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Mafia Island Vacations

  • 30 minutes south of Zanzibar
  • Very good for diving
  • Essentially an activity destination
  • Best beaches are on islands off the coast
When To Visit Mafia Island:
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Mafia is a sleepy island located south of Zanzibar. With only a few good properties and limited good beach, days are spent exploring exposed sand bars, fishing and diving. Scuba is seriously good here, especially in whale shark season.


Mafia is a 30-minute flight from Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. It is home to the largest marine park in Africa and is a very good destination for spotting whale sharks. The diving here is even better than off Pemba – in fact, we think it is the best to be found in Tanzania.

Favorite beach lodges on Mafia Island

There are more hotels here than in Pemba but, true to the island atmosphere, they are more rustic-chic than luxurious. We think this is a good destination for adventurous travelers who enjoy the outdoor life. It is particularly suitable for advanced divers. For a facility and activity heavy lodge, consider Kinasi, which is the first major lodge on the island. However, if you’d prefer a characterful and quirky base, try either the fabulous treehouses at Chole Mjini or the scenic raised bungalows at Pole Pole.

Mafia Island

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