MATEMWE LODGE & RETREAT
A MAGICAL AFRICAN TROPICAL ISLAND EXPERIENCE
Vibrant yet relaxed, Matemwe, has perfected the tropical island experience. This lodge is situated on a palm-fringed beach of the azure Indian Ocean on the quieter northeast coast of Zanzibar is renowned for its stunning, peaceful location and relaxed atmosphere. It is perched on a coral outcrop with wonderful views out to Mnemba Atoll. Great care has been taken at Matemwe to ensure privacy and exclusivity.
Due to the coral reef, the tides are very dramatic, resulting in a breathtaking, natural phenomenon. Depending on the time of the month, the water withdraws several hundred metres out to sea for part of the day. Swimming at that time is difficult, but provides a unique opportunity to walk on the bottom of the ocean. Live in serene harmony with the tide as it govern the rhythm of the day; swim in the turquoise ocean at high tide, or walk on the seabed at low tide, admiring the seashells and aquatic life in the small residual pools and watch the women at work on their seaweed plantations. At high tide the fisherman stream across the lagoon in their billowing dhows.
Matemwe remains one of the most secluded resorts on the island of Zanzibar and is perfect for a relaxing and exclusive beach holiday.
Accommodations at Matemwe consist of 12 beautiful individually decorated rustic bungalows with high thatched roofs, built with locally sourced materials. The bungalows enjoy a lovely position on a small outcrop of coral rock and surrounded by beautiful gardens dotted with frangipani and bougainvillea trees. The gardens offer the bungalows a lush tropical feel with plenty of color. Each of the bungalows has a private veranda with hammock and sofa overlooking the Indian Ocean. The bathrooms are large and have deep bathtubs and walk-in showers.
For a much more exclusive experience, consider the neighboring sister-lodge, Matemwe Retreat. Matemwe Retreat consists of four self-contained, private villas, each with clear views of the beautiful Indian Ocean. The villas have been designed to cater for those looking for pure escapism and total privacy. They feature in-house dining and private butler service. The four Villas share a stretch of pristine beach.
The exceptional cuisine is a fusion of traditional Zanzibari and international flavors. Seafood is a specialty and fresh fish is prepared daily. All produce is bought daily from the local island markets. The open-air restaurant overlooks the ocean and has a tranquil area to lounge in as well. In the evening, the moon rising out of the sea is a wonderfully romantic experience.
For relaxation there is a multi-level swimming pool surrounded with lounge chairs overlooking the ocean. A wide range of well-being and spa treatments is offered a range of relaxing and re-energizing massages with locally made oils. There are plenty of activities for the more active guests with superb diving and snorkeling off the renowned Mnembe Atoll. Local fishing can be done using Ngalawa, traditional outrigger boats, and there is also deep-sea fishing beyond the reef.
Matemwe is just 60 minutes drive from Stone Town, allowing for easy day trips and excursions to the many interesting places on Zanzibar, like the historic Stone Town cultural sites, Jozani Forest, Prison Island or a spice tour to the plantations.
There are a variety of prime diving sites off the coast of Zanzibar, including the magnificent and world famous Mnemba Atoll, a protected marine park with some of the best diving in Eastern Africa. Diving and snorkeling in Zanzibar are magical experiences that can be exceptionally rewarding. Diving sites range from shallow reefs to drift dives and coral covered wall dives. Zanzibar has something to offer all categories of divers, from the novice to the most experienced. The warm tropical turquoise Indian Ocean with its superb visibility, up to 30-40 meters, and its well-preserved coral reefs, is home to a wide abundance of aquatic life, an adventure for the experienced diver as well as for the simply curious snorkeler. A variety of hard and soft coral including brain coral, gorgonian fans and staghorn, barrel sponges; nudibranches, large lobsters, clownfish, leopard rays, Moorish idols, parrot fish, large Napoleon wrasse, green turtles, dolphins, morays, octopus and lion-fish, to mention just a few. For the more advanced divers, deep-sea diving trips outside the reef can include spotting barracuda, reef sharks, manta rays, stingrays and, with a bit of luck, even a whale shark.
Ngalawas, the traditional outrigger boats with billowing sails pass by Matemwe offering photographers the chance for some dream images. The lodge is a daily stop for the fishermen and their almost historic dhows. These fishermen sell the lodge fresh crab, lobster and fish to the chefs for lunch and dinner menus. Zanzibar’s underwater paradise with amazing water clarity offers rare and exciting photographic opportunities for the under water photographer. And, on land Stone Town has an abundance of amazing colonial architecture, worn with age with its famous Zanzibar doors and Bazaars, winding alleyways and local markets with vegetables and fruits stacked high along side pyramids of spice, offering brilliant photographic opportunities.