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Beach holidays vacation Mafia island

Mafia island is beach holiday destination suitable for vacation travel
Holiday goers looking for exclusive beach holiday destination, then Mafia is best choice for private Honeymoon tours and Family travel.Mafia island beach has pristine white sand for sun bathing and swimming, virgin coral reef suitable for best diving in Africa. Vacation travel to Africa can include Tanzania safari in Northern circuit or southern circuit safari and then connect to beach holiday to Mafia island. A vacation travel package can contain from 8 days to 12, how ever based on your time and budget, you can plan your vacation tour up to 18 or more.
Further reading and Tour Operator consultations, contact Kilimanjaro Tanzanite Safaris Co.Ltd
Email: info@kili-tanzanitesafaris.com


Mafia Island

The sea enveloping Mafia Island is like mysterious lover. Serene on the surface, it hides in its depths and exciting drama of marine life. It has the kind of fascinating charm that haunts forever.

The flight begin from Dar es salaam and in 30 minutes arrives on an airstrip surrounded by blindingly lush greenery.

Mafia has a rich history going back 2,000 years. It was the centre of Shirazi influence during the 12th to 15th centuries AD. The rich of inhabitants of Kisiwani and Mafia and Kuya were the Shirazis, indicating a lineage of the first Sultan of Kilwa. Elders relying on oral history say that in 1817, the Sakalava from Madagascar ravaged Kua on Juani Island, and in turn they were ousted by the Oman Arabs. Of the ruins found in Mafia are those at Kisimani Mafia and Kua ruins. During World War I, Mafia was used by the British forces as a base.

Chole bay, Mafia’s protected deep-water anchorage and original harbour, is studded with islands, sandbanks and beaches. The waters are paradise for divers, snorkelers, swimmers and sailors. Outside the bay, an unbroken reef runs along the length of the island from Tutia in the south to Ras Mkumbi in the north.

The main drawn card for visitors to the island is the Marine Park, the first in the country and open since July 1995. At sq 51800 kms, it is one of the largest marine protected areas in the Indian Ocean and has been recognized as the centre of the biodiversity in eastern Africa for its profusion of corals, fish, turtles, mangroves, sea grass beds and coastal forest. About 10,000 people live inside the marine park boundary and derive their livelihood from fishing, seaweed framing, boat and house building. The entry fees from visitors are used for the development of the park.

Scuba divers and snorkelers come from all over the world to see the veritable riot of under creatures. Mafia’s best diving is at depths less than 30 m where you can see some kind of tropical marine habitats, including exposed fringing reefs, rock walls, soft coral and algae dominated reefs. Large predatory fish and turtles are common. Diving in Chole Bay is amongst the most spectacular in the world and includes colourful coral gardens, walls at various levels, and many shelves and coral heads.

One of the best fishing areas in the world, the waters boasts over 400 species, Lionfish, butterfly fish,, clownfish, Napolean wrasse, kingfish, rainbowfish, groupers, rays, sharks, dolphins, triggerfish, parrotfish, barracuda, marlin, sailfish, eels and tuna are commonly sighted. The waters are home to several species of marine turtles and about 50 types of hard coral. Some of the best dive sites in Choe Bay are Mlimani (Coral Gardens), Coral Wall, Kinasi Wall, Kinasi Express, Pinnacle and Kinasi Pass. Dive sites outside Chole Bay include Dindini Wall, Jina Pass, Jina Reef, Kinasi Pass Entrance, Mange Reef and Kitutia. Chole Bay is also home to more than 116 species of birds.

Mafia Island Lodge is idyllically set on one of the best beaches of the island. A haven of privacy amid lush greens, it is ideal from those seeking relief from the fury of the city life. The interiors of the lodge reflect the flavor and character of island and soothe the weary traveler just as the friendly and attentive staff.


After warm words of welcome from my perfect hostesses Nadia and Milena, a refreshing drink of sweet coconut water, and an exchange of greetings with the other guests, I was led to my room. The guest had 36 comfortable rooms, nestled among coconut palm and overlooking the bay. The rooms are self contained with air conditioning, electricity and ensuited bathroom with hot and cold water. Twin and double beds are available.

After a refreshing shower, I strolled back to the reception lounge and settled into a cosy chair in the large terrace facing the Ocean to relax, unwind and feel the tranquility of the island. Wrapped up in the charm of the setting sun dissolving into the shimmering waters, I watched, enchanted.

In the warm grow of the mellow lights; I started to flip through a magazine on a marine life. Later in the evening, I was introducing to moist kasha, the manager of the lodge’s dive centre, a dive instructor and an encyclopedia on every aspect of the island. For information on guided tours and services offered by the lodge.

