Mafia Island is a perfect escape from the fast pace and busy daily life. This island is still pure and untouched, which means there are no tarmac roads and only few tourists. It’s like Zanzibar a few decades ago. The atmosphere is peaceful and the islanders are very friendly.
Mafia is part of the Zanzibar Archipelago and surrounded by some of the richest coral reefs in the world. Almost half of Mafia’s coastline is part of the Mafia Island Marine Park, a park full of coral reefs, mangrove forests and lagoons. This is the largest protected area in the Indian Ocean. The barrier reef is a dream to divers and snorkelers. It has 50 different corals and more than 460 species of fish! Mafia’s incredible and pure dive spots have remained a well-kept secret. Mangrove forests surround most of the island, therefore the deserted beaches are not as wide as the ones in Zanzibar, yet still beautiful. The dazzling marine life is the main feature of the island. This is the place to spot humpback whales, turtles and the biggest fish on earth – the whale shark. Thus, Mafia Island is a unique place for travellers and honeymooners to unwind after their Tanzania Safari.
This is how you stay!
In Mafia Island, just like in Zanzibar and Pemba, there are several accommodations to choose from. For your convenience, we offer you our personal favourite lodges within our three categories. For Silver, this is the Mafia Kivulini Lodge. A beautiful and rustic lodge at an affordable rate, offering all the amenities any dream beach vacation would need. The lodge boasts clean and tasteful decorated rooms with verandas, overlooking a beautiful garden with palm- and coconut trees.
For Gold and for Platinum, we recommend Pole Pole Bungalows, an exclusive and unique eco-lodge. It uses a state-of-the-art purification system to treat waste water to prevent environmental pollution. Furthermore, the bungalows and suites each have their own unique features, depending on the type of luxury you desire. Each room and suite has its own ensuite bathroom, antique décor and private veranda overlooking a gorgeous scenery. And if you choose to go Platinum, you get to take a dip in your own plunge pool built in your veranda, overlooking your own beach front!
Contact us for a personal advice on how to incorporate Mafia Island into your safari itinerary. It is also possible to combine Mafia Island with a stay at Zanzibar Island or Pemba Island or a dream safari on the mainland.
Excursions and activities on Mafia Island
- Scuba diving (all year)
- Snorkeling (all year)
- Searching for whales and whale sharks (on a snorkeling/diving tour)
- Sunset cruise
- Cultural island walk
- Visit the Kua Ruins
- Island excursions
Traveltips from our experts about Mafia Island
Mafia is a beautiful and super romantic island where you can enjoy peace and friendly people. For newlyweds on honeymoon we have a special offer: a bottle of prosecco, a massage and private dinner for free. Contact us so we can tell you more about all the options that are available.
How long to stay?
5 days (4 nights)
Pole Pole Bungalows, because of the delicious food, nice bungalows and unique location at a tranquil beach.
When are the whales and whale sharks at Mafia Island?
You can see these giants just a few hundred metres offshore near Kilindoni Harbour. The best time to spot them:
- Humpback whales: late August till early October
- Whalesharks: November till March
This is what Mafia Island is all about!
- Beautiful marine life (> 400 species)
- World’s richest coral reefs (>50 species)
- Whales and whale sharks
- Turtles’ favourite spot
- Mangrove forests
- Tropical seabirds
- Baobab trees
- Coconut and cashew plantations
- White sandy beaches
- Palm trees
- Azure blue ocean
- Tropical climate
- Friendly people
- Delicious food
- Beautiful nature
Mafia Island Facts
- 70 Kilometers (43 miles) long and 15 kilometers (9 miles) across
- 822 Square kilometers (510 square miles) of protected coral reef
- Richest coral reefs in the world
- The Marine Park is the largest protected area in the Indian Ocean (1,500 square kilometers or 932 square miles)
- Rich history and culture
- One of best dive sites in the world
- 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Tanzania’s mainland
- Population of 46,000 people