Great small scale hotel with with very good food, only 5 rooms and located in a very pleasant village where you can sit on your veranda and see the daily life go by.
Below my experience and view on our stay at Mamamapambo and Zanzibar ...
A bit of a list but hope you find it useful :)
- Rooms at Mamamapambo
I had the room on the first floor with sea view, a huge veranda to chill out and big bathroom with good working warm water and good water pressure. Decoration and style was absolutely charming. This room and the 2 sea view rooms on the ground floor are the best.
At low tide you can see daily life of the locals, the women harvesting sea weed, people hunting for octopus and kids playing soccer on the beach.
- The Food at Mamamapambo
Some unusual combinations but excellent. One day Fabio bought a fresh tuna and we had Tuna Carpaccio with fresh passion fruit for dinner; delicious!
Around noon the menu of the evening is written on the board and you can decide you eat in or go elsewhere. (We ate in many times :)
Breakfast was good with fresh fruit, pastries and eggs or pancakes of choice which the friendly staff will prepare for you.
- The Village
Long and stretched (about 6km). From the hotel you can walk south following the beach when it is hot and end afternoon when it is a bit cooler walk back via the village.
There weren't a lot of sellers on the beach in Jambiani and the few we saw were friendly and we had a nice chat (even we didn't buy anything).
There are some initiatives to clean the beach and village and I found Jambiani cleaner than some other villages we visited...
There is a school and clinic. We visited the school and the teacher gave us a tour. We donated some money and we brought school materials (pens, pencils, note blocks, etc) which really, really they can use....
Overall felt at ease in Jambiani.
- Changing Money
For excursions you can pay in USD or EUR. Restaurants & Cafe's mostly take Tanzanian Schilling (but you get a long way with dollar bills anywhere.)
Fabio can help out changing money if he has available and there is a supermarket in the next village Paje that changes money. There are no ATMs so bring some cash with you... Note that when we changed money at the supermarket they only had change for 80 USD.
Easiest is to change USD or EUR when you arrive at the airport.
TIP: in all currencies, make sure you have some small notes; useful for tipping and they may not have cash back from large dollar notes...
- Excursions & day trips
Fabio can arrange trips for you with help of a local tourist guide.
We choose to go snorkeling and see the mangrove forest (did the snorkeling twice!).
Duwa the guide picked us up around 9 am and drove us to the village of Matemwe. There a boat brought us to the Blue Lagoon; a coral reef which was absolutely amazing. As we did this trip twice, Duwa arranged a typical Dhow sailing boat the second time.
Then we headed off to see the Mangrove forest where they prepared a huge huge fruit lunch.
After we visited the Mangrove Forest, Duwa brought us to a place called Kae Funk, which was the coolest chilled rasta place ever along a beautiful remote beach. We went back here the next day for the sunset party which was a blast!
After Kae Funk we went back to Matemwe as we wanted to have a drink at the 'famous' Rock Cafe (see photo attached), bit pricy here but a good tick in the box.
We paid 30 Euro pp for this. (prices are a bit fluctuating.....)
- Please Do
Take a flashlight with you.... once it gets dark there is no street lighting. Plus in Zanzibar power outage is not uncommon. Our little flash lights were very helpful in many occasions
Wear a T-shirt when snorkeling! Even I am half Asian and put on factor 30, I got grilled...
Bring a straw hat to protect you for the sun... I didn't see any to buy in Jambiani...
If you have spare space in your suitcase, fill it up with useful stuff for the local school for example.
- What to Buy
The souvenirs are pretty much the same in the shops.
We did find that the souvenir shop in Paje (next to the supermarket) and on the beach at Dongwe (near the snorkeling place Blue Lagoon), started with much much better prices then the shops in Stone Town. In any case, always bargain...
We bought some wood statues and nice fabric with colorful prints (great for i.e. table cloths)
Also good African Instant coffee.
The last day of our holiday we stayed in Stone Town. Not only the prices were much higher than around Jambiani for souvenirs, but we were hassled every 5 minutes to buy something (souvenirs, boat trips, taxi, etc).
Jambiani and the south east coast is definitely more relaxed...
- Restaurants & Cafe's
Right Next to the hotel there is a nice chill cafe with decent cold white wine and a great terrace.
Great to chill in the evening if you want to change from the Hotel but don't want to go far.
Sea Horse restaurant
About 5-10 minutes south on the beach had great food and charming owner. Great coconut crusted fish. Walk by to order around 5pm to eat around 8pm.
They don't serve alcohol though.
A bit further south on the beach you will see a fallen tree. Written on it Captain Cook's Equinox restaurant. The cook will often sit on this tree to explain you the dishes he serves.
The restaurant itself is in the village and super super basic, but def has its charms!
The cook will show you his guest book to convince you.
There is an internet cafe called Sale & Pepe in a few minutes walk from the hotel south.
My Iphone worked fine as well on 3G at the hotel.
Again... a bit of a list but hopefully some useful info :)
I fully agree with the positive feedback of the other reviewers.
As there are already many great photos of the hotel, I will attach some of the trips and area.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.