Mafia Island Lodge offers a variety of interesting excursions, snorkeling and diving the colourful reef are the most favoured activities by the guests; equipment is available from the Lodge’s fully equipped PADI certified dive centre, Mafia Island Sea point. A picnic lunch is possible on the marimbani sandbank, about 20 minutes by boat. A 30 minute boat ride takes you to the Kua ruins in Juan island (also famous for turtle-hatching) while a 10 minute boat ride to Chole Island offers a walk through the ruins of Arabs buildings the shipyard, village and colony of Comores bats. Sailing along the Juani channel provides the opportunity of prolific bird-watching. Kitutia/Mange sandback and reef reachable in about an hour and a half during low tide is the ideal spot of swimming sunbathing and snorkeling. On the way back from Kitutia, it is possible to pass through Jibondo Island for a village walk through baobab trees. A dairy excursion by car passes through the village to the lighthouse at the northern tip of the island can be organized; this culminates in a picnic lunch at Kanga beach. 30 minutes by boat is Fisherman Island, good for snorkeling followed by a picnic lunch. The most romantic excursion is the Marimbani sundowner, a sunset cruise of about 20 minutes. Nature walks through the village provide interesting insight into village life. For the more daunting, swimming with the whale sharks can be a thrilling experience. Fishing trips can be arranged using traditional dhows. A jeep tour to Kilindoni (the capital city of mafia), the marketplace, fish market harbour, lighthouse and Kanga beach is another option. Transfers all over the island can be done on request.

I booked myself for the Chole Island tour, before being shown to a table reserved for me in the adjacent dining room. I shared my table with a teacher from Italy and an auditor from Switzerland and an interesting cross-cultural conservation ensued over delicious Swahili and Italian delicacies. Cuisine at the Lodge is Continental with an emphasis on seafood. The bar serves a range of quality wines, beer juices and sodas. A cool breeze whispered through the hall as we finished our coffee.

Post dinner, I strolled down to the beach noticing I was the only one there, I felt supreme solitude. The light of the full moon and the mist from the sea created a trace like atmosphere. I closed my eyes and breathed in deeply the perfume air of unseen secret blooms and embraced this nostalgic experience.

I woke up next morning to an all pervading hush except for the soft murmur of the sea. I walked down to the beach bar and dug my feet into the sand that was gently warming up to the caress of the sun. As I looked out at the aquamarine expanse, dark clouds drew curtains across the sky and a short spell of light drizzle followed. The fresh, salty scent of the sea, the visual feast of limitless blue and spray of raindrops kissing my face…. I considered myself privileged and enjoyed such beauty humbly

After breakfast, my guide to Chole Island led me to a small boat that took us across in ten minutes. I stepped into a past era of merchants and slaves as the guide took me on a heritage walk through the island.

After the fall of the Kua during the 15th century, Chole emerged as Mafia’s most important city. Slavery was on the rise and slave owners, most Mashatiri Arabs, built large stone houses, wells and mosques and settled in Chole. There were also some Indian merchants and shopkeepers at the same time. In 1890, the British traded Mafia to the Germans and Chole came under their control. The shallow water of Chole came under their control. The shallow water of Chole and the danger entering the bay through Kinasi Pass prevented big ships from easy entry and exit. As the result, the Mafia administration centre was moved t Kilindoni causing the population of Chole to disperse and the city to die. In 1961, when Tanganyika gained independence, the vacant land on Chole was free to be farmed and this set the stage for people to return.

The one and a half hour walk started with an Arab house and prison. The building still retains a carved recess on the left wall. Behind it is a well preserved Muslim cemetery with engraved head-stones.

We followed the pass though coconut groves interspersed with cashew nut trees. I savoured the charm of the simple village and a warm but pleasant breeze. On the east end of the island is a boatyard with a long history of boat building. The craftsmen worked in the shed, giving fishing touches to fishing and trade vessels made out of mangrove wood. Outside, under the shade of huge baobabs, fishermen sat weaving fishing nets. The heat of the day didn’t seem to bother them and they appeared completely engrossed in what they do for a living. It was a slow paced, relaxed sleepy setting, a reflection of Mafia’s identity.


We headed to Popo Park, the world’s first park established for the conservation of the fruit bat. Numerous Comores frying foxes, as they are called, hung upside down for the large trees awaiting their nocturnal visit for fruits and flowers.

As we rounded the tour, we stopped at the local dispensary, the primary school and small plots of land cultivated with banana, orange and sweet potato, cassava and seaweed.

The last stop before boarding the boat back to the lodge was customs house built by Arab administrators in the 19th century. Slave auctions are said to have taken place behind it, when the Germans took over, the building served as a customs house of administering local trade and shipping.

Back at the lodge, I had enough time to laze over lunch before starting back for the airstrip. I cast one last long took at the sentinel palm trees along the soft powdery sands and the sublimes turquoise waters beyond. A sense of isolation reigned over the picturesque scene that could have been a muse for a poet. Carrying this visual feast in my memory I felt, but with aching longing to be back some day. Mafia Island is truly an affair to remember.

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