We recently stayed in the Mahaba Hut at Mnarani for a week in September and not only did we have an amazing East-African holiday in the sun we also got married at the resort as well!
We can not be more complimentary about the whole experience. In the months leading up to our arrival, Yussif the resort manager, answered all our queries about the finer details of the wedding day and ceremony. On arrival at the resort, it was a quiet time of year, so we felt like we had the whole place to ourselves! The weather was amazing, over 30 degrees every day and 27 in the shade. It was the end of Ramadan, but that did not affect our experience at all. The Mahaba Hut was beautiful, and felt like a house there was so much space inside. It's nestled at the end of the resort, so you don't have many people walking past your hut which means it's nice and quiet. And you even have your own private deck area with hammock, just for you!
The pictures on the website do not do the resort justice, it's even better in real life and was exactly what we were looking for. Something relaxed, something rustic and something very chilled out. If you are looking for luxury, this is not the resort for you. But if you are looking for an authentic Zanzibar experience with genuinely friendly staff, then this is the right place to be. We were there for sun, sea, sand, relaxation and Africa. As an Australian and a South African, we wanted something very relaxed and laid back.
Our wedding was a Civil Ceremony, performed on our private deck overlooking the beautiful blue ocean. The staff went over and above to make it a special day for us, making arches from palm leaves and fresh flowers from the resort gardens! One staff member spent 2 hours on the morning of the wedding just tying fresh bunches of flowers all over our hut and balcony. Photos on the beach, a sunset cruise with Captain Jack to watch the amazing Nungwi sunset... and then a private lobster BBQ dinner back on our deck. What more could you ask for on your wedding day?
There is no excuse for anyone to complain when the tide goes out. The reef is full of amazing things to discover! Huge, bright starfish. Local villagers fishing and collecting octopus. Watching their daily routine of heading out to the reef from my hamock was an experience I will never forget. The same group of ladies came past every day, with large pots on their head brimming with their catch! And when the local women and children return and the tide comes in, then you get to watch the spectacle of the men in the dhow boats heading out to catch fish in the deeper waters beyond the reef. Truly postcard images. If exploring the reef is not for you, then there is the beautiful resort pool, relaxing in your hammock, having a cool beer at the bar, getting a massage in the Cinnamon Hut, or taking a stroll along the beaches. We walked all the way to Kendwa Beach and back one day, it was just a simple matter of timing it with the tides. Mnemba Atoll - fantastic snorkelling and a freshly cooked seafood lunch on the whitest beach you will ever see! Nothing beats some white snapper, fresh herbs and spices, wrapped up in some tin foil and cooked on a fire in the sand.
The owner of the resort, Nassor, was there during our stay and also at our wedding ceremony. It was great to be able to sit with him at the bar and learn more about the local culture and how the resort came to be what it is today.
We could not have found a more perfect place for our wedding and we are so glad that we chose Mnarani. The staff made us feel so welcome and by the time we left we felt as though they were our friends. It was a truly memorable experience and we cannot wait to go back again one day.
Nassor, Yussif, Berina, Shaban, Fatma, Andrew, Katemba, Captain Jack, Hatibu and all the rest of the staff....thank you so much!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mnarani Beach Cottages is a beach resort hotel, located on the northernmost tip of Zanzibar Island in the village of Nungwi, next to the old lighthouse.Mnarani has been independently recommended by The Lonely Planet Guide, The Bradt Guide to Zanzibar and many other East African travel guidebooks. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mnarani Beach Cottages Hotel Nungwi
- Mnarani Beach Hotel
- Mnarani Beach Resort
- Mnarani Beach Cottages Zanzibar Island/Nungwi