andBeyond Mnemba Island Lodge
Off the north-eastern tip of Zanzibar, in Tanzania, lies the private &Beyond Mnemba Island – serene and exquisite – inhabited only by guests and the staff taking care of them. Mnemba’s calm azure seas, white coral beaches and spectacular coral reefs offer irresistible snorkelling, scuba-diving, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and permanent swimming directly from the beach.
This barefoot luxury destination has just 12 rustic palm-frond bandas (including a family banda – two rooms next to one another joined by a wooden walkway) which are tucked into a tropical forest fringed by a white coral sand beach. A covered walkway leads to a shuttered en-suite bathroom with a huge glass-beaded shower curtain. Zanzibar is famous for its intricate detailed woodcarvings and the scrolled headboards adorning the beds are created by some of the Island’s most skilled artisans. Built-in barazas on the veranda are perfect for afternoon siestas and twelve private beach salas feature traditional Zanzibari loungers ideal for languid hours, a table, ceiling fan, personal bar, two day beds and a shower.
Thatched dining areas boast beautiful open views of the beach and spectacular vistas of Zanzibar and beyond. Lunch is often served on large wooden carved Zanzibari platters heaped with delicious mezze.
Why we like it here
Turtle season peaks between April and August (however, laying can occur year-round) and these prehistoric creatures can be seen laying their eggs on the beaches. Within nine weeks, the beaches are filled with tiny turtle hatchlings.
The island, just 1.5 km (less than a mile) in circumference, boasts some of Africa’s most magnificent dive sites.
Mnemba is renowned as one of the most romantic ocean destinations in the world, offering a privacy and rustic exclusivity unparalleled on the African coastline. Romantic candlelit dinners are served on the beach, with the waves lapping gently at guests’ feet.
Baskets of fresh fruit, fish, lobsters, crabs and prawns sail into Mnemba daily on traditional ngalawa outriggers.
Enjoy private beach picnics.
PADI Dive school.
The house reef can be reached without a boat and is ideal for snorkelling right off the beach.
Things to be aware of
A maximum of 2 children under the age of 12 is allowed at any given time on the island.
Seasonal closure in April and May.
Wi-Fi is only available in guest bandas.
Reaching the island is by vehicle beginning in Stone Town in Zanzibar Island and driving through lush spice plantations. Reaching the water’s edge, guests then leave their vehicle and wade knee-deep in the balmy ocean waters to board a waiting boat, for a 20-minute crossing to a warm island reception.