Highly recommended for a family or group of up to four adults and two children, this traditional Zanzibari-style property has a lovely location on the north-eastern coast! It’s one of the island’s most charming and characterful exclusive-use options.
Matemwe Beach House is owned and run by Asilia, one of our favorite bush and beach vacation operators. The company’s portfolio spans Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar, and it includes the beach house’s sister properties Matemwe Lodge and Matemwe Retreat. Matemwe Beach House is booked on an exclusive basis, for a maximum of six travellers. The price of your stay includes accommodation, all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, a laundry service, a chef service, and a butler service. The house is closed from 3rd April to 31st May every year.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The house is accessed via approximately an hour and 15 minutes’ road transfer from Zanzibar’s international airport. It’s situated on the scenic north-eastern coast of the island, opposite the spectacular Mnemba Atoll.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT MATEMWE BEACH HOUSE:
There are two double bedrooms and one twin bedroom, in a Zanzibari style. The double bedrooms are positioned on the house’s ground floor, while the twin bedroom occupies a mezzanine level. Each double room features a wood-framed double bed with mosquito nets, a bedside table and lamp, a writing desk cum vanity table and chair, at least one easy chair and occasional table, and storage furniture. Soft furnishings include vibrantly patterned bedspreads and rugs. The master bedroom has an en-suite shower room and the second bedroom has an en-suite full bathroom. Both double rooms are air conditioned, and additional amenities include a hairdryer and a safe. Upstairs, the twin bedroom offers two beds with mosquito nets, a table-and-chair, and lovely beach views from the window! There’s no air conditioning, but just outside the room there’s a ceiling fan.
The communal spaces within Matemwe Beach House comprise a pleasant lounge, dining area, bar, and kitchen. These too are Zanzibari in style, and the lounge and dining spaces are set out on the house’s deck. The property feels nicely secluded within its well-kept walled garden, and its swimming pool is safely fenced. The pool has sunloungers alongside, making it the perfect place to relax in between activities here. Guests are well looked after by a private butler and a private chef. Additionally, you’ll have access to the communal facilities at neighbouring Matemwe Lodge – these include a restaurant, a bar, a spa, gardens, and two swimming pools! And Matemwe’s beautiful beach is just in front of both properties.
ACTIVITIES AT MATEMWE BEACH HOUSE:
Matemwe Beach House offers a great range of things to do. Please note, all activities incur an extra cost, with the exception of reef walks.
Diving excursions- As mentioned, the house is opposite Mnemba Island, and the famous diving destination is only 30 minutes away by boat. Courses are available at Zanzibar’s PADI dive centre and an exhilarating variety of dive sites can be accessed, from gently sloping walls and gardens to turtle reefs and substantial drops of up to 50 metres! All boast a treasure trove of marine life.
Snorkelling- This activity is offered around Mnemba Island too. You can also snorkel just off Matemwe’s beach at low tide.
Kayaking- It’s possible to hire kayaks and explore Zanzibar’s north-eastern coastline, including the island’s peaceful lagoons.
Boat trips- Alternatively, you can board a traditional dhow boat and set sail on the clear seas, with opportunities to do a little birdwatching on your way.
Reef walks- Zanzibar’s reefs at low tide are wonderful to observe, with their medley of intriguing marine creatures. You can just wander out from the beach house, but don’t forget to wear suitable footwear.
Turtle tours- Certainly a highlight of any reef walk, you’ll have a lot of fun observing Matemwe’s turtle families in the company of a knowledgeable guide.
Stone Town tours- The old part of Zanzibar City, and former capital of the spice trade, is well worth a visit. It’s chock-full of historical buildings, including former sultans’ palaces, mosques, churches, and forts. There are lots of interesting museums and markets too!
Prison Island visits- Located just 5.6 kilometres north-west of Stone Town, this former prison site is now a popular tourist resort, not least due to the charming Aldabra giant tortoises that can be found ambling around the island! Guests are permitted to feed them at the dedicated tortoise foundation here.
Local village visits- You can add a little culture to your beach vacation by taking a trip into Matemwe village. The locals are always welcoming, and it’s fascinating to find out about their ways of life.
Cooking lessons- Your private chef will happily allow you to have a go at cooking up some special Swahili dishes in the beach house’s own kitchen! All food is sourced locally, and every Sunday there’s a Swahili buffet.