Mafia Island travel guide

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Mafia Island

Mafia Island is a true remnant of the old Swahili coast, a place unspoilt, unaffected by commercialism and timeless.

The name Mafia is probably derived from the Arabic “morfiyeh”, meaning “group” or “archipelago”, or from the Swahili “mahali pa afya” meaning “a healthy dwelling place”. Its history goes back to the 8th century where it played a key role in the East African trading routes between Kilwa and Zanzibar.
Mafia has so far escaped the invasion of mass tourism as building has been restricted to five tourist lodges.
The lodges are like “bush resorts” in that everything is quiet, thus offering the perfect alternative safari experience. Major tourist activities are scuba diving, snorkelling, beach and offshore island excursions.
The places to visit are: Chole Bay, Kinasi Pass Islets, Mange reef, Kitutia, and Jibondo Pass .
Diving safaris around Chole Bay, within Mafia Island’s Marine Park are outstanding.
The Mafia Archipelago and the delta of the Rufiji River form one of the most interesting marine ecosystems and coral reefs in the world. The area has a high bio-diversity and is considered an important habitat for endangered species.
There are over 400 species of fish. On land the rich vegetation is dominated by large palm groves, baobabs, mangroves and fruit trees. The wildlife is extremely varied; monkeys, small antelopes, wild pigs, bushbabies as well as a small colony of elusive hippos. There are also countless types of birds.
The warm, safe waters of the inland bays and lagoons are a paradise for both expert and beginner scuba divers as well as those simply wishing to snorkel.
Mafia Island Marine Park was established as the first Marine Park in Tanzania and covers a surface of 821 km2.

Flickr Mafia Island photos

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Latest Mafia Island reviews (3)

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  • veramente da scoprire... un vero paradiso.. anche su ci sono itinerari per un viaggio da favola :)
    a couple of years ago report abuse
  • A visit to the lighthouse will allow you to see far to the south over the Mlola Forest, protected for its vegetation and wildlife, including Sykes monkeys. There are magnificent baobabs in the north of Mafia, especially at Ras Mkumbi (the northern tip of the island, just beyond Bweni village.
    a couple of years ago report abuse
  • Located at Bweni Village near the northern tip of Mafia is a lovely promontory called Ras Bweni. “Ras” stands for peninsula, and from here one has fine views of the sweeping bay and palm-fringed beaches, superb sunsets over the Rufiji Delta and the moon rising over the Indian Ocean. This part of Mafia is where the beautiful beaches have been formed. In contrast the Chole Bay side of Mafia is superb for diving and snorkelling. A journey to the north takes the visitor to a completely different part of Mafia that is quite another world of vegetation, beaches and activities For more info you can visit www.mafiaisland,com
    a couple of years ago report abuse



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