Things to do in Tanzania: Visit Mnembe Island

The ocean off the coast of mainland of Tanzania is full of islands, and one of the most exclusive is undoubtedly Mnembe or Mnemba island. A scuba divers dream, the award-winning, privately owned Mnembe Island, can only be described as a barefoot paradise for those fortunate enough to be able to afford a holiday there.

Getting to Mnembe Island

The only way to stay on Mnembe Island is as an invited guest of the Mnembe Island Lodge. If you happen to land on the island without being invited, you are given a huge fine for trespassing on private property, and then get told very firmly, to leave! If any uninvited people snorkeling in the water get closer than 200 meters from the island, they are forced to move away by Mnembe staff in their boats!

The reefs surrounding Mnembe Island have been declared a Marine Conservation site, and contain a wide variety of marine life, including humpback whales, green turtles, whale sharks, about 600 different species of coral fish, three different species of dolphins, as well as resident and migratory shore birds which feed and roost on Mnembe Island.

Things to see and do on Mnembe Island

Mnembe is perfect for swimming, diving and snorkelling, or simply lazing on the beach and being waited on hand and foot. Apart from the abundance of marine life, Mnembe is also home to Ader’s duiker, and the Suni antelope.

Best time to visit Mnembe Island

With daytime temperatures of more than 30 degrees C during summer, and night time temperatures very rarely becoming colder than 19 degrees C, anytime of the year is a good time to visit Mnembe Island.

If you can't afford the exclusive lodge on Mnemba, don't worry either - a trip to Zanzibar is more within the reach of us mere mortals, and there are plenty of great options. Plus, as long as you don't go too close, you can still see the island from the deck of a yacht or dhow.

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