We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Mama Mapambo Hotel, Jambiani, Zanzibar - fabulous!!”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 4 more sites!
Mamamapambo Boutique Hotel
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Jambiani
Certificate of Excellence
Wales
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Mama Mapambo Hotel, Jambiani, Zanzibar - fabulous!!”
Reviewed 3 October 2012

Having researched various hotels in Zanzibar we came across a lot of great reviews for Mama Mapambo and so decided to book a week there. Within seconds of our arrival it was clear that the reviews were well founded! Fabio and Stephana (the owners) could give master-classes in how to make people relaxed & welcome!

They greeted with open arms and bare feet and went over and above the call of duty to ensure that we had a holiday of a lifetime there. There are only about five rooms in the hotel and Fabio and Stephana ate with us guests most nights. Our room was beautifully decorated (as is the whole hotel – a combination of African décor and Italian chic) The sea at high tide was just a few yards away from our veranda and we went to sleep each night with the sound of the ocean just outside.

Every single staff member at the hotel was wonderful – nothing was too much trouble and they were always ready to stop and have a chat with us. Once in a while, at the end of an evening they had a dance in the dining room before finishing for the night which was fabulous to watch!

The layout of the hotel means that it’s easy for guests to wander along to one another’s verandas to have a chat, but it’s equally easy to find space to have some privacy if that’s what you want.

The food was exceptionally good, (with all bread, pastries, biscuits and pasta being made fresh each day) It was predominantly fish based,, but if you wanted something else it was no problem to order it (with a bit of notice). We booked bed and breakfast but ended up eating at the hotel pretty much every night and most lunch times because the food was so good.

Swimming in the sea locally is possible most of the time, but it’s a good idea to ask the hotel staff when to swim, as local tides can sometimes make a difference. There’s a fantastic sand bank that exists at low tide about 15 minutes’ walk in front of the hotel where the surrounding water is really warm and clear – it was like bath water!

You do need to watch out for sea urchins though and for that reason it’s wise to take some shoes that you can wear in the water – also be aware of washed up sea urchins on the beach too, as they sometimes get caught up with seaweed and are hard to spot. I took ‘croc’ style shoes, but old, sturdy-soled trainers would have been better. Sometimes the water is very full of seaweed which means swimming isn't quite so pleasant, but it’s still possible and still wonderfully refreshing on hot days!

Mama Mapambo is one of those rare hotels that not only supplies you with towels for your room, but also supplies towels for the beach! They also ensure that the rooms have battery operated lights (to cope with the regular power cuts), hair-dryers, mosquito nets, insect spray and spare blankets for the occasional cold night when the sea breeze is a bit stronger than usual!

There are quite a few people who stop you on the beach to either try to sell you souvenirs or day-excursions. Don’t fall into the trap of just dismissing them as a nuisance! If you don’t want to buy anything, tell them that at the outset, then take the time to get beyond the sales pitches to have a chat to them as they really know the area and (whether you buy anything from them or not) are lovely and fascinating people who are very willing to talk to you about their lives and Zanzibar.

One thing to be aware of is that there are a limited amount of shops in the area. There are some small shops & stalls in Jambiani village that sell fruit, veg and some other stuff such as lighters, but what they stock depends on what’s available to them at the time. If you walk along the beach for about 15/20 minutes,(heading away from Paje) there is a great little gift shop that stocks local art and crafts. We discovered that there are no chemists within easy reach of the hotel, so make sure you’re well stocked up before you go there!

There are lots of restaurants on the beach front but we didn't have a chance to visit them. We particularly wanted to try “Kim & Mum’s” place as it sounds really quirky but didn't we get a chance to get there. We did try “Sale and Pepe’s” though (about 5 minutes from Mama Mapambo) and can thoroughly recommend it. It also has free Wi Fi access – all you have to do is buy a coke. (ut note that Fabio is also willing to let people use his laptop if they need to) I’d especially recommend Sale & Pepe's carrot and passion fruit salad which is quite exceptional and they serve drinks with lovely little bite size chunks of bread fried in olive oil and garlic. It’s worth checking with them whether you need to pre-order some of their main dishes in advance.

