Matemwe Lodge, Zanzibar

Vibrant yet laid-back Matemwe Lodge has perfected the tropical island experience. Perched on an outcrop overlooking a shallow, coral-fringed lagoon on the quiet northeastern coast of Zanzibar Island, Matemwe Lodge’s blissful location and famously relaxed atmosphere make it the ideal place to unwind.

Whether you take a break in a hammock or dive the depths of the Indian Ocean, Matemwe Lodge provides an unbeatable island escape. Each of the 12 beach-chic chalets scattered through the lush gardens has a private sea-facing veranda. Here the tides govern the rhythm of the tranquil days. The pristine Mnemba Atoll lies just off the coast, and it is in these tropical waters that you will find the best snorkelling and diving and superb fishing.

zan-lodge-map
Snapshot of Matemwe Lodge
  • Secluded location on the tranquil northeast coast away from Zanzibar’s hustle
  • Tropical relaxation in a peaceful location with a spa, swimming pool and beach
  • Adventure & culture: diving, snorkelling, dhow trips and visits to Stone Town and community villages
Perfect for
  • Adventure & culture
  • Tropical seclusion
  • Ultimate escape
Standard price per person per night:

$360 - $460i

Lodge Experience

 

Matemwe Lodge is shaded by lush tropical gardens on the edge of a beautiful lagoon that at high tide reaches right to the edge of the lodge. Quiet corners for lazy afternoons abound, from colourful guest areas to the swimming pool where you can watch fishermen sail their billowing dhows.

The open-air restaurant sits just above the ocean, with magnificent views of the palm-fringed beach and gently rocking dhows. Seafood is a specialty of the house, and all produce is bought daily from local fishermen and markets. The multilevel swimming pool surrounded by lounge chairs is perfect for days spent soaking up the sun, and the poolside bar with fresh cocktails and drinks completes the island experience.

Meals

All our food is sourced locally (including fruit and vegetables), and seafood is bought from local suppliers who use sustainable techniques. This means, for example, that we do not buy net- or spear-caught fish but only that caught on lines.

Meals are a mix of gourmet-style cooking and traditional Zanzibari cuisine with loads of seafood. The buffet-style breakfast includes fresh fruit, muffins, croissants, cereal and yoghurts as well as a full English breakfast. Lunch and dinner are three-course meals: choose between two starters, three main dishes (including a meat, fish and vegetarian option) and two desserts. Tuesdays and Fridays are barbecue night (with a range of seafood and meats) and Sunday is a Swahili buffet, offering a large selection of traditional dishes.

We offer picnic lunches during excursions to the sandbank and Muyuni beach. Guests who go on the Stone Town tour or spice tour can be taken to a restaurant in Stone Town if they wish.

Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements – our camp chefs will be happy to cater for your needs. We cater for all diets, although strict kosher cooking is not possible.

A Typical Day at Matemwe

Your days at Matemwe can be spend sitting poolside and sipping on cocktails, or they could have a more adventurous flavour. You might be interested in going for a snorkel or walking through Stone Town: it all depends on what you’re looking for!

06:30–07:00 Wake-up with tea & coffee or a cooler beverage
07:00–8:30 Enjoy a delicious, fresh breakfast to start your day
09:00–10:00 Why not lounge by the pool for an hour?
10:00–12:30 Snorkelling and diving at the famous reefs of Mnemba Atoll
12:30–13:30 Lunch
13:30–15:00 Siesta time: read a book, swim in the pool or just relax
15:30–17:00 Take a guided reef walks to explore marine creatures exposed at low tide
18:30–19:00 Sundowners on the deck
19:30–20:30 Enjoy a delicious meal before going to bed and dreaming of your next day in paradise!

Family Holidays

FAMILY SUITABILITY LEVEL
☐ GOOD
✓ BETTER
☐ BEST

Matemwe Lodge is a wonderful escape for families with children aged five and older.  (Families with younger children will be welcomed at the nearby Matemwe Beach House).  Set in lush tropical grounds and just metres from the Indian Ocean, there is plenty of scope for kids to expend their energy. While the beautiful multilevel swimming pool is a big draw card, there is something for everyone in the family to do here. Explore the coral reef and its rock pools during low tide, sail off on a traditional dhow, snorkel or dive the pristine Mnemba Atoll or take a kayak for a leisurely paddle to explore the island coastline. The open-air restaurant overlooking the azure Indian Ocean is the perfect place for the whole family to gather over delicious fresh meals.

Accommodation

 

Built using local materials and surrounded by beautiful lush gardens, each of the 12 chalets at Matemwe Lodge has a private veranda with hammock and sofa, where you can relax and take in the spectacular views of the sparkling Indian Ocean. Six triple-bed chalets are available, and there are two that have a private plunge pool. The large bathrooms have a deep bathtub and walk-in shower, and beds are all enclosed by mosquito nets.

