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:

Andrea Hulme
Andrea Hulme
Rod Tether
Rod Tether
Vanessa Janion
Vanessa Janion

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

Falling in love with Botwsana, two weeks we will never forget

"Natural High couldn’t have been more helpful in putting together a fantastic honeymoon for us. We had an amazing two weeks in Botswana, staying in a variety of incredible camps - all offering a slightly different experience, incredible game viewing and the most amazing food. We don’t expect be able to match the gin and tonics by watering holes in the bush for a long time!"

Arabella Lamont CR

Surpassed our already high expectations. Perfectly tailored, seamless trip!

"Andrea was absolutely stellar. She had organized our honeymoon two years ago, and it was such an achievement that I came back to work with her for this trip to India. Luckily, she was able to live up to - and surpass - our expectations for our prior experience. Responsive and thoughtful, she tailored the trip wonderfully to our very particular tastes. Everything was spot on and seamless. A wonderful experience!"

GG

Natural High

"I do recommend them."

Charles & Jo Mercey RT

Natural High

"They were incredibly helpful with choosing which camps we should go to and they took extra time to learn about us as a family so that they could be most able to advise us...I found them extremely willing to answer any questions and always responded in an extremely quick manner. Our itinerary went exactly as outlined and was very comforting to have someone every step of the way who was there to facilitate our moves between camps. We felt very lucky to have seen the parts of Kenya that we did and we would have never been able to research enough to affect the same things on our own."

Susannah Furr VJ

Natural High

"Natural High provides great personalized service - they have incredible knowledge of Africa, and work with you to focus your interests and match you with an amazing experience. We have always had unbelievable trips with Natural High!"

Trusted Customer

RECENT UPDATES