Just 1.5km in circumference and lying off the clove-and-cinnamon-scented coast of Zanzibar lies Mnemba Island, a proverbial paradise of coral reefs, powdery beaches, turquoise water and frolicking dolphins. Lying on this fantasy isle is Mnemba Island Lodge, where the dedication is to true ‘barefoot luxury’ for all ages.

Only 10 thatched chalets – known as ‘bandas’ – make up the accommodation and the indigenous suni antelope and adorable Ader’s duiker are known to wander happily past them on their way to fresh grazing. Footsteps away from your banda is the beach – occupied by rare coconut crabs – and beyond that the tempting ocean, with its treasure trove of warm water, good visibility, sheer drops, a coral atoll and about 430 species of fish, including quizzical whale sharks. Mnemba Island Lodge is equipped with a PADI dive school and two dive boats, meaning you will always be able to take to the waters when it suits you. Water babies will also thrive on kayaking, windsurfing, swimming on the permanent beach and late-afternoon dhow cruises in this marine conservation area. All non-motorised water sports are included.

Landlubbers are not forgotten: spend the day bird watching (there is a large colony of doves that lives on the island) or relaxing on a daybed set up on the beach with a book from the library. Mnemba Island is also home to a fascinating green turtle population; peak turtle season is from April to August and privileged guests may even be able to witness these incredible creatures being born. Whatever you do, do not bother unpacking your shoes… no shoes and no dress code means a laid-back ambiance second to none.

Recent accolades & press

  •  World Travel Awards 2014 - Zanzibar's Leading Hotel


  • 10 private thatched bandas
  • PADI dive school & 2 dive boats
  • Child-minding & butler service
  • Wi-Fi & library
  • Water sports & bird watching
  • Nesting turtle population

interactive map



At Mnemba Island Lodge, the focus is on appreciating the abundance that nature has to offer, especially the warm waves of the Indian Ocean. A PADI dive school and two dedicated dive boats cater for learner and experienced divers alike while there is also equipment for snorkelling, kayaking and wind surfing. Sail like the mariners of old on a traditional dhow as it catches the fresh sea breezes.

During season, follow the hatching of the turtles on the island or bird watch all year round. For utter relaxation, go no further than you seaside daybed and rely on your butler to wake you or refresh you with a long, cool drink.

General Facilities

    Wi-fi available
    Babysitting service available
    Computer facilities
    Laundry service


Dawn brings the scent of freshly baked coconut bread and the gentle coo of island doves. Each day, traditional dhows deliver baskets of fresh fruit, seafood and fish for the chefs to use, blending Zanzibari heritage with global flavours. In the thatched dining area, lunch is served, often on large wooden platters piled high with delectable mezze. Utterly romantic dinners are served on the beach with warm waters lapping at your feet or the softest coral sand between your toes or join a beach barbeque with the flittering stars overhead.


Mnemba Island Lodge’s tropical beach forest shelters bandas with built-in ‘barazas’ (Swahili for ‘meeting place’) for lazy afternoon siestas. The architecture and decor is ‘shipwreck chic’: high thatch roofs, ornate furniture carved by local artisans and no-fuss interiors.

Past your dressing room, a covered walkway leads to the shuttered bathroom that has a stone shower hung with a glass-beaded shower curtain and a double vanity. The mini bars are stocked with guests’ preferences to provide refreshment on sultry evenings under the soft hum of overhead ceiling fans.

There is a family-sized banda available.


    En-suite shower only
    Mini bar
    Mosquito net
    Outdoor shower
    Outdoor area
    Safe in room
    Personal butler


  • Beach activities
  • Deep sea fishing
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Kayaking
  • Animal tracking experience
  • Cultural tours
  • dates rates from board basis
  • 01 Jun 2016 - 30 Nov 2016 $1600 Fully Inclusive Plus
  • 01 Dec 2016 - 20 Dec 2016 $1155 Fully Inclusive Plus
  • 21 Dec 2016 - 31 Dec 2016 $1600 Fully Inclusive Plus
  • 01 Jan 2017 - 31 Mar 2017 $1760 Fully Inclusive Plus
  • 01 Apr 2017 - 07 Apr 2017 $1270 Fully Inclusive Plus
  • 21 May 2017 - 31 May 2017 $1270 Fully Inclusive Plus
  • 01 Jun 2017 - 30 Nov 2017 $1760 Fully Inclusive Plus
  • 01 Dec 2017 - 20 Dec 2017 $1270 Fully Inclusive Plus
  • 21 Dec 2017 - 31 Dec 2017 $1760 Fully Inclusive Plus

Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently.

Please note, additional room types are also available. Banda Triple Request a quote for rate detail

Please treat all pricing as a guide only:

  • All rates are subject to availability and may change without notice
  • Single supplements may apply
  • Rates may be different for different room types
  • The most competitive rates for accommodation are available in our tailored packages

Request a quote or speak to one of our African Safari Experts for the best, most current rates available.

Traveller Reviews

  • I have been to many beaches and ocean resorts, from the Carribean to Hawaii - there is nothing like Mnemba. On our first night we met a couple who said they had been coming to Mnemba (and only to Mnemba) every year for 15 years. We thought they were crazy, don't they want to visit other places around the world? What are they thinking? Three nights later, I completely understand how you cannot go to any other beach in the world and not feel there is something missing. The food, the staff, the white sand, the crystal water, the sheer amount of marine wildlife, the desire to not do a thing but still be thrilled by not doing anything.

    Pablo Harker, March 2016
  • A really interesting drive to the beach to get the boat to Mnemba, showing of the diversity of the island's people. Yes, getting into the boat ensured we got wet, and it was a bit of a walk but that was in a sense the price to pay for what we were about to see. A short (10 minutes) trip and we arrived at Mnemba and again welcomed by staff with drinks and towels. So, so good! After disembarking we had an introductory session with a couple of the staff before we were shown our accommodation. We will not go into too much detail as all that was there was truly great. It was our daughter’s 13 birthday on the island so the day was made special for her. Starting with the obvious signs of turtle hatchings (in the end we saw 15 get to the water), Birthday cake, and I think us making too much noise with laughter and enjoyment over dinner. On the way back to our banda we saw the rest of the 15 and next day a new eggs laid by a green turtle outside our “front door”. PADI diving lessons for the children, son seeing a humpback whale, snorkeling near the dolphins etc. What can we say? The staff fantastic, our butler Pandu was such a quiet and lovely person who put up with our laughter, noise and merriment, bought us wake-up coffee, sundowner drinks and much more. As a family we have been very fortunate to see and stay at some great places around the world - this Mnemba experience and location and style is up with the best we have seen.

    Dennis Hatcher, September 2013
  • Mnemba in particular is one of the nicest places I have been.

    Gary Arthur, March 2011
  • Was a great way to relax at the end of the trip and it really was a small piece of paradise.

    Clive Gande, April 2008

Accommodation Map

Liesel van Zyl

Liesel van Zyl

Product Manager

"We loved relaxing in our spacious forest banda, with direct beach & sea access for walks & swims and especially relished our barefoot moonlit beach walks to dinner."



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Ratedby 8 Travellers

Read what our Travellers have to say

Mnemba in particular is one of the nicest places I have been.

Gary Arthur, March 2011 >View more reviews