Location

 

Secluded Matemwe Beach on the northeastern coast of the island is perfectly situated opposite the spectacular diving and snorkelling reefs of the Mnemba Atoll and surrounded by some of the best beaches in Zanzibar. Privacy and exclusivity are paramount at Matemwe, where the beach is still one of the quieter and more exclusive locations on the island.

Infinity beach, accessible from Matemwe Lodge

Matemwe Lodge is perched on an outcrop overlooking a shallow coral-fringed lagoon, with the Indian Ocean glittering ahead. The lodge is adjacent to a long stretch of beach that has not been noticeably altered by tourism and remains an important thoroughfare for locals. Fishing and seaweed harvesting are still key to the local economy – at high tide, fishermen can be seen streaming across the lagoon in their dhows. The lodge has a close relationship with the local fishing village, Matemwe Village, situated on the far side of the beach. It is home to many of the Matemwe staff and many of their children attend the local school.

A 30-minute boat ride away is Mnemba Island and the world-renowned coral reef that provides some of the most spectacular diving and snorkelling in the world, with a high chance of seeing turtles and wild dolphins, in addition to the colourful reef fish that dart around the coral.

Matemwe is just 60 minutes’ drive from Stone Town, allowing for easy day trips into the winding streets of the historic town, and excursions to all corners of this fascinating island.

Activities

 

Whether you want to relax in the swimming pool or spend your days swimming, diving and snorkelling in the ocean, Matemwe Lodge has a number of experiences and activities on offer.

Water-based activities

As with many sea-based activities, timing is governed by the tides and water levels. Please speak to the manager or one of the guides to help you book at recommended times. Our activities include:

  • Snorkelling and diving at the famous reefs of Mnemba Atoll
  • Diving courses available through Scubafish (www.scubafishzanzibar.com)
  • Kite-surfing
  • Scenic kayaking on the reef
  • Guided reef walks
  • Traditional sailing & fishing
  • Deep-sea fishing
  • Sundowner dhow trips

Land-based activities

  • Remote sand-bank excursion
  • Day trips to Stone Town
  • Jozani forest tour
  • Spice tours
  • Matemwe Village walk

Spa

Let one of the therapists from our Sea & Spice Spa offer you a relaxing treatment either in the spa or in the comfort of your room.

 

Accommodation & Amenities

  • 12 chalets (6 triples and 2 with private plunge pools)

  • Children: aged 5 year and older

  • Not suitable for disabled guests

  • In-room lockable box

  • Spa

  • Hair dryer

  • Laundry service

  • Power: 240V mains

  • Wifi Internet

  • Air conditioning

Activities

  • Reef walk

  • Village visit

  • Diving: at extra charge

  • Snorkelling: at extra charge

  • Dhow trip: at extra charge

  • Stone Town visit: at extra charge

  • Spice tour: at extra charge

Matemwe Lodge Dates

  • Closed 5 April to 31 May

  • High season July; September; October; 20 December to 5 January

  • Peak season August

  • Low season June; 1 November to 19 December; 6 January to 4 April

Closest Airstrip

  • Zanzibar Airport: approximately 75 minutes

Child Ages

  • Matemwe Lodge is a wonderful escape for families with children aged five and older.

Enquire about staying at Matemwe Lodge

Experiences and activities to enjoy at Matemwe Lodge:

  • Tropical Beaches

    Relax on tropical Zanzibar.

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  • Cultural Experiences

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    Cultural Experiences
  • Romantic Experience

    Mysterious, exciting and remote, Africa is the perfect choice for a romantic holiday of a lifetime.

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  • Active Safari

    Experience a different kind of safari.

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  • Diving & Snorkelling

    Dive & snorkel in the Indian Ocean.

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    Diving & Snorkelling
  • Trip to Stone Town

    Visit historic Stone Town.

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    Trip to Stone Town
  • Sundowner Dhow Trips

    Watch the sun set from a traditional boat.

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    Sundowner Dhow Trips
  • Jozani Forest Tour

    See the friendly red colobus monkey.

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    Jozani Forest Tour
  • Kayaking

    Take a relaxing paddle in the ocean.

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    Kayaking

Featured itineraries at Matemwe Lodge

  • Northern Safari Circuit & Zanzibar

    Tanzanian ‘bush & beach’.

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  • Climbing, Safari, Watersports and Relaxation

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Guest Reviews

Further Reading

Matemwe Turtle Release

Matemwe is very passionate about Sea Turtle conservation, and for a number of years we have rescued nests from very at risk sites.

Read more

Top 10 photography tips

If there’s one thing that makes a trip unsurpassed, it is the ability to capture amazing scenes and portraits of the memories made along the way.

Read more


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