Also, be prepared for the fact that there are no ATMs locally and no-one takes credit/debit card payments. I.e. you just have to get out as much cash as you need before you go there. (The only ATMs in Zanzibar are in Stonetown) Some of the bigger hotels will take dollars and euros, but best to assume you need to pay in Tanzanian shillings.

There are quite a few exertions you could take from the hotel. We booked a local boat to go snorkelling and also booked the dolphin trip The snorkelling trip was great, but be aware that the boats often end up with quite a lot of water in them, so it’s not a good idea to go with anything that would be damaged by water. The dolphin trip was fabulous! It’s an early start but well worth it.

All in all I can’t think of even the smallest criticism of this hotel. The rooms were lovely, the food was delicious and the owners and staff treated you as valued friends!

So if you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Zanzibar, I’d recommend Mama Mapambo with no hesitation at all!

Thanks so much to Fabio, Stephana and all the lovely staff there for giving us such a fabulous holiday!

Room Tip: All the rooms are great, but the rooms on the sea front are particularly special.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank jakaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

291 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    232
    44
    10
    3
    2
See reviews for
14
208
21
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2012

Here everyone is guest of honour in Fabio amd Stefs beautiful house. It is a triumph of design and African culture with the warmest welcome. The staff are happy and treated excellently too. We slept so well. It was worth the money.

We wouldnt hesitate to stay here again.

Two minor points: bring Euros as the exchange rate to USD cost us another 15%. Also although the food was lovely, the portions were small, even my petite g/f agreed. This must be how Stefania stays so thin and beautiful! ;-)

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JamesHaughton1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
27 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2012

I stayed in this hotel in August: is a real jewel.
Fantastic owners Fabio and Stefania very nice and always available.
The decor, the cleanliness and the care with which they manage the hotel is fantastic. Great food. One evening we went to dinner at another hotel, but immediatiely we got back "home" ...
For a few days the sea at low tide create a strip of sand with wonderful colors of the sea right in front of 'hotel.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank marpel78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2012

After looking for a prefect Zanzibar accommodation and failing to find a place that was both had local flavor and good amenities, we somehow stumbled upon this place on Tripadvisor, and eventually found their website. At the time of the booking, there were not too many reviews, which I later found out was due to the fact that the place is new, with 2012 being their second season since opening. When we arrived, it was everything we were hoping for and more! The hotel is designed and decorated by the owners, Fabio and Stefania, who put a sophisticated spin on a local African/Arabic theme. The building itself and most of the furniture was skillfully hand-made by local craftsmen from locally sourced materials based on Fabio's designs. The decorations, antique artifacts, and lighting has been hand-picked by Stefania, who is a interior designer by trade. The amenities, however, are on par with any European hotels, including foam memory matresses on the king-size beds, glass double sinks and Italian-made faucets in the bathroom, and some things that westerners take for granted such as steady stream of hot water and a back-up generator, which do not come standard in Zanzibar. The rooms and the hotel grounds are carefully maintained, each room gets cleaned daily and even the sand in the common area gets raked every morning.

Mama Mapambo is the ultimate place to relax. Morning starts whenever you want it to, with the breakfast of fresh fruit and Tanzanian tea or coffee served to your table, followed up by continental breakfast staples such as eggs and omlets.The vibe is set by the steady playlist of reggae and other lounge-chair worthy music which softly resonates through the common areas during the day. The low tide in the morning is a perfect time to walk down the beach, soak up the beauty of the Zanzibar coastline, and get a glimpse of the local lifestyle.

Jambiani beach is a quiet fishing community, and sets a stark contrast to the touristy and crowded Stonetown. During the low-tide hours, you can observe local people going about their fishing and seaweed-growing business. Some of the fish caught will inevitably end up on your table, as Fabio buys it straight from the fishing boat when they come in with the fresh catch. Same with the fruit, which is procured literally piecemeal on daily basis, and which made for some of the most delightful breakfasts ever.

