facebook twitter pinterest instagram You Tube

Private Paradises: Southern Revival

Bill Whitman

Every few days, a handful of travelers gather on an isolated stretch of beach on Zanzibar, doff their shoes, and wade out to a launch bound for Africa’s premier private island resort, Mnemba Island Lodge.
Once visited only by shipwrecked fishermen, Mnemba was more or less a wasteland when Johannesburg-based CC Africa purchased the 35-acre property in 1996. The travel outfitter, which manages resorts throughout southern Africa, began Mnemba’s transformation by restoring its beaches, forest, and offshore coral reefs, habitat that the Zanzibar government now protects as a marine conservation area. CC Africa then built a village of teak and woven-palm-frond bandas, or bungalows, which the company updated and expanded last year.
A day for Mnemba guests, of which there are never more than 20, may consist of a morning dive to explore the reefs, lunch on the beach, and a walk through the forest in search of tiny Suni deer, one of several species that thrive on and around this African isle.

A three-mile, 20-minute boat trip from a beach located a one-hour drive from Zanzibar’s airport.


The resort recently upgraded and expanded its 10 secluded beachfront bandas.

The surrounding Indian Ocean is
ideal for water sports, including diving, deep-sea fishing, and windsurfing.

Meals on Mnemba are served at tables on the beach and consist of fresh fish, risottos, and local fruits, all accompanied by fine South African vintages.

Worthy Diversion
Walk along the beaches in search of nesting green turtles, or fish for marlin in a traditional dhow.
From $525 to $575 per person, per night. Mnemba is closed during the monsoon season, April 1 through May 31.
888.88AFRICA, www.ccafrica.com

Read Next Article >>
From the sun-soaked beaches of Southern California to the sky-high peaks...
A handful of high-end hotels are unveiling new spas, and with them, new...
Photo by Troy Campbell
Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach , located just north of Miami...
Photo by Tim Gerard Barker
For two weeks this November, Hasselblad—the camera company that...
The Park Hyatt New York opens inside the One57 skyscraper on Manhattan’s “...
Four Seasons meets Orlando’s great Walt Disney World complex.
For as long as it has been an elite summer destination, the Hamptons’...
Photo by Dana Allen
Wilderness Safaris’ new Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp accesses a remote oasis...
Sri Lanka’s Cape Weligama resort is the new jewel of the south coast.
The Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, located on Banderas Bay on Mexico’s...