Mafia Island : The name “Mafia” is derived from the Swahili “mahali pa afya,” which means “a healthy dwelling-place, Mafia Island is Tanzania’s most culturally unique and environmentally natural of the Indian Ocean islands, visited by a select few who recognize its allure and want a unique trip. The main advantage of visiting Mafia as a visitor is that everything is so easily open and inexpensive.

It provides the full island experience, from high-intensity activities to ultimate relaxation with your feet up. As a result, it’s no surprise that this wonderful island attracts so many honeymooners. But it’s also known for its one-of-a-kind island, which features quiet sandbars, nesting turtles, and migrating whale sharks. It is much less well-known and much quieter than Zanzibar and other Tanzania wildlife attractions like Ngorongoro, yet it provides some of the best diving in the world and represents the true meaning of barefoot luxury.

Some people says Mafia attracts individuals who want to get away from the masses and try something new. Another says that the Mafia attracts those who want to experience nature and local culture that have not been affected by urban or industrial growth or mass tourism. Zanzibar may have the name, but the Mafia has the treasures, which is why we believe you will love the hospitality and jewels on this wonderful island.

Mafia is a genuine underwater paradise with some of the world’s most diverse reefs. The island is known as the coral garden of East Africa because of the abundance of groupers, clownfish, octopus, rays, turtles, and whale sharks that frequent the warm, clear waters. The Mafia Island Marine Park was established in 1995 to safeguard the archipelago’s reefs as well as the archipelago’s more than 460 fish species.


The tropical climate of Mafia is divided into two different wet seasons. The brief rains that occur between November and December are replaced by the long rains that occur between March and May. If diving is your first priority, stay away from the rainy seasons when underwater visibility is restricted. During the prolonged rains, some lodges close. The best time to visit Mafia Island is from August to October (slightly cooler) or late December to mid-March for sunny, dry weather. The months of June and July are normally cold and dry, but they can also be windy, which might change sea conditions.

Mafia Island
Mafia Island


Mafia Island is a relatively unspoiled sanctuary for divers, wildlife lovers, and daring spirits located southeast of Dar es Salaam off Tanzania’s Swahili Coast. Short, 30-minute charter flights are available from Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar Island to Mafia Island. Mafia currently has daily domestic flights to all of Tanzania’s remote safari sites. However, flying to Mafia Island is the most convenient option. Both Coastal Aviation and Auric Air have many daily flights from Dar es Salaam that take around 30 minutes.

Traveling to Mafia by ferry is also an option for those on a budget. There is just one boat that leaves from Nyamisati village on the mainland, and it takes around four hours to get to this unspoiled island. The boat, on the other hand, is notoriously overloaded and badly maintained, and multiple capsizing disasters have occurred, making flying the safer option.

When you arrive in Mafia, you can take native shared taxis called “dala-dalas” to explore the island. These run between Kilindoni (the airport and port) and Utende and Bweni. However, a tuk-tuk or rented bicycle can be used to get around. The majority of resorts offer transport from Kilindoni, and hotels and dive centers in Utende can frequently arrange boat tours to Chole and Juani islands.


  1. Scuba Diving

The most popular tourism activity on Mafia is scuba diving. The Mafia Island Marine Park protects over half of the shoreline, and there is abundant marine life. More than 460 tropical fish species, five turtle species, the elusive dugong, and a plethora of hard and soft corals are among the highlights. Whale sharks arrive in Mafia’s seas on their annual migration from September to March, and may often be observed feeding in great numbers on plankton upwellings, so it’s up to you whether you want to experience this true and spectacular adventure diving with these creatures.

  1. Deep-water fishing

 Are drawn to Mafia because of its abundant marine life. Charter expeditions beyond the marine park’s reefs, atolls, and seamounts offer the chance to catch a range of species such as sailfish, wahoo, tuna, and gigantic trevallies. You can also participate in a variety of other watersports. Snorkeling is fantastic at shallow reef spots, while sea kayaking is the ideal way to explore the island’s tidal mangrove woods.

