Beach + Island

Escaping Winter

by Cathay Che

It takes a while to get here, but exoticism is the appeal of a trip to this legendary port, where the civilizations of Arabia, Africa, and India all intersect. Staying at Mnemba Island Lodge, however, a mile-long private atoll wreathed in tropical forest and white coral sand, might make you forget why you came all this way. It's tempting to spend the day holed up in one of the 10 hand-woven, palm-frond bungalows, eating fresh-caught lobster and breadfruit and sipping Champagne. And the water is so gentle and warm. Nonetheless, tear yourself away for some time in the capital, Stone Town. Sama Tours will guide you through the snaking alleyways, pointing out the old Portuguese fort, the crumbling ruins of the original Omani settlement, the Anglican cathedral, and the colonnaded House of Wonders, once the home of Sultan Sayyid Said. The harbor is filled with dhows (pictured), traditional wooden sailboats used by fishermen. Charter one to do some sport fishing of your own, then have your catch spiced and grilled for dinner at the Mangapwani Serena Hotel's restaurant, located a 30-minute drive from Stone Town.

Mnemba Island Lodge
Tel: 888 882 3742
Tel: 27 11 809 4300

Sama Tours
Tel: 255 242 233 543

Mangapwani Serena Restaurant
Tel: 255 272 504 158
Fax: 255 272 504 155

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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