Fumba Beach Lodge is situated at the tip of a peninsula, 15 kms due south of Stone Town, less than 30 minutes’ drive on a good road. Set in 40 acres of private garden and woodland, it is the only lodge in the Menai Bay Conservation Area, well away from the main tourist area, and perfectly placed for exploring the islands and sandbanks of this region of outstanding natural beauty.
A 500-metre beach of sand and coralline rock stretches from the swimming pool to the village of Fumba, and the six suites are on this side. On the garden side, there are two attractive, sandy coves. A 10-minute walk along a woodland path takes you out onto a long and virtually deserted beach, ideal for those seeking complete privacy. The beaches are coarse-grained golden sand, shelly in places, and broken-up by shelves of coralline rock. It is a good idea to wear reef shoes when swimming or walking in the sea for protection from sharp rocks, sea urchins and other marine life.
However, for most guests, the kidney-shaped swimming pool is the main focus of activity, and this is positioned by the water’s edge, adjacent to the bar and restaurant area. It is a convivial lodge. Guests mingle in the evenings at the FumBar, a converted dhow under a giant baobab, as well as poolside during the day; but there are plenty of places to lie around, away from others, if that is your preference.
The open-air restaurant serves well-prepared local dishes, seafood, and an international menu. You can choose to stay breakfast only, half-board or full-board.
There is a well equipped and professionally run dive centre, and both diving and snorkelling take place on a pristine reef within the Menai Bay Conservation Area, a 20-minute journey by motorised dhow. The dive centre offers PADI courses, as well as diving/snorkelling excursions to deserted islands, kayaking, and deep-sea fishing trips. These are charged as extras. A weekly sunset dhow cruise is included - you pay only for drinks.
There is a spa with three treatment rooms and a six-metre-high platform roof under a baobab tree where you can have your massage or enjoy the jacuzzi.
There are 20 deluxe rooms, set in a verdant garden. The sea view rooms are just a few metres from the sea. The garden rooms are set further back, interspersed between the sea view chalets, to ensure that all rooms have a view of the sea. Three rooms have interconnecting doors for use by families. Rooms are simply furnished, with a canopied double bed cooled by a central ceiling fan. The small en suite bathroom has a shower. Double doors open wide onto a private terrace, which is furnished with armchairs.
We recommend the four luxury suites and two baobab suites, which are much larger and more luxurious. They have enormous beds, large bathrooms with both baths and outdoor showers, and some have super private roof terraces, overlooking the beach and sea. The two baobab suites are built around a baobab tree and also have large outdoor baths.
The Beach Lodge takes its name from Fumba village, just 500 metres away along the beach. The lodge has a very close relationship with the local community and is involved in health and education projects, as well as an innovative funding scheme for micro-enterprises. It is good to see that the lodge welcomes local people.
Fumba sets out to be a relaxed, professionally-run four-star lodge, offering good value in an interesting location. It will suit people looking for this kind of ambience, rather than those seeking stylish, luxury accommodation. It caters for both families and honeymooners - the balance shifts according to season.
The lodge is open year-round.