As an unspoiled, little-visited alternative to other Indian Ocean locations around Zanzibar and along the coast, Mafia and its surrounding archipelago including Jibondo, Juani and Chole have a great deal to offer. However, as with Pemba, Mafia has better diving than Zanzibar.
Mafia Island is a perfect escape from the fast pace and busy daily life. This island is still pure and untouched with no tarmac roads and few tourists. It’s like Zanzibar a few decades ago. The atmosphere is relaxed and the islanders are very friendly.
Mafia is primarily known for its ocean glory, the Marine Park which was created to protect its reefs. The diving, fishing and snorkelling here are the best in the entire region, infinitely better than those to be found on Zanzibar (although note that the beaches on the main island are not nearly as good as Zanzibar's). When Zanzibar holidays do not provide advanced diving, Mafia has plenty to challenge and reward the advanced diver - as well as numerous sheltered bays and coves that are great for novice to intermediate divers. Snorkelling is also magnificent.
The atmosphere of all the islands is one of adventure: days are spent fishing or exploring exposed sand bars and untouched reefs. Perhaps best for those mad keen on making diving the central focus of their Tanzania holiday.
Rich coral reefs
Mafia is part of the Zanzibar Archipelago and surrounded by some of the richest coral reefs in the world. Almost half of Mafia’s coastline is part of Mafia Island Marine Park, a nature park, full of coral reef, mangrove forest and lagoons. This is the largest protected area in the Indian Ocean. The barrier reef, with 50 different corals and more than 460 species of fish, is a dream to divers and snorkelers. Mafia’s incredible and pure dive spots have remained a well-kept secret.
Dazzling marine life
Since much of the island is surrounded by mangroves, the deserted beaches are not as wide as the ones in Zanzibar, but still beautiful. The dazzling marine life is the main feature of the island. This is the place to spot humpback whales, turtles and the biggest fish on earth, the whale shark. Mafia Island is a unique place for travelers and honeymooners to unwind after their Tanzania Safari. Contact us for a personal advice on how to incorporate Mafia Island into your safari itinerary. It is also possible to combine Mafia Island with a stay at Zanzibar Island or Pemba Island or a dream safari on the mainland.
Excursions and activities on Mafia Island
- Scuba diving (all year)
- Snorkeling (all year)
- Swimming with Whaleshark
- Sunset cruise
- Cultural island walk
- Visit the Kua Ruines
- Island excursions
When are the whales and whale sharks at Mafia Island
Dream with Us
Mafia is a beautiful and super romantic island where you can enjoy the peace and friendly people. For newlyweds on honeymoon we have a special offer: a bottle of prosecco, massage and private dinner for free. Contact us so we can tell you more about all the options that are available.