Mafia Island
Deep-water fishing[ at Mafia Island
  1. Wildlife Viewing

 The island’s lush interior contains a broad range of ecosystems, including coastal high woodland and lowland rainforest. On foot, explore these untamed landscapes and meet face-to-face with inborn monkeys, squirrels, flying foxes, and reptiles, as well as over 120 bird species. Humpback whales can be seen migrating by the island in September and August, while baby turtles hatch on Juani Island’s eastern shore between June and September.

  1. Historic Remains and Culture Tours

 Ruined towns all around the archipelago bear witness to the Mafia’s trading past. The Kua Ruins, on Juani Island, were originally a bustling medieval trading station with Swahili homes, mosques, and a sultan’s palace. Many of the ruins are now overgrown with fig roots, creating the impression that you’ve stumbled upon a vanished civilization. On Chole Island, there are also Arabic ruins from the 12th century and German remains from the colonial occupation during World War I.


The archipelago offers a wide range of accommodations, from fairytale tree lodges to private island retreats and laid-back boutique hotels. However, most of Mafia’s lodging is concentrated around Kilindoni (the best bet for backpackers) and Utende (best for luxury lodges and divers). If you stay in Utende, you must pay a daily conservation charge of US $20 because it is part of the Mafia Island Marine Park. The following are some of the greatest accommodations/places to stay when on a tour to Mafia Island.

  1. Mafia Island lodge

The beach is only a 2-minute walk from this lodge. The Mafia Island Lodge is located near Utende, in the Mafia Island Region, and features a grill and a spa center. The hotel features a sun terrace with views of the sea, as well as a restaurant and a bar where guests may enjoy a meal or a drink. On-site parking is available for a fee.

There is a private bathroom in each room. Free toiletries and a hairdryer are provided for your convenience. Mafia Island Lodge offers free Wi-Fi, a shared lounge, and a private beach area, as well as bike and car rentals. Snorkeling, diving, and cycling are just a few of the tourism activities available in the area.

  1. Butiama Beach Lodge

Butiama Beach Lodge includes an outdoor pool and a restaurant on the seashore in Kilindoni. Free Wi-Fi and private parking are also available at the property. Each room in the resort has a desk. Each room comes with a private bathroom, complimentary toiletries, and bed linen.

A continental or a full English or Irish breakfast is available to Butiama Beach Lodge guests. Cycling and canoeing are popular activities in this lodge.

  1. Mangrove beach bungalows

The beach is only a one-minute walk away In Utende, 7 kilometers from the Rufiji Mafia Kilwa Marine Reserve, Mangrove Beach Bungalows provide accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a bar, and a garden. A 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, a shared kitchen, and free Wi-Fi are all available at this property. A desk is included in each room at the hotel. At Mangrove Beach Bungalows, each accommodation has a private bathroom and a safety deposit box.

  1. Maisara Mafia Beach Lodge

The beach is only a 1-minute walk away from this this lodge. In Kilindoni, Maisara Mafia Beach Lodge has a restaurant, bar, garden, and private beach area. This property features family rooms as well as a terrace for guests. Guests have access to a communal kitchen, room service, and currency exchange. A seating area is provided in each of the hotel’s rooms. There is a private bathroom in each room, as well as slippers and bed linen. Maisara Mafia Beach Lodge serves a continental breakfast every morning.

  1. Ibizza Inn

The beach is a 12-minute walk from this incredible lodge. Ibizza Inn in Kilindoni features a restaurant, a bar, and a garden, as well as free Wi-Fi and garden views. A flat-screen TV is available at the bed and breakfast. The bed and breakfast provides towels and bed linen. A continental or à la carte breakfast is available at the bed and breakfast. The Ibiza Inn has a terrace. There is a bicycle rental service offered at this hotel.

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