Mafia Island

Mafia Island in Tanzania is a beautiful place that anyone will love it. Mafia Island is in the Indian Ocean as Tanzania’s part of the Mafia Archipelago.  The surrounding waters and the southern coastline of the island are safeguarded by the Mafia Island Marine Park. There are many coral reefs within the park and it is home to sea turtles and whale sharks. There are secluded beaches Ras Kisimani from Bwejuu Island and on Chole Bay, there are the Utende Beach edges.

Places of attraction

Visit Lighthouse

There is a preserved lighthouse on the Island northerly point. You can get a taxi or tuk-tuk or hire a motorbike (piki-piki) for a day. There are untouched beaches as well that you can halt and go for a swim.

Get clothes tailored

Get a tailor and stitch your clothes on Mafia. Pick up from the market some fabric and ask the hotel staff or guide to choose a tailor for you. It will be a souvenir to support the locals.

Try coconut beer

Watch how locals take out the beer from the palm trees top and rig up bottles for the fermented sap. Coconut beer is strong and there is a cheesy taste. The locals like it, you may also like it.

Bird watching tour

Mafia Island is filled with wildlife that you can go ahead into some Mafia Islands bird watching tour as it has natural spaces to see the birds.

Watch Turtle Hatching

Arriving on Mafia Island, you cannot miss seeing turtles hatching. You can see the little hatchlings making to the sea. There is a fee of $10 that goes towards protecting the turtles.

Things to do

  • Swim in a hidden lagoon: Look for a tucked-out lagoon in the Marine Park. Swim in this Mafia Island that has blue waters and you can also go on a boat ride looking out for monkeys hanging on the trees.
  • Stay in a treehouse: Consider staying in a treehouse that allows you to have a view outside. There are unique places offering a good combination of stay and viewing.
  • Relax: A very quiet and beautiful place is Mafia Island. You can often hear the phrase ‘pole Pole’. It means slowly. The Islands point is to go slow and you will notice the locals move at snail’s pace. You can switch off, unwind and relax as you watch fishermen going on their dhow boats.

How to access

  • By Air– Mafia can be reached from Dar es Salaam as there are daily scheduled flights.

Getting Around is possible in any vehicle. It can be a battered Land Rover or some private vehicle. You can get around by a rental bicycle or tuk-tuk. Most resorts provide transfers from Kilindoni, and the Utende hotels arrange boat trips to Juani and Chole Islands.

Best time to visit

Mafia Island enjoys two rainy seasons, similar to the mainland. In November and December and March to May.

  • The first best time to visit is from October to February offering the best visibility
  • The second-best time is June to September as it is the coolest time.

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