Travels with my Art

Paintings and Photographs inspired by Travels Around the World

Zanzibar – Matemwe Beach, Far Away in Time

At 31 degrees centigrade and with a hotch potch of people who frequent it, Matemwe Beach is a melting-pot in every sense of the word.

Between sunrise and sunset the beach, situated on the northeast coastline of Zanzibar, becomes a hive of activity with scores of Zanzibari women wearing bright coloured kangas wading into shallow water to collect seaweed, young children wearing next to nothing running around using the beach as their playground, backpackers in wetsuits in search of the ultimate diving experience, fishermen waiting for the tide to go out so they can fish in their traditional wooden dhows, Masai men in red-checked shukas selling jewellery, groups of local young men playing football and wealthy tourists heading to the nearby private $1,500-a-night Mnemba island to ‘get away from it all’.

With its palm tree fringed beaches, dazzling white sand, turquoise sea and vast expanse of sapphire blue sky, you can understand why Matemwe attracts so much attention.

My family and I spent a few days here, on Zanizibar’s longest beach, just before Christmas, soaking up the atmosphere, gazing out across the coral reef Indian Ocean and eating amazing sea-food, courtesy of the cooks at our accommodation, Mohammads’ Bugalows. We even went snorkelling with shoals of angelfish, zebrafish, trumpetfish and black snappers, in the clearest water I have ever seen.

Call me a romantic fool, or a more accurately a new-romantic fool, but while I was sitting on the beach, watching the sun go down, I couldn’t get the lyrics of Martha and the Muffins’s Echo Beach out of my mind…  Matemwe Beach is indeed far away in time.

Here are a few of my photographs from this beautiful place.

And I couldn’t resist a long shadows shot on the beach 🙂

Dunnell Family shadows on Matemwe Beach in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Dunnell Family shadows on Matemwe Beach in Zanzibar, Tanzania




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  1. lenalimhamn December 26, 2016

    Really enjoy your texts and pics! Thanks! And A Happy New Year 2017

  2. Lea Peters January 11, 2017

    Having lived in Africa most of my life (some of it in Tanzania), I totally understood your pictures. Africa is breathtakingly beautiful. I never tire of seeing pictures of the continent I love. Awesome

    • alidunnell January 11, 2017

      Thanks Lea. It really is such a beautiful place. And I love the fact that everyday brings it’s own unexpected events. Ali

  3. Naomi Byrnes January 11, 2017

    Bonus soundtrack running through our heads as we look at the pics. I can see why the line ‘far away in time’ came to mind. Thanks for the glimpse

  4. paradoxesintemporels January 11, 2017

    Chaleur, des coeurs, couleurs, humeur, bonheur, des coeurs.

  5. wajihaa17 January 11, 2017

    No words to describe the beauty of nature and Africa

  6. Fearful Individualist January 11, 2017

    Brilliant! Thank you for sharing!

  7. burningrubberandtraditions January 12, 2017

    Thanks for this entry! 🙂

  8. shahntay January 12, 2017

    Beautiful post, and I love your set up. It is really easy to find all of your post, I love the graphics and your art. Thank you for sharing your gift to the world, and thanks for allowing me to view. Check me out too…I’m a artist too, but more so of a makeup artist lol. But hit me up at I am actually getting ready to have my website branded and all…just to be taken serious. Thanks.

  9. donnadmunro January 12, 2017

    Hi Ali, I just reposted on my blog I’m an Australian writer who is in the final stages of publishing my novel The Zanzibar Moon. These photos and post has given me more insight into the beautiful exotic location. I’m glad you are a bit of a romantic because my book is a quirky romance. I still need readers of my last draft, so if you had time I’d love your opinion. I’ve used my imagination but you’ve been to Zanzibar. Please go to my contact page if you’re interested. Thanks so much.

    • alidunnell January 13, 2017

      Thanks donna. I will have a look. I can’t promise to proof read an entire draft but if you would like to send me a brief outline I would be happy to read it and give you some feedback. What made you choose Zanzibar? Ali

  10. lekwa ifeanyi January 22, 2017

    Beautiful scenery and crisp pictures. I love your work

  11. that incredible place March 8, 2017

    Great pictures! Have a look at my blog post about the other part of Zanzibar here:

  12. Eva October 14, 2017

    I visited Zanzibar last year and I will never forget the sheer beauty of that small island. I really liked your dawn picture!

  13. apackedlife May 14, 2018

    Stunning pictures. And a rather happy earworm too.. “It’s a habit of mine – to watch the sun go down…”

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