Exploring Matemwe in Zanzibar – through the eyes of a traveller

If you are looking to experience Africa in all its glory, there is no better place than exploring the vast cultural spaces of Matemwe in Zanzibar. 

Matemwe, called so by the natives, is a village near Unguja in Zanzibar. The residents of this magnificent village make a living by seaweed farming and catching fish to sell at markets.

Building a better future for Matemwe

A group of educators decided to make Matemwe the source of an education project that serves to provide computer skills and knowledge to the residents of the area. Apart from that, another project is finding its feet within the village. The Dada, which means “sister” in Swahili, is a project that helps to create job possibilities for the women of Zanzibar. This project encourages them to get involved in the making of handmade cosmetics. This includes products such as mustard, jam, and sweet treats that are sold at the markets in nearby Stone Town.

In Matemwe is a school calledTamani Foundation, which provides students with a high-quality education. Facilities include a nursery schooland an adult education centre. Here, adults can learn Math, English and Computer skills, bringing a bright future to the Matemwean economy. 

Matemwe is a fabulous holiday destination 

As Zanzibar is a thriving tourist destination, many organisations such as Asilia Africa have a number of properties and lodges where tourists can indulge in full Matemwean culture.

The main reason anyone would want to come to Matemwe is the beach, which is the longest beach in Zanzibar. Across the world, Matemwe is known for its clean, white sand beaches and only a number of tourist structures, which makes it an exclusive holiday destination. The village is surrounded by a coral reef and lagoon, as well as the atoll of Mnemba, which is agreat place for scuba diving and snorkelling. Fish are seen in the waters around the areaand include trumpetfish, groupers, giant trevallies, anthiases and snappers.

If you’re more of an explorer, can walk among the magnificent and unspoilt nature extravagance of the Jozani Forest. In Stone Town, you can stroll along the streets while musing over exquisitely carved doors and mysterious mosques. One of the most exhilarating experiences of visiting Matemwe is the fish and spice markets. Here you can pick any spice your heart desires and enjoy a meal prepared by the residents with the very same spices you have chosen!

Situated so close to the beach, Matemwe prides itself on fierce sea turtle conservation. Many of the sea turtlein the area give birth, and the young wash up on the beach, too weak to make it on their own. These hatchlings are then taken to the Mnarani Turtle Centre in Nungwi, where they are taken care of until they are ready to be released back into the ocean.

Not only is Matemwe a fantastic place to visit, but it also brings you down to a spiritual level to make you appreciate the true simplicity of nature and all its surroundings.

Krissy Georgiadis
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Written by Krissy Georgiadis

Law graduate and wanderlust sufferer. I like rum and beaches.