Mnemba Island is a typical desert island only two km northeast of Zanzibar and is 1.5km around.
It has a pristine beach with brilliant, soft, white sand and protected waters to conserve the coral reefs, giant turtles and tropical fish in the lagoon.
This is the only place to stay on the island, and the only people on Mnemba are lodge staff and guests, guaranteeing romance privacy.
Rooms are simply but stylishly furnished, in a rustic style with traditional materials and are all right on the beach facing the sea. There is no need for shoes here - it is barefoot luxury
You can swim around the island, snorkel, dive, go fishing or waterski and windsurf. The beach is full of the most amazing shells - some of them massive, but you are not allowed to take them away.
As well as over 300 species of fish, Green and Hawksbill turtles nest here and there are rays, Bottlenose, Spinner and Striped dolphin and Humpback whales in season. The gigantic, harmless Whale Shark, the world's largest fish. You can go game fishing for barracuda and marlin, which are tagged prior to release.
There are many birds and the shy tiny Zanzibar suni antelope inhabit the forest.
The island has no snakes, mosquitoes, scorpions and rats but has many Ghost crabs and coconut crabs.
A small area of indigenous forest remains today, at Jozani. This forest was declared a reserve in 1960 and visitors may see the red colobus monkey, smaller than the black-and-white colobus, and endemic to the island.
When I visited there were plenty of them and easy to see, being all in 2 trees together.
This village is located approximately 15 minutes walk from the Mapenzi Beach Club. We were escorted there by one of the hotel staff, and taken to visit the school. The children and staff were very welcoming - we even had an audience with the Headmaster. Unfortunately we were not very well prepared as we had just walked to the village along the beach; the school was hoping for donations (which is totally understandable) and we had nothing with us. If you decide to visit this village take money, pens, pencils etc.
Grownups and juveniles of the Indian Ocean Giant Tortoises are kept in the Tortorise Nursery on Prison Island with the hope of preserving the species for future generations. Visitors are allowed in the nursery and they can even approach the adult animals and have their pictures taken with them.
Zanzibar offers miles and miles of exquisite white sand beaches. It was hard deciding which areas we wanted to explore in just one weekend.
After our one night in Stone Town, it was time to explore the other coastal areas, so we chose the area of Bwejuu.
Bwejuu lies on the Eastern Coast of Zanzibar and is home to many well-known resorts. Our group was fortunate in the location we picked, as there were practically no other tourists in the area.
The powder-white sand beach area with the crystal clear lagoon set in the backdrop was exactly what we were craving.......a weekend of R & R at last!
Nungwi and surrounding area has a lot of expensive resorts but the village itself is very poor. We went for a walk round the village to see for ourselves, while most of the buildings are made of prefab blocks, some are still made of wood and although poor the area is certainly not backward. My brother recommended bringing pens and pencils which i was initally quite puzzled about but I understtod as soon as the flock of kikds came running at me once i produced them. Also a better idea than bringing sweets!
Would love to say that this is what I meant to do but franklywe just got lost! Most people when they come to Stone Town will aim for the tourist market, but there are plenty of other local market in the town. We wandered along narrow streets and although the atmosphere is vibrant its definitely not threatening. It was quite an eye opener o walk past stalls with chickens stored in up-turned baskets. This photo doesnt do it justice.
Did my very first ever scuba dive here on my birthday and loved it so much now in December i've finally completed my diving course. Mnemba island is surrounded by reefs with an abundance of animal and other sea life. Too many fascinating things where seen including; turtles, coral, fish, dolphins etc.
Visibility was 20 metres or more and the water was gorgeous for diving in.
Boated there from Nungwi with East Afica Diving & Watersport Centre
On the way to Nungwi we went into a small village not far from it. Some of the houses built from corals stones they take out of the sea. The people were very friendly and ready to be photo. I like this photo very much.
Jazeri forest over on the East coast.
It's a sort of nature reserve, where the red colubus monkeys have been studied for years and so are extremely laid back and will throw leaves at you for their own amusement. You can get within a metre if you are calm and quiet!
Don't expect to see any other wildlife though, as it is very shy and the undergrowth very dense. Supposedly there are leopards and wild boar and many types of antelope, as well as snakes and lizards and insects. The monkeys and the plantlife are all you can really see, but it's well worth the visit. The guides are excellent but paid very little, so do tip if you enjoy their help.
Spice plantations - get a taxi or truck to one. Our's was owned by the son of an ex-minister of agriculture and he was extremely well informed and could give us so much info (in English!) on the plants and their uses. Cloves are the main traditional cash crop in Zanzibar and were the main item of trade for decades.
Ask for green coconuts for lunch or whatever fruit is in season (starfruit, mango, papaya, jackfruit, durian, banana,
A real treasure of Zanzibar, anywhere you look at, you can find this wonderfully carved doors. You can see old and new doors, little and huge. Take your time and wonder around and, if you dare, cross the doors and meet the people inside; they are friendly and helpful.
LOOK UP TO THE BALCONIES
At any narrow street of the old stone town you can find examples like this of wonderful wooden local decoration. Balconies, verandas, roofs...
OLD SLAVE MARKET
Near Creek Road, it used to be the market fro the slaves brought to the island from inner Africa. Nowadays you can find here a local market for food, colourful and full of activity early in the morning. The covered building of fish and meat is quite interesting, but don't go there just after breakfast!!
A short dingy ride away from the main island, Prison Island is a good spot for snorkeling and has a few pristine beaches. You can also visit there the giant turtles nursery.