100% local business managed by a friendly family
Haji Ramadhan Ali was born in “Chuini” (Chui means leopard in Swahili) and it was here he founded his lifelong dream, Mangrove Lodge in 2008. Having spent his childhood in the area, he purchased the land which originally resembled a jungle, and personally followed the design and construction using local carpenters and locally sourced products.
The lodge naturally complied with the environmental and community standards of sustainable tourism and created opportunities and employment for the villagers.
Together with Marina, his wife who moved to Zanzibar from her homeland, Italy in 2006, they were inspired to create a peaceful environment for guests to come and escape the noise of the outside world. A home away from home, laid-back environment where nothing is too much trouble. “Hakuna Matata” is the worry-free philosophy. It was here where they raised their 4 children, Ali, Rama, Omar and Malik.
Their life is more outside than inside, whilst still have the contact with people from around the world. A life less ordinary, a happy childhood with less material things and more nature.
Marina and Haji are naturally bonded to the local community: supporting through special projects and collaborating within the local council. They can help you to get an up close and personal perspective of the local culture, give back to the host village and take home beautiful memories and life-changing experiences.
The whole family lives at the lodge together, where they take care personally of operations and guests like they would do with friends. You will definitely meet them working around. Don’t hesitate to ask them anything you may need to feel the place and country a bit more familiar. They look forward to sharing their paradise with you.
Our Caring Team
At Mangrove, we are proud of our small, friendly team which over the years has become a ‘family’, due to staff members coming from Chuini and surrounding villages. Our people are trustworthy, committed and hard-working. Most of them started at the lodge with no experience and have been trained directly by Marina and Haji, who have been giving job and education opportunities as part of the lodge’s philosophy. We give opportunities to both males and females from youth to elders, Muslims and Christians, encouraging no racism, sexism or xenophobia.
Say hi to our staff if you see them around. The gardeners, Khamis and Babu Ali, who have been with Mangrove since the beginning and we’ve happily seen them marry and watch their families grow, like Vero and Lucy managing reception, kitchen and restaurant.
The main cooks, Bi Agnes and Da Mtu who know all the secrets of Swahili cuisine and cook for guests and family like our mums do. Da Tatu and Bi Acheni have worked in tourism for many years and know Haji from his days of being a tour guide, and now are our Housekeepers and Massage ladies.
And then we have always new arrivals, like Best, Khalifa and Peter who are willing to work in the tourism industry and learning fast as waiters!
You should know that we don’t rush in Zanzibar! We in fact suggest our guests take it easy and enjoy a calmer, happier pace of life. Patience and tolerance, still having high standards make the path for a good holiday.