World Air Travel & Tours Mafia Island, Tanzania

Scuba diving, Mafia Island

Mafia Island, Scuba Diver’s Paradise

Mafia is an archipelago consisting of one large island and several smaller ones and lies off the coast of the Tanzanian mainland to the south of Zanzibar.

The history of Mafia Island dates back to the 8th century where it was a popular port in the trade between the Far East and East Africa. Culturally, Mafia Island has much in common with Zanzibar but it is distinct area which is governed from the mainland unlike semi-autonomous Zanzibar.

Mafia Island boasts excellent weather and is the ideal location for total relaxation in the sun, sand and sea. Mafia is the destination for those who truly wish to “get away from it all” on a real tropical island.

Mafia Island is a marine paradise for scuba and deep sea divers. The pristine coral reefs are spectacular and offer a colourful undersea adventure experience in the world’s most unique underwater seascape.

Other activities on the island include bird watching, fishing and visits to local villages, historic archaeological sites, trekking through coastal forests and coconut plantations as well as traditional boat-building yards.

Where to Stay in Mafia

You have a choice between the incredible bay at Chole in the south of Mafia or the amazing beach in Bweni, in the north. Combine both Chole and Bweni for a full Mafia experience.

Mafia Island Lodge

Mafia Island Lodge, Tanzania

The Mafia Island Lodge stands amidst tall palms on a sandy beach in Chole Bay, in the heart of the marine park near Utende village on the south coast of Mafia.

Rooms and Description

14 superior rooms, 18 standard rooms and 2 family rooms are set among the coconut palms with their own veranda overlooking the bay. They are all self-contained with air conditioning. Twin and double beds are available.

Among the 34 rooms there are 2 family suites, which are made out of 2 comfortable connecting rooms with one sharing bathroom, each one with its own veranda overlooking garden and sea. They may comfortably accommodate a max of 5 guests. All rooms have garden and sea view. Hot and cold water is available 24 hours a day.

Restaurant and Facilities

The main lodge has a relaxing atmosphere with a large open restaurant, bar and lounge area. Other facilities include a gift shop, laundry service. The cuisine is continental with an emphasis on seafood. Snacks and sandwiches are also available.


Snorkelling, sailing and scuba diving. Board games, table tennis and volleyball are also available.

Kinasi Lodge

Kinasi Lodge, Tanzania

Kinasi Lodge is an intimate and lovely resort, situated in an old cashew and coconut plantation, provides a luxury stay amidst stylish décor and magnificent natural surroundings of the protected marine park on Chole Bay on Mafia Island.

Rooms and Description

The room designs, furnishings and finishes are eclectic, combining elements of coastal Tanzania, African, Indian and Arab cultures into a historically accurate “Shirazi” style that is unique to Kinasi.

All cottages are ensuite with hot solar-heated water and have ample hanging space, a desk and chair, verandah chairs and table, double chaise (for full relaxation), full-length mirror, ceiling fan for cool air and power outlets in the bathroom for hair dryers and electric shavers. The cottages have walk-in mosquito nets that cover the beds completely, and have been designed for through-ventilation and coolness in all seasons.

Restaurant and Facilities

The cuisine is a mixture of European and Eastern with an emphasis on seafood, fresh local produce, grills and home-made condiments. Swahili night is a feature each week

Facilities includes a swimming pool, pool bar & grill, library, video & satellite television.


Scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, sailing, windsurfing, kayaks, cycling, walks & bird watching; picnic day trips, road safaris, scenic flights, sailing into history by Ngalawa or Jahazi and Kilwa day excursions are some of the activities that can be done from Kinasi lodge.

Pole Pole Resort

Pole Pole Resort, Tanzania

Pole Pole Resort overlooks the infinite hues of blue of Chole Bay, the core of Mafia Island Marine Park. It is renowned for its great cuisine, unpretentious and laid-back atmosphere, and warm but discrete hospitality. Balancing luxury with respect for local culture and environment, it is the perfect place to relax after a safari, and the ideal base for exploring the underwater wonders of Mafia Island.

Rooms and Description

Seven bungalow suites, perfectly blended with the surrounding tropical garden, overlook the bay.


There are different types of activities or excursions: by boat, by 4×4 car or walking and light trekking. The activities in the marine park are scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing and visiting the local villages. Boat excursions and picnics to isolated islets, sandbanks or islands every day, according to the tide can be arranged.

Chole Mjini

Chole Mjini, Tanzania

The lodge is set in the baobab trees on the island of Chole at the southern tip of Mafia. A small island off a small island off a small island.

Rooms & Description

There are only eight rooms at Chole Mjini and these are perched in the baobab trees, set amongst the ruins of an early settlement from the days when Chole held a strategic position on the trade route between the mainland town of Kilwa and Zanzibar.

The rooms are simple and very open to the elements as one would expect from a luxury tree house, but the beds are comfortable and each room has beautiful views. Above all each is unique, some with four poster beds others with a hanging bed. The bathrooms are situated on the ground floor. They are open air and simple with composting toilets and paraffin heated hot water for showering.

Restaurant and Facilities

The food is made from local ingredients, freshly caught fish, locally grown vegetables. The style is simple with a distinct local Swahili flavour and all served in a relaxed friendly atmosphere. Lounging in your room or at the bar, there is plenty to do at Chole Mjini.

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