Mafia Island Tanzania

Mafia Island Tanzania

Located 120kms south of Dar es Salaam. Mafia island is an unspoiled, uncommercial, timeless island, where local people go about their traditional businesses apparently completely detached from the outside world. Just a short twenty-minute flight from Dar es Salaam, across the great Rufiji River delta, Mafia is large and flat, with a sandy landscape that is more similar in character to the mainland than to the coral rag of Zanzibar or the hilly fertility of Pemba. The major tourist activities are scuba diving, big game fishing, snorkeling, beach and offshore excursions. Mafia is a paradise for fishermen, divers and watersport lovers.

The water is beautifully transparent on Mafia Island, and the variety of the coral permits an unimaginable quantity of fishes. The waters are unsurpassed in beauty, and there are fantastic views of the unspoiled coral reef. With its fine sandy beaches, swaying palms and lush vegetation, Mafia is the ideal spot to relax and unwind after a great African safari.

Chole Bay and its surrounding forests and islands are now within the protected Mafia Island Marine Park, supported with assistance from the World Wide Fund for Nature. The reefs offer a range of corals and fish like no other in the Indian Ocean, and diving and snorkeling sites are just a short boat ride away. Isolated islets and beaches, lagoons, coves and channels provide many private swimming and picnicking hideaways.

Chole Bay is perfect for windsurfing and laser sailing. Bird-watching 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. There are also roosts of the unusual and fascinating giant Madagascan fruit bat to see on nearby Chole Island.

People come from throughout East Africa seeking cures or to learn the skills of the art from practitioners on Pemba. The interesting point about Pemba is its wealth of natural resources ranging from beaches to mangrove ecosystems to natural forests. The coral reefs surrounding the island protect a massive amount of marine species and offer some of the best diving spots in the world. While much of the coast is lined with mangroves, there are a few amazing stretches of shoreline and enough attractive offshore islands with pure, clean beaches and interesting bird-life to keep someone busy for quite a while.island