Mafia Island beach and cultural holiday

Off the beaten track on a small island in the Indian Ocean. The ideal beach escape for those wanting something a little out of the ordinary
Where
Tanzania, Mafia Island
When
Year round
How long
Flexible
How much
$200 per night
why
Charming island off the beaten track. Wonderful marine life including whale sharks. Dive, snorkel, visit sand bars for picnics, sail dhows, visit historic 12th century ruins
staying in
A choice of small and charming beach lodges offering varying degrees of eccentricity

Mafia Island – Much more than just a beach holiday; Whale Sharks, scuba diving, 12th century historic ruins, small charming beach lodges. All in all a fascinating compliment to a safari.

For anyone not inspired by the hubbub on Zanzibar, but rather looking for real interest over and above a simple sun and sand holiday, Mafia Island is somewhere well worth considering.

A short flight to the South of Dar es Salaam in the mouth of the Rufiji delta is Mafia Island. The largest of a collection of coral atols in the area and somewhere that offers a fascinating insight into a coastal culture away from the glare of the tourism spotlight.

For divers this is an excellent spot, with the chance to encounter rich sea life including sea turtles and whale sharks.

For those interested in experiencing coastal Tanzania, the tiny village of Chole Island is a wonderful opportunity. The island is home to 1000 people, a school, and among other things a boatyard where boats are constructed in the same way they have been for centuries. All of this happens with the backdrop of the extraordinary Arabic- German ruins that bear testament to a bizzare succession of colonial presences from the slavers of Oman to the German colonialists of the 19th century.

If you’re thinking of Mafia it’s worth recognising that it’s not for everyone. If you’re looking for simple "sun, sea and sand" you might do better on Zanibar. But if you’re intrigued by the chance to explore a small island, to walk the local villages, stay in idiosynchratic, but charming small lodges and soak up the local culture, this place is a rare treat.”

Mafia Island

Secluded coastal charm

Mafia Island: Sea

Swim with whale sharks

Mafia Island: Sea

Sail and Snorkel

Mafia Island: Sea

Picnics on sandbars

Mafia Island: Sea

Fish grilled en plein air

Mafia Island: Culture

12th Century Kua ruins

Mafia Island: Village life

Boat building

Mafia Island: Lodges

Chole Mjini

Mafia Island: Lodges

Chole Mjini - rooms

Mafia Island: Lodges

Pole Pole

Take the first step

Tell us where you'd like to go...

Please sign me up for your newsletter
Please post me your brochure
 

Talk to us

+44 (0) 1747 830950

Our experienced travellers include:

Alex Edwards
Alex Edwards
Vanessa Janion
Vanessa Janion
Rod Tether
Rod Tether

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.

All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.

Reviews

Personal service and excellent organisation

"This was our first holiday to be organised by Natural High. We made the enquiry on New Year’s Eve for a departure in February and within a few days they had produced a wonderful-sounding itinerary in Costa Rica. There were helpful notes for packing as they seem to have someone there who has been to any chosen destination. We did do some groundwork for flights but left it to Dial-a-Flight who were also most efficient. We visited the office as it is very local to home and everyone there was cheerful and interested in our upcoming trip. We were presented with a leather file which turned out to be the most useful item en-route for all our paperwork ..... and it smelled lovely!
The holiday was one of our best ever. Not just because we saw a plethora of wildlife, but because there was always someone waiting to whisk us to another destination, be it to the airport, from the airport or a boat to a lodge etc. And they did it with great charm and humour and were always very knowledgeable about any queries we had.
For the last 8 days we had a driver/guide who was just outstanding. He was very familiar with the 3 remaining lodges where we stayed and his rapport with the other staff and guides helped to ensure that we were really well looked after. He was a skilled naturalist, had a great sense of humour and was always putting our welfare first - he made a wonderful companion for the trip.
All of the above meant that it was a really relaxing holiday so that we could maximise our time looking at the flora and fauna of Costa Rica.
We would highly recommend Natural High ...... where next?!"

Ken and Caroline

Natural High

"Brilliant, everything is so well organised. We have had two trips of a lifetime organised by Rod Tether who is also a guide extraordinaire!"

Antony & Jane Braithwaite RT

Fantastic Natural High

"Perfectly organised trip to two great Nomad camps in Tanzania!"

Anonymous

Natural High nailed it again

"Sledding in Sweden was our second wonderful holiday with Natural High. From the moment you speak to them to when you get home the service and attention to detail is wonderful.
Everything is so well planned and organised that you can just sit back and really enjoy your holiday. We couldn’t recommend husky sledding in the north of Sweden more. We all agreed it was one of the best family holidays ever."

Anonymous

Natural High

"Yes I would consider them again"

Anonymous