on the beautiful beaches leave lasting imprints on memories of every guest under the Stars of Zanzibar.
April and May are Monsoon season and the lodge is closed.
Ten bandas, with spacious outdoor verandas, sit nestled in a very private and secluded stretch of shade in a tropical beach forest, fringed by the white coral sand beach. These simple, yet stunning and luxurious bandas are spacious and ensure absolute privacy and stunning views. Covered walkways lead to a shuttered en-suite bathroom with huge glass beaded showers. Zanzibar is famous for its intricate, detailed woodcarvings and the scrolled headboards adorning the beds were carved by local artisans. Built in barazas on the verandas are perfect for afternoon siestas. All ten bandas have direct beach access and private beach salas feature traditional Zanzibar loungers ideal for languid hours.
Romantic candlelit dinners are served on the beach under the Stars of Zanzibar with the waves gently lapping a few meters away. Luxurious, exceptional feasts of fresh fruit, vegetables, seafood and meats all fabulously prepared and presented. Baskets of all the fresh foods, including fruit, fish, lobsters, crabs and prawns are sailed into Mnemba daily on traditional Ngalawa with billowning sails.
In order to protect and preserve the rich and fragile ecosystem of the Zanzibar Archipelago surrounding 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. Mnemba staff 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 Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources.
A spectacular array of activities allows the best possible opportunity to enjoy the magnificent protected coral reefs and the calm azure seas surrounding the island, from scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming and kayaking, fly-fishing and windsurfing, as well as massages on the beach or, finally, just doing nothing at all except relaxing.
The ocean depths around Mnemba are a fisherman’s paradise, with game fishing species such as barracuda, tuna, mackerel, kingfish, sailfish and marlin frequently encountered, while fly-fishing enthusiasts can fish directly off the island’s beaches. Mnemba follows a policy of catch and release.
The highly endangered Green Sea Turtle returns to its breeding grounds on Mnemba year after year, travelling hundreds of kilometers to return to the very place where they were hatched. Under cover of dark, female turtles come onto the beach to dig a nest and lay its eggs above the high water line. Up to a hundred eggs will hatch after about sixty days, with the tiny reptiles rushing to reach the relative safety of the ocean. Green turtle laying season is year-round with a seasonal peak in February and March. This egg laying and hatching are remarkable experience to witness.
Magnificent and world famous Mnemba Atoll is a protected marine park. The Mnemba Island Marine Conservation Area offers some of the best diving in Eastern Africa, boasting a wealth of sea life and marine species. The coral reefs surrounding the island are home to a vast variety of reef fish, anemone and marine specimens, while diverse pelagic fish and marine mammals thrive in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Humpback whales, as well as many species of dolphin, diverse pelagic fish and a number of sharks and rays are encountered in the ocean depths. A variety of predator fish in the area include barracuda, mackerel, kingfish, sailfish and marlin. Divers around Mnemba may also encounter the world’s largest fish, the gigantic whale shark. Pods of dolphin are found in the warm tropical waters near Mnemba, and snorkelers and divers often encounter these charismatic animals at close range.
Mnemba Island has a fully stocked PADI Dive Centre, and offers a wide range of diving activities. With a ratio of one dive instructor per five guests, divers can delight in an unforgettable personalized diving experience on one of the world’s most exquisite coral reefs. Diving sites range from shallow reefs to drift dives, and coral covered wall dives. Mnemba has something to offer all categories of divers, from the novice to the most experienced.
The waters around Mnemba, are awash with marine life, including at least 400 fish species. Mnemba Atoll’s underwater paradise with amazing water clarity offers exciting and rare under water photographic opportunities.