Of all the iconic places in Tanzania, Mafia Island is a special one. Its sandy beaches and turquoise waters magnetize international visitors . The Island offers a pristine environment: jungles, bays and tropical ambience are sure to delight all types of travellers.
A visit to Mafia Island is sure to be a perfect culmination of safari adventures on the mainland: after visiting Serengeti and trekking Kilimanjaro, relax in the paradise that is Mafia Island.
Mafia Island is by far the most special of all tropical “bounty” destinations. Whereas other popular islands through out of Africa have been travelled far and wide by tourists, Mafia still maintains the thrilling sensation of discovery and areas yet to be explored.When we say “exotic” Mafia, we do not use it as another marketing buzzword, but as a real description for this place. Mafia has plenty of fascinating things to do: diving, swimming with whale sharks and snorkelling. One of the appealing features of this beautiful destination is that it is a lesser-known location in Tanzania, and is uncrowded and incredibly peaceful. Divers, especially, find this island enjoyable because of the beautiful reefs, schools of brightly colored tropical fish and the opportunity to swim with the gentle giants of the ocean: whale sharks! These vegetarians are harmless to humans, but the experience of swimming with these massive creatures still provides an amazing adrenaline-rush for those travellers who are looking for a truly unique experience in Tanzania.
All visitors to Mafia Island will appreciate the beautiful, quiet beaches, turquoise waters and breathtaking sunsets. There is a selection of private lodges offering upbeat service that will ensure your trip to Mafia Island is a truly unforgettable experience.
Why book Mafia Island Adventure with us?
Altezza Travel Packages on Mafia feature the best of the island. Our adventure travel designers regularly visit the island, exploring every nook and cranny of this majestic place to make sure that the most interesting locations and activities are included in our travel packages.
Diving on Mafia island is very special. Both beginners and experienced divers alike will find this adventure truly exhilarating - the waters here are crystal clear and the marine life is abundant and vivid. Many divers say that diving around Mafia island is the best diving in East Africa. Some even say that their Mafia diving experience was even better than on the Great Barrier Reef!
Unlike other popular diving destinations, Mafia is never crowded. While on Zanzibar, for example, a diving boat is often packed with 20 and more divers, and there are often several boats, Mafia offers a more private diving experience‘ your underwater adventure will be just you and your travel buddies for the best memories and maximum diving enjoyment.
It is also worth noting that the diving instructors on Mafia are among the most experienced in East Africa. Your trip will be safe and thrilling!Book Diving
Apart from scuba diving experience, Mafia has many interesting things to offer. Firstly, the BBQ evenings on Marimbani sandbank will be memories to cherish: amazing sunsets, tasty meals and nice wine will stay with you forever. Your Instagram pictures will make everyone in your feed sweetly envious!
Secondly, dhow sailing around the island is a sheer luxury. This is a true Robinson Crusoe experience, which culminates with a visit to Mange sandbank, one of the most picturesque locations in Africa. Though the popularity of this destination is rising, it is still pristine and not popular among the tourists.
Finally, the walks to Chole settlement and Kua Ruins will interest both history buffs and photographers, alike. The ruins of Arab and German colonial buildings are both interesting and awe-inspiring. This is where the present blends with the past.Book Activities
From October to March, the island of Mafia becomes one of the few places in the world to swim with whale sharks - unique marine creatures. These animals eat plankton, which the Mafia waters provide in abundance. Unlike other ocean species, whale sharks have not be extensively studied by scientists, making your encounter with them even more phenomenal. The trip starts with a morning ride to the boat base on the Western side of the island. To make this experience truly authentic, a traditional Arabic dhow (a type of traditional boat) is used. This ensures that the whale sharks and their environment are not distrubed and is a more eco-friendly and ethical approach for this adventure. t. After breakfast, you will sail from ashore and begin this thrilling underwater experience with the 20-meter long giants. You will spend the morning enjoying the Indian Ocean alongside these amazing sharks. Of course, you will have access to the nearby dhow, so you can return for a rest any time you desire.
All equipment that you will need for this experience is supplied by the adventure provider.Book Whale Sharks
Mafia Island Hotels
As Mafia is still not a popular travel destination, the selection of hotels is not as vast as Zanzibar or other well-travelled places. Today, there are only three lodges on Mafia to choose from. A good thing here is that all of them are great and have something special to offer to a discerning traveller. Professional staff, nice cuisine and cosy rooms will make your stay a thing to remember.
Some consider Kinasi Lodge to be the best on Mafia. We simply can not disagree - Kinasi Lodge has a picturesque location, nice private beach, comfortable rooms and even a spa.
This lodge is nestled on a hill, which makes the rooms well-ventilated with a constant, cool oceanic breeze. In addition, the location also opens a great panoramic view from the lodge over the ocean and the island. The bar offers an amazing tropical ambiance and the sunsets are truly magical in the evening.
The lodge has a nice pool and green garden to enjoy. Kinasi’s Barbeque Zone offers the tastiest ribs, chicken and fish, all prepared by skilled chefs. inally, the private beach of Kinasi Lodge, right near the cottages, is one of the best on the island!
One of the oldest properties on the island - built in 1998 - Pole Pole Lodge is a blend of traditional and modern.. It is a less luxurious and smaller option than Kinasi Lodge, yet, it will be a perfect match for an unpretentious traveller. There you will find everything for a perfect barefoot-style vacation - nice and clean rooms, good cuisine, professional team and privacy. This is a small property with only seven bungalows, thus, it is ideal for those who want to stay far away from the other tourists. The lodge is located in an interesting location, treating the visitors with magnetizing views over the island.Also, the place is known for its outstanding eco-tourism practices: you will not find a single plastic bottle anywhere on the property! Overall, Pole Pole Lodge is a highly recommended choice for a cost-conscios traveller looking for a quiet stay on Mafia.
Thirty comfortable rooms make Mafia Island Lodge the largest on the island. Each room has its private veranda overlooking the natural wonders of Mafia. There are four room categories on Mafia - standard, family, superior and suites, treating to the different tastes and budgets. The staff of the hotel are well-trained and known for their high standards of service. The chefs also have a wonderful reputation for creating delicious and surprising dishes. Also, a very special feature about this lodge is the beach bar, the only one on the island which is not submerged by the tide. It is here where travellers can see the most magnificent sunsets and sunrises in East Africa. A truly fantastic place for a morning coffee or evening cocktail party.