By Britta Foulis
Many of our guests at Matemwe are happy to sit poolside for hours, sipping on ice-cold cocktails, dipping into the pool, and taking in the scenery, however, some are after something more active.
We’ve put together a list of our favourite places on the island to visit.
Jozani Forest offers you a chance to walk amongst the monkeys and take in the beauty of a tropical forest – not to be missed if you’re fond of monkeys. Getting to the forest requires a bit of a drive, about 2 hours each way to get to the forest, but is totally worth it if exploring lush jungles is your thing.
If beautiful architecture and history interest you, then you have to spend a day wandering the magical streets of Stone Town, gazing at the intricately carved doors, and elaborate mosques. Stone Town is a World Heritage Site and peppered with historical sites, echoing a rich past reflecting varied cultural influences.
Stone Town also has many markets and shops with lots of beautiful treasures to be found. If you are looking to get some shopping done, then spend some time in the markets. You’re sure to find something to take home.
Take a boat from Stone Town to Prison Island which is home to one of the oldest Giant tortoises on Earth – a 189-year-old, pre-WW1 resident! She is quite famous but we also have over 150 other Giant tortoises that roam the island.
Prison Island, and in particular, a visit to the Slave Market, offers you the opportunity to learn about the rich history of this island.
Fish & Spice Markets
If you’re a foodie and you’re itching to cook something up, then head on over to the Spice Market. Zanzibar is known as the Spice Island, and for good reason! You’ll find the most aromatic spices in the market, and to top it off, we’ll help you cook a meal back at the lodge using the spices you have hand-picked.
If you want to take it one step further, you can also pick up a freshly caught fish from the Fish Market and have a go at our traditional Zanzibari cooking styles.
Mnarani Turtle Sanctuary
Matemwe is very passionate about Sea Turtle conservation, and for a number of years, we have rescued nests from very at-risk sites. These nests are relocated to a safe nesting area on our own beach where they can be monitored right up until the turtles enter the sea, thus giving the turtle hatchlings the best chance of survival. Occasionally we have hatchlings that are too small, weak or malformed to be released immediately. These turtles we take to the Mnarani Turtle Centre in Nungwi, who do a great job of caring for and hand rearing the babies until they are ready for release.
Visiting the centre is something we encourage all of our guests to do – it is such a wonderful conservation program that does the most amazing work. The fee to enter is minimal but 100% goes back to the conservation efforts. There is a beach close by, Myuini Beach, where people have had the special privilege of seeing female turtles laying their eggs. It is a 40-minute drive to the sanctuary and there is a lovely restaurant to have lunch afterwards.
Our little stretch of island paradise is home to Matemwe Lodge, Matemwe Retreat and our Matemwe Beach House. Each one caters to a different type of traveller, so you’ll be able to find your perfect match.
Make an enquiry with us below and come explore the island with us…