7. Mnemba Island, Zanzibar
Best described as a barefoot beach paradise, &Beyond Mnemba Island is a small, private island off the warm, tropical shores of Zanzibar. Quite literally your own private island paradise, it boasts just 12 rustic beachside bandas and you can walk the entire circumference of the island in a mere 20 minutes.
Even during Zanzibar’s peak travel season, this (literally) heart-shaped island nirvana is one of the most romantic, relaxing and carefree escapes, far from the madding crowd. Spot dolphins, watch endangered green sea turtles hatch, dive the captivating Mnemba atoll, snorkel the turquoise waters and toast the sunset aboard a traditional dhow.
This popular diving spot is actively monitored and protected through the implementation of the Mnemba Island Marine Conservation Area (MIMCA). In 2005, &Beyond, together with the Zanzibar Department of Fisheries and members of the local Zanzibari fishing communities, established this protected zone to help protect the coral reef systems, reduce the incidence of net fishing, encourage sustainable fishing by the local communities, and to demarcate specific areas for snorkelling, diving and fishing.
MIMCA’s daily recreational levy helps fund local community projects and supports the local fishermen. This is an enviable luxury island holiday, off the beaten path, that celebrates the local culture, supports the surrounding communities and helps to protect our oceans.