Steeped in culture and history, Zanzibar enticed adventurers, seafarers and traders from far and wide. Known as the spice island, from the centuries-old trade of cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon, today the Zanzibar Archipelago is still bathed in the heady scents of spices and traditional dhows still drift across the horizon. A romantic hideaway, Mnemba Island is an exclusive paradise featuring twelve rustically chic beachside bandas, for just 24 guests, connected to the breathtaking Mnemba atoll. Discover sheer, natural paradise on this exclusive island, where the simple pleasures become your most treasured of memories for many years to come. Relax and unwind on your own stretch of beachfront, where simple yet luxurious bandas peep out onto unblemished sands from the dappled shade of the casuarina pine forest. Thatched dining and sitting or bar areas boast beautiful open views of the beach and spectacular vistas of Zanzibar beyond.
Late breakfast trays teeming with tropical fruit, freshly-squeezed juice and Tanzanian coffee can be delivered to the beach banda for those wanting to indulge in a lie-in. Fresh sushi and chilled champagne can appear discreetly at the guests’ beach loungers should they wish to celebrate the magnificent sunset in privacy. Romantic candlelit dinners are served on the beach, with the waves lapping gently at guests’ feet. Allow yourself to relax and take a break with yoga and massages in the tranquil retreat of your banda. Be among just 24 guests at this romantic, private hideaway, where ten beachside bandas overlook the Mnemba atoll (a scuba diver’s delight). From snorkelling, swimming and kayaking, to massages on the beach, to doing nothing at all, Mnemba (located on Pemba Island, on the coast of Tanzania) has something for everyone. If you have ever harboured the secret wish of finding yourself the sole inhabitant of a beautiful tropical island, but without the effort of having to lift a finger to fend for yourself, andBeyond Mnemba Island is just the place for you! Discover the stretch of beachfront, where simple yet luxurious bandas peep out onto unblemished sands from the dappled shade of the casuarina pine forest.
Beachsides Bandas – A spectacular gem. Mnemba Island offers 12 rustic palm-frond bandas tucked into a tropical forest. A covered walkway leads to a shuttered ensuite bathroom with a glass-beaded shower curtain. Zanzibar is famous for its woodcarvings and the scrolled headboards adorning the beds are created by some of the Island’s most skilled artisans.
Family Banda – n Island Escape. A family banda comprises of a twin and double room that are situated close together with an adjoining wooden walkway. Each banda has its own ensuite bathroom and a private veranda and seating area. The family banda can accommodate two adults and two children (three children can be provided for on request).
Activities and Experience
Visiting Mnemba Island allows access to a range of unique included and excluded experiences
- Scuba dive – The essence of a scuba dive Zanzibar boasts some of the most pristine and unspoilt coral reefs in the Indian Ocean. These vibrant coral colonies lie under clear waters with up to 26ºC (79 ºF) temperatures, and perfect underwater sights of up to 40 metres (131 feet). These views are particularly vivid off the Coast of Unguja Island, the main island of Zanzibar, and Pemba Island, known fondly as the Green Island. Boasting calm waters and a wide variety of colourful marine species, they make up one of the top dive sites in the world. Diving in Zanzibar features shallow coral gardens and walls that start at 30 metres deep, with close to two-metre spiral corals and high barrel sponges. Encounter neon-tinted fish, such as the blue potato grouper, the indigo Napoleon fish, the deep red cubera snapper, and the green blocked turtle. Dive alongside a wide range of marine wildlife, bright blue water drops off’s, and shining, strong and shallow reefs. Rugged and supple coral patches sustain a rise of the reef, tropical fish, and many other sea residents. Diving in Zanzibar is an awe-inspiring experience, with some of the healthiest reefs in the Indian Ocean, making this a must and an unforgettable diving destination.
