Fumba Beach Lodge is the only lodge in the Menai Bay Conservation Area, located 14 miles (22 km) south of Stone Town. Unlike the east coast, the beaches here are a mix of sand and coral rag backed by mangroves and tropical forest. At low tide the sea recedes by a kilometre. That said, the beaches on the offshore islands are dazzling.
Style and Character
In keeping with the ethos of the conservation area, Fumba is an authentic, low-impact place. Set in 40 acres of forest, it has just over a mile of seafront, three sandy coves and an abundance of small wildlife. At its centre is a large open-sided lounge/bar/dining room which looks out over a pool surrounded by Zanzibari beds and hammocks. From here sandy paths lead to a bar made out of a boat, a treehouse and a string of rooms in thatched bungalows. Staff are employed from the nearby village and furnishings are hewn, woven and carved out of local materials giving the lodge a rustic and unaffected feel.
Service and Facilities
The lodge is owned and managed by Edwin van Zwam and is part of the Moivaro Lodges collection which is dedicated to providing gainful employment to local communities. As such you can expect enthusiastic – if slow – service. Other than lounging by the pool, the Blue World Dive Centre offers diving, deep-sea fishing and picnic excursions to offshore islands. There is also a small spa offering a range of massages and a whirlpool tub in a baobab tree!
Rooms at Fumba Beach Lodge
The bungalows have high thatched roofs that make air-conditioning unnecessary. There are eight garden view rooms, 12 sea view rooms, four deluxe suites and two Baobab suites set amongst the branches of an epic tree with private steps down to the beach. With their handmade wooden furniture, deep decks and large floor-to-ceiling shuttered walls that slide back to reveal the view, the vibe is more safari camp than beach resort. Bathrooms, likewise, are simple and unfussy, consisting of handmade cabinets and moulded stone bathtubs and showers.
Food and Drink
Fumba Beach Lodge has its own vegetable garden and the platters of fruit at the breakfast buffet come from local farms. There is a good selection of light snacks at lunch and the Dhow bar offers a tapas menu. Dinner is a three-course menu, usually featuring some sort of local fish (barracuda, tilapia, crab or snapper) cooked in a European style with a Zanzibari twist.
Access for guests with disabilities?
All areas are accessible. Deluxe suites have spacious outdoor showers and there is plenty of help on hand.
There are interconnecting rooms and rates are reduced if children share with their parents. Otherwise, under-two’s stay for free and those aged between two and 12 are charged at 50 per cent. Cots, babysitting services and special meals can be arranged.