Matemwe Retreat lies perched on a coral rock, surrounded by the best beaches; right opposite the Mnemba Atoll, which offers spectacular diving and snorkeling. The friendly staff, relaxed atmosphere, lush tropical gardens, fine white sand, intimate swimming pools, massages, and their magnificent food speciality (fresh seafood) make Matemwe the ultimate tropical paradise on the intriguing island of Zanzibar.

History of Matemwe
When Swedish sisters Helen and Katharina set foot in Zanzibar in 1989 to set up a small lodge, they had the whole island to choose from. They chose Matemwe, perfectly situated opposite the spectacular Mnemba Atoll for diving and snorkeling and surrounded by the best beaches of Zanzibar. The lodge started off as a place where backpackers hung out with the sisters, local fishermen and other travelers. When Asilia took over, fabulous rooms, gourmet food, massages, swimming pools, great cocktails and wines were added to this relaxing haven.


The lodge consists of 12 beautiful bungalows, built from local materials and surrounded by beautiful garden. Each suite has a private veranda with hammocks and couches overlooking the Indian Ocean. In the room, you’ll find a grand, king-size bed, an extra single bed, plenty of space and personal touches. The bathrooms are large and have deep bathtubs and walk-in showers. Although mosquitoes are rare in Matemwe, all rooms are equipped with large mosquito nets.

The open-air restaurant overlooks the ocean and has a tranquil area to lounge in as well. Seafood is the specialty of the house, with all produce bought daily from the local markets. Lunch is a buffet offering a delicious mix of African and European flavors. Dinner offers a choice of main courses with fish, meat and vegetarian options. ‘Ngalawas’ (fleets of traditional wooden sailing boats), pass by Matemwe – delivering a dream for any photographer – and the lodge is a daily stop for the fishermen who sell fresh crab, lobster and fish to Matemwe for lunches and dinners. Enjoy this sight in the early morning, when fresh coffee and delicious cookies are served on your veranda. In the evening, watch the full moon rising out of the sea is a wonderfully romantic experience.

Swimming Pool and Bar

Matemwe has a multi-level swimming pool surrounded with lounge chairs overlooking the ocean. Freshly mixed cocktails are served at the poolside bar.


  • Internet
  • Telephone/fax facilities; television still hasn’t made it to paradise.

Matemwe is a perfect place for relaxation as well as water activities. There are ocean trips, snorkeling equipment can be easily arranged for you. You can sail or motor out to the local reef and discover the little island of Mnemba Atoll- right opposite Matemwe. Diving trips can also be organized for you with a professional diving center and you can discover the breathtaking underwater world of the Indian Ocean.