- Trace Freddie Mercury’s footsteps – Walk in the footsteps of Zanzibar’s legendary son, Freddie Mercury: lead vocalist and songwriter of the British-based rock band Queen. Born Farroukh Bulsara, Mercury’s family had immigrated to Zanzibar from India before his birth. He spent his early years amidst the winding cobbled streets, bazaars, churches and mosques of Zanzibar’s Stone Town. This part of the city is a multi-cultural mix of architectural influences, including 19th-century coral-stone buildings, an old Arab fort, and a diverse collection of Swahili influences. Take a guided tour through these surroundings, where he lived until 1964 when the Zanzibar Revolution forced the family to leave. Visit the Zanzibar Gallery Shop, once the home of the Mercury family, wonderfully decorated with faded photographs of the musical icon. Admire the colourful triangular streamers draped across whitewashed walls, wood-shutter windows, and blue-painted timber doors. Next, head off to the Zoroastrian Fire Temple where the Parsi family worshipped, and where Freddie Mercury was initiated as a child. End this special-interest tour with a seafront lunch at Mercury’s restaurant, a modern-day tribute to the man, his inimitable talent, and his music.
- Note: It is advisable to dress conservatively when walking through Stone Town. Women should cover their shoulders, wear long skirts or trousers, and men should wear pants. Comfortable walking shoes are essential.
- The essence of the Spice Island – Follow the scent of spices like vanilla, cloves, turmeric, nutmeg and cinnamon, as you drive through the lush greenery of the island’s spice growing areas. Thrown into this heady mix, are those areas where a variety of intriguing plants and shrubs including the iodine plant, henna bush, ylang-ylang, and the red fruit of the lipstick tree are grown for medicinal purposes and cosmetics. Your senses will be tantalised by the sight, smell, and taste of an exotic cocktail of tropical seasonal fruits, such as green coconut juice, jack fruit, pineapple, banana, and love apple. The tour also includes a visit to:
- The ancient Kidichi Persian Baths, were built-in 1850 by the first Sultan of Zanzibar, Sultan Seyyid Said. They were created for his beloved Persian wife, Princess Scheherezade, granddaughter of the Shah of Persia.
- The fascinating Maruhubi Palace ruins were once home to 99 of the concubines of the third Sultan of Zanzibar, Seyyid Barghash.
Livingstone’s House, was home to the great explorer and anti-slavery campaigner, Dr David Livingstone until he left for his final expedition in 1866.
- Visiting Prison Island – Take a fascinating step back in time, and visit Prison Island, also known as Changuu Island, a short boat ride away from Zanzibar. In the 1860s, this island was used to confine unruly slaves before they were sold off to slave markets or shipped abroad. Lloyd Mathews, the British First Minister of Zanzibar, constructed a prison complex here when he purchased the island in 1983, however it was never used for this purpose, but as a quarantine hospital for yellow fever cases. A highlight of your visit will be the Aldabra giant tortoise sanctuary. These majestic tortoises, some over 100 years old, were originally a gift from the British Governor of Seychelles. Spend time sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling and enjoying the tranquillity of the island. A boat trip from Stone Town to the island takes 30 minutes.
- Green turtle nesting adventure – Enjoy the unforgettable experience of watching green turtle hatchlings as they find their way out of their sandy nests and crawl to the ocean. This excursion begins with guests meeting for sundowners and an introduction to nesting, tag data, weather and the challenging factors hatchlings face. We discuss why &Beyond nurtures these hatchlings and how we help to deter predators, gather data to observe how effective &Beyond Mnemba Island is as a nesting site and how we allow them a more natural start to their journey. Only one in 1 000 make it to adulthood and it takes roughly 20 years or more before they reach sexual maturity and can start reproducing. Learn about turtle etiquette, the sensitive ways the turtles are approached, and the conservation aspect: it has taken two decades of dedicated research and monitoring to make this conservation experience possible. Hatching is a year-round possibility that generally peaks between February and March; however, as hatchings cannot be guaranteed, this experience is not available to pre-book.