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Mafia Island


1/3 Dhows on a peaceful ocean
Dhows on a peaceful ocean
2/3 Guest chalet
Guest chalet
3/3 Yellow fish on the reefs off Mafia Island
Yellow fish on the reefs off Mafia Island

Mafia island lies off the Rufiji delta, 30 minutes flying - and a century in attitude - south east of Dar es Salaam

Mafia island lies off the Rufiji delta, 30 minutes flying - and a century in attitude - south east of Dar es Salaam. Still reassuringly sleepy with few roads and some good beaches, the big draw is undoubtedly the excellent diving.  Established as the first of Tanzania's Marine Parks, the Mafia island Marine Park presides over more than 800 square kilometres of some of the richest coral reefs and most diverse marine ecosystems in the world. With over 400 species of fish, and having escaped the worst of the bleaching that has afflicted other reefs in this part of the world, the diving alone is reason enough to visit.  Normally being the epicentre of the action, Chole Bay has several good places to stay of which our current favourites include {Pole Pole} {Kinasi} and {Chole Mjini}, all of which are very different character in character. 


A few of our favourite places to stay:

Guest chalet

Pole Pole

Pole Pole is a little slice of Italy on the edge of Chole Bay on


View other places to stay in Mafia Island

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Vanessa Janion

Vanessa's 16 years in travel has seen her knowledge develop from sub-Saharan Africa into North Africa, Central and Southern America and the Galapagos. Consequently, she’s a veritable encyclopaedia of travel information and exceptionally cool, calm and collected in the face of the greatest planning demands.

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At Natural High, we've had long experience putting together trips in Africa that really work. Whether it's intimate bushcamps in out of the way places, or a private lodge in one of Africa's top-billing wildlife areas, light mobile camping or remote island escapes, we know there is a lot to choose from. We're absolutely confident that we can recommend the right places for you.

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