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

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+44 (0) 1747 830950

Our experienced travellers include:

Andrea Hulme
Andrea Hulme
Alex Edwards
Alex Edwards
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

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Anonymous

Natural High

"We are repeat customers and NH never fail to deliver an exceptional trip. They understand exactly what we want to experience and tailor the adventure using accommodation that suits us and fabulous guides. The advice is sound and backup there if necessary."

Ruth Maxwell AH

Enjoyed EVERY second of an action- packed two weeks in Kenya. Asante Sana👏

"This was my fourth safari booked with Natural High and, as previously, it surpassed my expectations. Vanessa’s Itinerary was spot on - the three camps were very different but all were spectacular with food to die for, wonderful staff, friendly, knowledgeable and great driver/guides. I could go on and on - it was perfect, and the icing on the whole trip was tracking, and finding a pack of Wild Dogs - the reason for going😃
Already saving for a 5th trip and will DEFINITELY book with Natural High - they are the Best!"

Julie Baxter VJ

Natural High

"They picked out good places to stay that fitted the criteria. Very thoughtful and attentive. They called back and they sent emails with suggestions."

Anonymous

Morroco was a pleasant surprise

"This was certainly not our first trip with natural high.
As any other trip, organization was great, ie pick up, vehicles, local guides, food, all well done.
I now have a different opinion of the country and people."

Don and Bernice Willoughby RT

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