For decades, Matemwe was a glorious, white sand beach isolated from the rest of the island by an arid, rocky coral rag which lies to the west. Only fishermen from the four fishing villages sustained the subsistence economy although an increasing number of women had become engaged in farming mwani – or seaweed – in the lagoon.
It was not until 1993 that the coral track from Mkwajuni was paved with tarmac and a new era of communication with the outside world began.
The consequence of this earlier isolation is still evident. Some hotels and pubs and villas have been built but, as a visitor, you will be struck by how few tourists there are on this beach. The white lateen sails of the ngalawa fleet still grace the horizon and the Kigomani fish auction still remains a core of the economy.
When we first came and cleared the bush to build Utupoa, the moonless nights had so little light pollution even an experienced astronomer could miss the constellations and lose his bearings, so many were the visible stars. We were indeed the first house to have any power, a few solar powered bulbs. Come, see for yourself, what life was and still is like, on this wonderful beach. Until then, here are some photographs for you to enjoy.
"Utupoa is not only an extraordinary place of beauty and hospitality, but also a bit of an utopian society. That's because of Joyce's amazing ability to make everybody feel welcome and part of the Utupoa family. In the moment we arrived we felt the beautiful and peculiar vibe of the place - it was like arriving at a group of friends who would immediately accept you. Besides Joyce there is the great staff, everybody warm and welcoming. Five stars plus."
"Just an amazing and adorable place. It‘s a place full of love and kindness ... just like Home away from Home 😉 Tim and Joyce created a little paradise and also the Food is so delicious. Thank you for everything !! We will miss you !!"
"A stunning place with a very beautiful African-style interior and his own history. Perhaps the most beautiful house that we saw on our trip around the island. Lots of thanks to Joyce for such warmth and comfort. In this house you will really feel at home."
Bookings / Enquiries
To enquire or book directly without fees, please contact us.
Please note, we accept payment in cash, card, or via online transaction. There is an ATM in Kiwengwa (15 minutes drive away).
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