Mafia Island is a sleepy backwater and retains a traditional, unspoilt and friendly culture reminiscent of the Zanzibar of thirty years ago.
It is the southernmost of the offshore islands and a 35 minute flight from Dar es Salaam. Within East Africa’s largest protected area, Chole Bay’s clear waters offer wonderful snorkelling, sailing and swimming. Outside the bay are some of the richest reefs in the world, with an unparalleled variety of corals and tropical fish. The best time to visit is from November through to March.
With over 400 marine species identified, this is the meeting place for large oceanic fish, as well as those common to coral reefs in the Indian Ocean. Almost all of the best diving is at less than 30 metres. Divers can explore fabulous shallow reefs, channels, walls and caves. Among the grasses of the Majira Channel, you may find the amazing mermaid-like dugong. Giant sea turtles lay eggs on the beaches of small islands to the east of Mafia, while the fascinating giant Madagascan fruit bat remains an alluring and unusual attraction.
Mafia Island is perfectly located for a number of seasonal visitors including humpback whales (Sep-Aug), whale sharks (Oct-Mar) and both green and hawksbill turtles (Jun-Sep).
View suggested itinerary