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:

Vanessa Janion
Vanessa Janion
Catherine Ronan
Catherine Ronan
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

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

Best holiday and a true "once in a lifetime" experience

"I've been on many lovely holidays, but have never before had the ultimate luxury of such a personalised itinerary. Natural High Safari's attention to detail and total consideration of our particular requirements was quite simply brilliant! Our guide Joseph taught us more than we could ever have hoped, and my sons are looking forward to taking him on an English Safari, though we'll be sorely challenged to make it remotely as exciting and wonderful as the trip we had with him."

Emma Jackson VJ

Natural High

"Excellent the partner in Belize, excellent guide and service. The program choosen for he group was realy tailor made."

Ana Hardoy VJ

Natural High

"Have just returned from a fabulous holiday booked through Natural High safaris. From the initial conversations through to the end of the holiday it was easy and stress-free. Everything went without a hitch, transfer times and connecting flights were all perfectly co-ordinated and the accommodation was lovely. My only niggle was that I couldn't get hold of Vanessa at the office and sometimes my messages were not passed on so I had to call again. Thank you too for all the little goodies that you sent through before and after our trip - a lovely touch!"

Rachel And David Alexander VJ

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