Lighthouse Zanzibar
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The History of the Mnarani Beach Cottages

Our journey started in the mid 90’s as a small family guest house, one of the first accommodation providers in the Nungwi area. Ever since, we have continually improved our facilities, using ideas from both visitors and staff, to offer you the very best of comfort, service and atmosphere. On this journey, we have had some important milestones to become what we are today.


Nassor El Mahruki first had the idea of building a small family guest house near the Nungwi lighthouse with access to the beautiful beach. In those early days, Nungwi was still quite untouched by tourism; the village didn’t even have electricity. The first guests who stayed with us said: “It’s beautiful, but there’s nowhere to eat!”

The lighthouse inspired Nassor to come up with the name Mnarani Beach Cottages – Mnarani means a lighthouse in the Swahili language.


The restaurant and bar overlooking the Indian Ocean were constructed. The site expanded and more cottages were built to accommodate a maximum of 24 guests.


Main electricity was connected for the first time in the North of the island.


The reception area was built.


The Mahaba Cottage, the honeymoon hideaway, was constructed.


The Superior Rooms were constructed.


The Zanzibar House was built.


The swimming pool was finished.


The Fisherman House was constructed.


In November 2016 we celebrated our 20th anniversary. We were amongst the first hotels ever built in the Nungwi area, and we are proud of our long history.


The Mahaba House with 10 brand new rooms with custom made design was opened. All rooms have a wonderful sea view from private balconies, and on the top floor we have an amazing Penthouse Suite completed with a private jacuzzi on a private balcony.


We continually improve our facilities, using ideas from both our visitors and staff, to offer you the very best of comfort, service and atmosphere.

Visit Our Sister Property - Pemba Eco Lodge

Our Pemba Eco Lodge is situated on the remote and beautiful Shamiani Island surrounded by the crystal clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean.


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