Mafia Island is located on the archipelago of Zanzibar but it is not administratively part of it. It is attached to the Pwani region in mainland Tanzania, unlike the island of Pemba and Unguja which are semi-autonomous.
Mafia Island is the largest of a small archipelago of islands and atolls and is truly a paradise in the Indian Ocean.
How to get here
- TO REACH MAFIA ONE NO LONGER SAILS, BUT MUST FLY IN LIGHT AIRCRAFT FROM DAR ES SALAAM OR ZANZIBAR, OR ONE OF THE GAME PARKS SUCH AS THE SELOUS. THE EXPERIENCE IS FANTASTIC, WITH GREAT VIEWS OF THE AFRICAN BUSH AND COASTLINE
Highlights to explore
Situated a short 30 minutes flight from Dar es salaam‚ lies the wonder that is Mafia Island. Experience one of the most unforgettable underwater safaris that the island has to offer. The water surrounding Mafia Island are home to one of the regions largest protected marine nature reserves. Host to over 400 species of marine life‚ spend your days snorkelling with sea turtles‚ moray eels‚ octopuses‚ giant reef rays and not forgetting the opportunity to dance around with the majestic Whale Sharks.
Best Things to Do in Mafia Island Marine Park
Between the wild countryside for hiking and animal watching, the incredibly rich marine fauna for its diving and snorkeling, the deserted beaches for relaxation, Mafia is an island where you can not get bored.
Discover the best things to do in Mafia Island.
1. The Island is a laid-back eco-alternative with one straight tarmac road‚ few hotels‚ no fancy shops‚ only 1 ATM (credit cards are accepted at the up-market lodges). But be warned‚ if you want fancy shops and a wild nightlife‚ Mafia isn’t for you!
2. Like the mainland‚ the island has two rainy seasons: short rains in November and December‚ and long rains from March to May‚ when the island’s tourism closes. The best time of the year for diving is from October to February‚ when visibility is best — up to 25m (8 ft.) — and you can dive the walls outside the reef that protects Chole Bay.
3. Snorkeling And Scuba Diving
Mafia Island and its reefs are well-known as world-class diving destinations. Scientists have confirmed that Mafia has some of the world’s richest reefs, with an unrivaled variety of hard and soft corals and tropical fish.
The Mafia Marine Park offers excellent snorkeling and scuba diving throughout the year,
Swimming alongside one of these large creatures is an unforgettable experience while on a safari to Mafia island. The whale sharks are present all year in the waters surrounding Mafia Island but only appear seasonally in the shallow waters off the island’s west coast when conditions are favorable.
Whale sharks are fascinating creatures that can live for more than 100 years, grow to be 20 meters long, and weigh 15 tons, but they are completely harmless and feed on massive amounts of plankton that they suck up while swimming. Swimming with whale sharks requires no prior experience. Swimming or diving is simple with snorkels.
Activities in Mafia Island Marine Park
- Diving at the Marine Park
- Visit the ruins of Kua on Juani Island
- Enjoy the beautiful deserted beaches
- Swim with whale sharks
- Humpback whale watching
- Observe pygmy hippos
- Observe flying foxes
- See the hatching of green turtles
- Discover the wildlife of Mafia Island
- Visit fish stalls in Kilindoni
- Visit the Maasai tribes
- Lounging on an ephemeral sandbank
- Discover Bweni, a peaceful Mafia village
- Taste the local cuisine
- Admire the sumptuous sunsets
We’re looking forward to welcoming you into the wilderness of Tanzania
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