Matemwe Beach

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.