Located 120km or a 20 minute flight south of Dar es Salaam, Mafia Island is one of the most exciting diving and fishing areas in the world. Mafia Island is located in the magnificient southern circuit of Tanzania and Zanzibar and is part of a fascinating array of parks, wildlife reserves and Indian Ocean islands.
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. The major tourist activities are scuba diving, big game fishing, snorkeling, beach and offshore excursions; it is a paradise for fishermen, divers and water sport lovers. The water is beautifully transparent with fantastic views of the unspoiled coral reef; the variety of the coral permits an unimaginable quantity of fish, with diving and snorkeling sites just a short boat ride away.
Chole Bay and its surrounding forests and islands are now within the protected Mafia Island Marine Park. With its fine sandy beaches, swaying palms and lush vegetation, Mafia is the ideal spot to relax and unwind after a great African safari. Isolated islets and beaches, lagoons, coves and channels provide many private swimming and picnicking hideaways. Chole Bay is perfect for windsurfing and laser sailing. Birdlife is excellent and very different to the mainland parks that guests may have visited. The tidal flats and mangroves are always alive with coastal and sea birds and there are many colourful woodland and forest species.
HISTORY & CULTURE
The Mafia Archipelago hosts antiquities dating back to the Eleventh Century, including ruins at Kisimani Mafia, Kanga, Kua on Juani Island and Chole Island. These include a beautiful, barrel-vaulted mosque of the Fifteenth Century and a number of well-preserved buildings of the latter half of the Eighteenth Century, providing great interest for the methods of construction and the ancient architecture.