Over the years Mnemba has gained a reputation as the Zanzibari island hideaway. Although highly exclusive and delivering the highest levels of guest care and service, its charm lies in the relative simplicity of its accommodation and the lack of infrastructure on this tiny, uninhabited island. Be one of only a handful of people lucky enough to enjoy genuine island escapism.
Just off the north east coast of Zanzibar and less than a mile in circumference, Mnemba is a perfect island hideaway. It is surrounded by an atoll of stunning coral reefs and has a house reef within swimming distance as well as being close to some of East Africa’s best dive sites.
Privacy and simplicity are what Mnemba Island is all about with just eleven ‘bandas’ having been designed in a very natural and traditional style. Imagine the home Robinson Crusoe might have built had he won the lottery.
Each spacious bedroom is open-sided, allowing a sea breeze to pass through, and has at its centre a large bed with traditionally-carved headboard. Private verandahs house daybeds for afternoon siestas while your private beach sala comes complete with Zanzbari loungers and a ceiling fan for comfort.
FOOD & DRINK
Every day, traditional ngalawa outriggers sail to Mnemba laden with baskets of fresh fruit, fish, lobsters, crabs and prawns and lunch is often served on large wood-carved Zanzibari platters heaped with tempting mezze. Romantic candlelit dinners are arranged on the beach, the waves lapping gently at guests’ feet while private beach picnics provide a delightful surprise for couples whether on honeymoon or celebrating many years together.
The intention at Mnemba is to keep things simple and allow guests to really relax. However, in case you want to keep up your fitness routine, a ‘gym in a basket’ and yoga mat are provided in your room. In addition, massages can also be arranged in your own room.
The extensive marine life around Mnemba can be enjoyed via the island’s private PADI diving school or by simply snorkelling off the beach. Back on land, take nature walk around the island, which has its own herd of tiny suni antelope as well as a breeding herd of Africa’s rarest antelope, Ader’s duiker, which now numbers 15. You may also spot rare coconut crabs on your wanderings as well as colourful and plentiful birdlife.
OUT & ABOUT
The main island of Zanzibar, Unguja, is just a 10 to 15-minute boat ride away from Mnemba so trips to see red colobus monkeys in Jozani Forest, spice tours and even trips to Stone Town (a further 1.5 hours by road) are possible. However, we recommend making the most of your time on Mnemba by arranging any further sightseeing either pre or post your stay there.
Turtle season on Mnemba is at its peak between March and June although laying can take place at any time of year.
- The epitome of rustic luxury and a genuine escape from modern life.
- Mnemba Island is a remote island experience so don’t come expecting to do a lot as it’s all about relaxing in peace.