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Mnemba Island Resort - Zanzibar, Tanzania | Hotel Review

Barefoot Luxury on Your Own Deserted Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania


Mnemba Island Resort - Zanzibar, Tanzania - Picture yourself on a deserted island, in a grass hut with just the ocean and warm summer's breeze. If you can picture that then you can picture yourself at Mnemba Island Lodge. Mnemba is located about a twenty-minute boat ride from Zanzibar. It has ten "huts" and the lodge facilities and that is it.

Calling them huts is like calling a Porsche just a car. You will never find such elegance on any deserted island so thankfully we have Mnemba Island Lodge.

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I begin to realize, this is not just any "hut". This is the Taj Mahal of huts. All open air, just the mosquito netting keeping the bugs off you at night. Laying in bed you can see the ocean as if you were lying on the beach, wait a minute, you are on the beach! You can feel the ocean breeze as you listen to the doves cooing (OK, after about five minutes the sound of the doves drives you nuts! Our only complaint about the Mnemba was the never-ending doves.)

The bathroom is HUGE with twin sinks and the most beautiful glass beaded shower curtain I have ever seen. Elegance and minimalism wrapped in one. Walking to the connected bathroom is quite an experience in itself. Connected with just a wooden sidewalk and the trees for walls you feel a bit "exposed" but once you get used to it, it is wonderful.

You ask, what does one do on Mnemba? The main reason people go there is to scuba dive. Seeing I have never scuba dived and am a bit afraid of the water I was in a bit of a dilemma. Do I try scuba diving or sit alone when they go diving?

The first evening we went down for cocktail hour. We met up with others we had met along the way and with the scuba instructor and his wife. After much cajoling and hearing all the wonders of diving I figured, when in Rome... and made my appointment with Jan, for a morning beginner's scuba diving class. Was I up to it? Was I really going to take the plunge (literally)?

There are two "must dos" while on the Mnemba. One spend a day just relaxing at the beach. With so few rooms and the fact that most people are there to dive it feels like you have the island to yourself most of the time. The other is to have a private dinner on the shore of the ocean. Eating by candle light under the stars along side the ocean is something you will never forget.

Mnemba is a BOMBASTIC way to end ten days on safari, whether you scuba dive or not. While the staff wasn't as outgoing and friendly as at Klein's Camp or Phinda Rock Lodge, Jan and his wife surely made up for it.

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