Welcome to Mafia Island
This rich melting pot of historical influences, together with the archipelago’s strong traditional culture, are among Mafia’s highlights. Other draws include the archipelago’s natural beauty, its outstanding marine environment, its tranquil pace and its fine collection of upmarket lodges.
It is the ocean here that is the great attraction. In 1995, the Mafia Island Marine Park was formed to protect the archipelago’s reefs. Within Chole Bay, the shallow reefs are perfect for snorkelling or learning to dive. Outside the bay, its entrance is guarded by a long coral wall, attracting more experienced divers. Here are more than 50 kinds of coral, including giant table corals, huge stands of blue-tipped staghorn corals, and more than 400 species of fish.
This is one of Tanzania’s best areas for diving. You’ll always see something exciting, from rainbow-coloured clownfish to octopus, rays and the odd gigantic grouper or large potato cod. Sharks and dolphins are found in the deeper waters, and at night turtles haul themselves onto remote beaches to nest. Note that due to local winds and currents, dive sites outside the bay are often only safely accessible from about mid-September to the end of February.
Mafia Island and its reefs are renowned as an excellent, world-class diving destination. Scientists have confirmed that
Mafia has some of the richest reefs in the world, with an unparalleled variety of hard and soft corals and diversity of tropical fish.
Up to 24 can be seen at any one time: males, females and juveniles, all beautifully marked with stripes and spots.
The larger sharks are estimated at over 8 m long, so they are an impressive sight next to the boat, and quite stunning under the water.
There are a variety of beaches and sand bars within a short distance of Kinasi in Chole Bay such as Miewe, Mvinje, Marimbani Sand Bar, Mchangani….further away are Kitutia and Mange reefs, which are all-day excursions and usually arranged by the Excursion Manager for all guests, with barbecued fish on the beach.
Kinasi Lodge and Lua Cheia have wind-surfers available free-of-charge to the guests at both . There is a boatman to help and move the boards to the beach.