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Getting away from it all

The top five most remote places to stay in the Zanzibar Archipelago

Coralie

Coralie

Travel Co-ordinator
Published on

02 Nov 2017

Updated on

12 Jan 2024

Chapwani Private Island Island

The Mafia Archipelago – Butiama Beach

Butiama Beach Beachfront
Butiama Beach beachfront

Mafia Island is a much-less visited area south of Zanzibar mainland. It has a variety of lodges, one of which is Butiama Beach based on the west coast near the town of Kilindoni.

Butiama Beach provides 13 homely bungalows which are suitable for individuals, couples and families. They have been built from reclaimed hardwood used for sailing dhows and are styled to provide a feeling of tropical island paradise.

Butiama Beach Bungalow
Butiama Beach bungalow

Prices start from £111 per person, per night and, though there is not as much to do on this more remote island than Zanzibar mainland, one of the biggest attractions at Butiama Beach is the opportunity to swim with whale sharks.

Chapwani Private Island

Chapwani Private Island Island
Chapwani Private Island aerial view

This small island of tropical wood and sandbanks can be accessed by a 15-minute boat ride from Stone Town on the western coast of Zanzibar. At just under 1km long, the island houses a surprising array of wildlife, including the rare Giant Crab.

Chapwani Private Island Bungalow
Chapwani Private Island bungalow

With just 10 rooms and one villa, Chapwani Island is ideal as a romantic break for couples and honeymooners. The homely décor is simple, befitting an island escape, and the beautiful beaches and warm seas will leave you feeling fully rejuvenated.

Rooms start at £100 per person, per night and each bungalow includes a four-poster bed, en-suite bathroom and terrace overlooking the beach.

Chumbe Private Island

Chumbe Private Island Aerial View
Chumbe Island Lodge aerial view

Chumbe Island is around 6km off the west coast of Zanzibar island. The island is home to a reef sanctuary, a forest reserve and even two monuments. It is described as a barefoot, eco-friendly paradise.

The importance of this island as a sanctuary is reflected in its accommodation which has been designed to blend in with the surroundings. Each bungalow is equipped to catch, filter and heat its own water supply and uses solar lights. One of the best parts of the design is that you can open the front wall at night so that you can look out at the stars.

Chumbe Private Island Lodge
Chumbe Island Lodge beach house

There are just seven bungalows starting from £191 per person per night. As well as being a relaxing island getaway, Chumbe Island has lots of opportunity to explore the native ecology and see their conservation efforts in action.

Mnemba Island

Mnemba Island Lodge Private Island
Mnemba Island Lodge beach

Based off the north-eastern tip of Zanzibar mainland, Mnemba Island is one of the more remote, and expensive island lodges. The island is just 1.5km in circumference and can be reached from Stone Town by a 90-minute drive followed by a 20-minute boat ride.

Mnemba Island Lodge Banda
Mnemba Island Lodge bungalow

The accommodation consists of 11 large bungalows which have been decorated with a combination of indigenous materials and modern luxury. Though they cater to varying group sizes, this lodge is aimed at couples and honeymooners and has been voted one of the top three ‘most romantic ocean destinations in the world’ by Conde Nast Traveller.

Per person, per night, a holiday here will cost from £940. Along with the idyllic beachfront which each bungalow has its own portion of, the island boasts its own PADI dive school which provides diving and snorkelling for varying skill levels.

Pemba Island – The Manta Resort

The Manta Resort Pemba Island Beach
Kwanini, The Manta Resort beach

Pemba Island is another island in the Zanzibar archipelago and offers a choice of resorts and lodges. One of the most iconic is Kwanini, The Manta Resort which sits on the northern tip of the island. The Manta Resort takes marine experiences to a whole new level with its Underwater Room which provides a bedroom four metres below the water level.

The Manta Resort Underwater Room
Kwanini, The Manta Resort underwater room

Prices start from £1100 and, back on the island, The Manta Resort offers a variety of accommodation for individuals, couples and families.

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