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  1. Expert Review

    4.0 rating based on 1 rating
    Aug 2014 · Linda Markovina

    Of all the different parts of Zanzibar, Matemwe is by far the most pleasant. With neither hordes of backpackers nor...

    Of all the different parts of Zanzibar, Matemwe is by far the most pleasant. With neither hordes of backpackers nor large groups of touristic sun-seekers, lodges are spread across a strip of beach dotted with palm trees and bright kanga-colored villages. Right at the furthest northern point, nestled into the rocks, is Matemwe Lodge and villas.

    Making utmost use of space, the property is stretched for some distance facing out towards the Indian ocean. Rooms are banda-styled huts, some with private plunge pools facing the waves, with hammocks and loungers subtly decorated with Zanzibarian flair. And if you really want to get away from everyone, absolutely nothing is more indulgent than the villas, with private rooftop plunge pools, personal butlers and Arabic-influenced palatial bathrooms where you can hibernate, measuring the hours by the sun.

    But don’t come expecting long, sandy beaches and easy access to azure water on your doorstep. At high tide the beach is not easy to walk on and at low tide you might have to wade though long stretches of rock and urchins to swim. Many other areas in the north will see similar problems when it comes to beach access and strips of sand. But instead of having to share what limited space you have with the masses, why not opt for more privacy? In Matemwe when the tide is high it’s often the perfect moment to done some scuba gear or a mask and snorkel and head off to the famous Mnemba atoll, which sits directly offshore.

    In the evenings the beach is lined with fishermen and peddlers of crafts and boat excursions, but with a simple smile and a “no thank you” you can generally be left to your own devices. This is mainly because at low tide this beach stretches for miles and miles, making it perfect for long strolls or even bike rides. The cellular and internet signal is also intermittent, but if you’re visiting the beach to sit on your phone, then the Nungwi side of the island might be better suited. You come to Matemwe to get away from it all!

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