Mafia Island camps - Pole Pole

Pole Pole

Pole Pole is a little slice of Italy on the edge of Chole Bay on the eastern coast of Mafia island. Just seven thatch bungalow suites are dotted around the tropical gardens of this often overlooked eco-lodge. Its simple but stylish, very well run and gets fabulous reviews from those who 'discover it'.

Most of the rooms are built up on stilts, all are very comfortable, well decorated with lots of floaty muslin drapes and local mahogany furniture, each with decent sized bathrooms and their own verandah overlooking the bay. All have ceiling fans and generally they strike a perfect balance between functionality, style and being very low impact, which is a major consideration for this lodge. Two of the suites are family bungalows with two bedrooms separated by a bathroom and small corridor for privacy.

The communal areas are lovely, with a bar and library and verandah overlooking the beach. The food is exceptional, with a definite Italian bias using lots of locally sourced, organic ingredients and the whole feel of the place is wonderfully relaxed. There is a low key massage centre overlooking the beach itself.

Chole Bay itself is the core of the Mafia Marine Park so the diving and snorkelling is second to none with over 400 species of fish and 40 genera of coral having been recorded. There is a boat for sailing trips and picnics to quiet islands or sandbanks that emerge in the middle of the bay at low tide. The lodge itself has no swimming pool but you're right on the beach and, although the patches of mangrove out front might be an occasional annoyance, Kinasi lodge is close by with its own swimming pool to which you can normally arrange access if you're that desperate, which you are very unlikely to be.

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