Mafia Island is Tanzania’s first Marine Park formed in 1995 and it is often described as the paradise in the Indian Ocean. It is part of the five tropical islands, Mafia, Jibondo, Juani, Chole and Bwejuu which are clustered together in the Indian Ocean to form the Mafia Archipelago. The Islands form one of the most exciting diving and fishing areas in the world and is home to some 400 species of fish and several species of turtles. The Islands are compared with Zanzibar because of their natural beaches, peaceful and calm atmosphere. It is a perfect site for undisturbed beach holiday and a perfect place to find your feet again.
Sport fishermen flock here for the superb catches, many of them great fighters, such as the barracuda, marlin, sailfish and tuna. The main season is from September to March although fishing is possible all year round within the reef and channel.
The area has been recognized internationally as an important biodiversity site. The Park has national importance as one of the few remaining reef complexes within Tanzania’s coastal waters, relatively intact and the productive fisheries and other marine resources provide food and income for the local community.
On arriving at Mafia you will be greeted by extremely friendly local people, self-confident but humble, and always ready for a laugh. At the coast you’ll find mangrove forests, a few short stretches of golden beach and a brilliant turquoise sea. Sleepy dhows float between the islands.
The Islands have lush vegetation and wildlife, with coconut palms, baobabs, cashew, mango and papaya trees in the interior. These are home to bushbabies, wild pigs, blue duikers, genets, vervet monkeys and Pteropus fruit bats (flying foxes). On the coast, mangrove forests and tidal flats attract endless sea birds.
This is one of Tanzania’s fascinating destinations. 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 crawl onto remote beaches to nest.
There are several lodges and hotels providing accommodation service to visitors which include Kinasi Lodge, Pole Pole Lodge and Chole Mjini Lodge.
Six great reasons to visit the Mafia Island are:-
- Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
- Amazing Nature
- History & Culture
- Friendly People
- Peaceful Place
- Miles & Miles of Lonely Beach