As the tide and the sun start rising during the day, swimming in the turquoise waters becomes the next thing on the agenda. The beach along the coast consists of white sand and clusters of seaweed, but abundance of sea urchins calls for watershoes. Once you wade out a few hundred feet, you can take off your shoes and alternate between swimming and or sunbathing on the sandbank that sometimes appears directly across from the hotel. Fabio can organize tours to the nearest reef on a local sailboat boat, where you can snorkel, or other tours by motorboat, where you can go deep-sea fishing or swimming with the dolphins.You can also walk about 40 minutes up the beach (bike and scooter rentals are also available) to Paje, where the scene is packed with tourists and kitesurfers alike, and which offers more dining and entertainment options. Once you've had enough excitement for the day, you can return to the peace and quiet of Jambiani and spend the rest of the day lounging and reading while your dinner is being prepared from the freshest ingredients. Food is a delicious fusion of Italian classics and the local flavors, and the menu changes every day. You can buy a-la carte or have the dinner included in your half-board price.

With it's funky decor, delicious food, and wonderful service, Mama Mapambo definitely lives up to its "Boutique Hotel" classification, but honestly it has a feel of a riad or a guest house more so than a hotel. The best part of Mama Mapambo are the wonderful hosts! Fabio and Stefania showed such hospitality that we felt like we were visiting old friends. They were always glad to chat with us, sharing with us about their experience of living in Zanzibar, showing us the bests spots for swimming, and telling us about the history of the hotel (by the way, the compound is built on the grounds previously occupied by the village chief, and the door to the compound facing Jambiani is the original door to the chief's house). They were always available while staying unobtrusive, and it was clear that they truly enjoy hosting people and providing for the best, most worry-free experience one can get on the Zanzibar. Hakuna Matata!

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank IgorDmitry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2012

Being budget travellers, we decided to "splurge" a little and spend 3 nights at Mamamapambo (which turned into 4 because we couldn't leave!). We can't say enough about the service provided by Fabio, Stefania, and their staff. They are friendly and professional to the core, and do everything in their power to make your stay a relaxing, enjoyable time. We loved our room, with it's two reclining loungers on our own verandah facing the ocean. The food was tremendous and the atmosphere was warm and fun. We would recommend it to anyone looking to relax in a more intimate, friendly place as opposed to a large resort. We would love to return some time!

Room Tip: Room 4 is worth asking for!
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank brabby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moshi, Tanzania
1 review
Reviewed 18 August 2012

Mama Mapambo is a lovely boutique hotel with fun and relaxed Italian owners. I stayed for one night in March as part of a short break in Zanzibar. My romantic partner and I walked the length of Jambiani beach looking for a place to stay and knew Mama Mapambo was perfect for us. Each room was individually styled and the en-suite bathrooms were unique and quirky. As it was nearly the end of the season we had a choice of most rooms and opted for a ground floor room overlooking the sea with doors opening onto a small semi-secluded deck leading to the garden. We slept well and awoke to the sound of the waves on the shore. Fabio, Stefania and the staff team made us feel extremely welcome and ensured we had everything we wanted without being fussy. The food and drinks were absolutely delicious. I live on mainland Tanzania and it was a delight to enjoy Italian-inspired locally-sourced fresh dishes, fabulous juices and Italian liquors. The overall vibe was relaxed yet sophisticated beach chic in a down-to-earth and friendly way. I would definitely recommend Mama Mapambo to anybody looking to stay on a chilled beach with good food, fantastic accommodation and great company. I'm looking forward to being there again!

