Matemwe Beach Village

Matemwe Beach Village: Our full report

23 rooms
Traveller's rating
Good (85%) From 13 reviews
June to March

Set in lush tropical gardens, Matemwe Beach Village is strung along its own stretch of palm-fringed, white sandy beach, on the north-east coast of Zanzibar. The Mnemba Atoll, which has some of the best diving in East Africa, is a short boat ride away, and the friendly village of Matemwe is only 1km to the north. Matemwe Beach Village is not luxurious. Rather, theirs is a very relaxed beach feel – with their motto ‘no shoes, no news’ capturing its laid-back style.

The large main central area at Matemwe Beach Village is a relatively simple open-sided thatched space with a lounge and bar. The low-walled lounge is furnished with plenty of very low cushioned seats and tables, making it a great place to keep out of the heat of the sun. Up some stairs there is also a TV room with lots of comfy sofas – a good distraction for families with children.

The Beach Village’s bar offers local beers, cocktails and fresh juices, while the restaurant serves Zanzibari cuisine. The chef uses fresh products sourced from the local community and prepares a small menu that changes on a daily basis – it’s generally excellent.

The two pools at Matemwe Beach Village (one raised up and trickling into the lower pool) are surrounded by comfortable sunloungers, and there are plenty of areas to relax in the shade.

There are three different types of accommodation at Matemwe Beach Village:

  • 16 standard rooms (also called Kijiji rooms) are simple, yet comfortable, and some have sea views.

  • Five very spacious Shamba suites are described by Matemwe Beach Village as ‘funky and romantic’, which is quite an accurate description. They’re good for couples and families, with a double bed and enough space for an additional single bed and a ‘barazza’ bed upstairs for smaller children. These suites are fitted with air conditioning and a ceiling fan.

  • The Asali suite is specifically designed for honeymooners or romantic couples. Set right on the beachfront, it’s very spacious and entirely separate from the rest of the lodge. It even comes with its very own plunge pool, private beach and chef!
Matemwe Beach Village is a good choice for those hoping to dive or snorkel as it has its own five-star PADI-affiliated dive operation called One Ocean. Non-divers may enjoy relaxing on the beach, swimming, taking a cruise in a dhow, or free reef walks at low tide.

Our view

Matemwe Beach Village is a simple lodge with a lovely beach location. It is great value and so a good option for those looking to keep the costs down.


Location: East Coast Zanzibar, Zanzibar

Ideal length of stay: 3–4 days to properly relax and enjoy the atmosphere

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Half Board

Food quality: Breakfast is served from 7.00am to 10.00am. The menu changes daily, but it usually includes fresh fruit and fruit juices, cereals, and cooked options like pancakes, eggs or bacon.

Lunch is served between 12.30pm and 3.30pm and includes dishes such as beef biriani, or the catch of the day.

For dinner, the focus is mainly on Zanzibar and Swahili cuisine. The menu is small, but it changes daily and includes options of fish, chicken and red meat (eg: grilled fillet of fish with passion fruit sauce, or chicken kebabs with a chilli garlic dressing). Vegetarian dishes are available on request.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £10-15

Drinks included: Drinks are not included.

Further dining info: Room service at Matemwe Beach Village is available only in the honeymoon suite.

Special interests

Diving & snorkelling:

See more ideas for Diving & snorkelling in Zanzibar


Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at Matemwe Beach Village. They are welcome to take rides on the resident donkey, Jenny, and buckets and spades are available in the shop. There is a TV room with DVD player and satellite TV, but there are no childminding facilities.

Property’s age restrictions: There are no specific age restrictions here.

Special activities & services: Children are welcome to take rides on the resident donkey, Jenny, and buckets and spades are available in the shop. There is a TV room with DVD player and satellite TV, but there are no childminding facilities.

Equipment: Matemwe Beach Village has cots and highchairs available for guests.

Notes: The lodge’s five Shamba suites are spacious enough for an additional single bed and a ‘barazza’ bed for smaller children. However, please note that the staircases do not have a banister so are not recommended for very young children.


Power supply: Generator

Communications: There are no phones in the rooms at Matemwe Beach Village. Guests may use the phone or access the internet on the office computer, at extra cost.

TV & radio: There is no radio at Matemwe Beach Village but they do have satellite TV in the TV room.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: There is a doctor based a five-minute drive away, where there are also basic first-aid facilities and a decompression chamber.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: There are a number of guards who patrol the grounds at night.

Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers dotted around the premises.


Disabled access: On Request

Laundry facilities: A full laundry service is available at extra charge.

Accepted payment on location: Matemwe Beach Village does not accept debit cards or traveller’s cheques, but will accept major credit cards. Note, however, that these will incur a 5% surcharge. Cash payments may be made in Tanzanian shillings, US dollars, British pounds and euros.

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