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Matemwe Beach is a small guesthouse which is located out on its own on a long stretch of classic palm-lined, white sand beach on the the North East coast of Zanzibar Island. Just off-shore from the guesthouse is the world-famous Mnemba Atoll, whose circling reef has some of the best diving in East Africa.
Along the beach from us are palm-thatched villages, where friendly local people live a traditional life dominated by fishing. Matemwe really is close to the classical notion of paradise. The simple makuti-thatched lodge and bungalows are situated along a glorious strip of palm-fringed beach. The main lodge has comfortable living areas, friendly staff and a very sociable atmosphere generated by the type of clientele they attract. At the guesthouse our intention is to provide a high standard of accommodation and hospitality at reasonable prices. Many of our guests come here primarily for the diving at Mnemba.
Others come here to relax after having climbed Kilimanjaro, or having been out on safari in the Serengeti. In other words, we tend to get a nice mix of professional outdoor types, who get on well together and create a nice atmosphere around the place. The lodge is owned by Zanzibarian Suleiman Nyanga and managed by me, Gail. I am South African and have been in Zanzibar since 1995. My husband Gary (who is an Ozzie) runs our dive operation. We have three different types of room here at Matemwe. The best and most popular are the 5 suite rooms that were opened and the end of 2004 and are as shown in the picture opposite.
They are primarily designed for couples, having one large bed but there is also single bed under the stairs and a barazza bed for small children. The rooms are set back from the beach and have an upstairs verandha area with lounging chairs, perfect for reading or an afternoon snooze. Then there are seventeen standard rooms at the guesthouse, all of which have ensuite bathrooms, hot water and fans. Seven of these are on the front row and are set back a little from the beach for privacy. The other 10 rooms are further back from the beach and offer a glimpse of the sea and a cool breeze though the night. Our star room is the Asali suite which is made for honeymooners, with one double bed and is separate from the rest of the lodge. It houses its own plunge pool and comes complete with two dedicated staff to cater for your every need. One of the main reasons for coming to Matemwe is for the world class diving at Mnemba atoll.
We usually say that there is enough variety on Mnemba for about 4 to 5 days worth of good diving, maybe 8 to 10 dives, although the reef is always ready to spring a surprise or two. Mnemba is a circular reef, with aquarium conditions on the inside and some good wall-diving on the outer. Diving here is a year-round event, with reasonably good conditions to be found on the atoll under almost all weather conditions and visibilities of 20 to 40 metres are the norm.
We regularly see turtles and dolphins here and are often lucky enough to see (or even get a tow from) whale sharks and pilot whales. We have a full 5 star IDC PADI dive school at the lodge. We are able to offer the full range of PADI certificate courses, as well as try dives and snorkelling trips for the non-divers and now that we have a swimming pool, we are able to offer the complete course when staying at Matemwe. For PADI open-water courses we are happy to take a referral certificate from those of you who want to do the theory and pool work before you come.
Price Range from US$83 per person sharing per night