Room Tip: Rooms on the ground floor opening onto the beach front are lovely, rooms upstairs have a cool lounge...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RachMacH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belgrade, Serbia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2012

AMAZING!!! We are so thrilled and so lucky that we found this place. Here in Mamamapambo was our best time on Zanzibar.
This bed & breakfast is a relative new one and thats why it has only few reviews. This is their second season and we wish them all the best, because they deserve it.
We are not sure where to start, because everything was perfect...
Fabio and Stefania are the most welcoming, friendly and kind host that you ever could have! Nothing was too much trouble for them, organizing excursions, special meal preferences or giving any kind of information. They were always there to help at any time for everything with big smiles on their faces. Because of them this place has a very special and positvie vibe and we feel that we have friends forever. We really enjoyed late night chilling with Fabio, Stefania and their friendly stuff. We felt like we already knew them whole our life.
The house is beautiful, its right on the beach. As you enter you're overwhelmed with this feeling like you entered your own little paradise. They have six rooms (we saw every one of them) and they are all comfortable, very well decorated and pleasant to sleep in, especially one with a sea view. All rooms have veranda, nice bathroom with huge shower and comfortable beds. Stefanie thought about every detail while decorating this beautiful home.
In front of the house they have enough sunbeds with a beautiful garden and when its high tide you only have to take a few stairs and you're already in the water. When its low tide the view is unbelievable, but if you want to go swimming you should walk for a little bit and you will reach an amazing sandbank in the middle of the ocean. If you dislike walking till there, you can ask Fabio to arrange a cheap boat ride with some local boys. The beach is beautiful, but tides are stronger on this part of the island.
When you walk out from Mamamapambo you have the feeling like your on discovery channel in the middle of a typical african village. Because Jambiani is huge village we had a little problem finding Mamamapambo when we were arriving, so be sure to take Fabio's phone number or follow "Kiddos Cafe" signs and you will find it, because its right next to it.
We strongly recommend taking half-board. The food is brilliant, fresh and there is plenty of it. We enjoyed every of our meal. Fabio is buying groceries on daily basis and Beka (chef) is preparing them just when you order (for lunch) or just before dinner. We liked breakfast very much, especially when it came with fresh mango or passionfruit juice. The pasteries you get are prepared by themselves, so they're always hot and yummy. We liked the food so much that we didnt even try some other restaurants or hotels nearby.
Comparing what you get the price is seriously a joke! We couldnt find this price/quality ratio nowhere else at this island.
When we come back to Zanzibar we will stay here and only here. Their staff is providing a good service and they're all friendly and make you feel like you're at home.
If you're visiting the south part of the island be sure not to miss this hidden gem, you will not regret it.
Mamamapambo rules :D

Greetings to best chef ever Beka (thanks for chapati recipe), hard working Juma (you will become a very good chef, just keep on learning), our friend Konbo, Mr. Omar (most pleasant waiter on the island), Abdullah (never without a smile) and THE REAL Massai Isaaca (we felt very safe ajajajajajajajajaj :) )...thank you all, you were the highlight of our trip!
Last but not least, special greetings to Stefania and Fabio, hope to see you sonn guys...no matter where!

Andjela & Nenad

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank zvrlja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Jambiani
3.0 mi away
Zanzest Beach Bungalows
Zanzest Beach Bungalows
#4 of 13 in Jambiani
4.5 of 5 bubbles 225 reviews
2.7 mi away
Coral Rock Zanzibar
Coral Rock Zanzibar
#5 of 13 in Jambiani
4.0 of 5 bubbles 552 reviews
43.7 mi away
DoubleTree by Hilton Resort Zanzibar - Nungwi
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
32.4 mi away
Zanzibar Retreat Hotel
Zanzibar Retreat Hotel
#1 of 6 in Matemwe
5.0 of 5 bubbles 423 reviews
27.2 mi away
Melia Zanzibar
Melia Zanzibar
#1 of 11 in Kiwengwa
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,492 reviews
43.4 mi away
The Z Hotel Zanzibar
The Z Hotel Zanzibar
#1 of 17 in Nungwi
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,060 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Mamamapambo Boutique Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Mamamapambo Boutique Hotel

Property: Mamamapambo Boutique Hotel
Address: P.O.Box 695, Jambiani, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Jambiani
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Jambiani
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Jambiani
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Mamamapambo Boutique Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Ebookers, Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com and Odigeo so you can book your Mamamapambo Boutique Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Mamamapambo Boutique Hotel Zanzibar Island/Jambiani

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing