Mafia Island Tour TTSL 074

7 Days

  • Professional 4 X 4 vans drives
  • Available all though the tour
  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Guided by a professional English speaking driver guide
  • 5 Star Hotels and Lodges
  • Arusha. Tanzania

Mafia island has a prominent place in the history of Africa’s East Coast, as it was a safe haven for ships to stop for water and repairs; Mafia was part of the sultanate of Kilwa during the 13th century and prospered as a settlement during Kilwa’s rise as an economic power. For two millennia, seafarers from the Gulf have visited the island, and it has seen Egyptian, Omani, Greco-Roman, Chinese, Portuguese, and Turkish traders, as well as French and American buccaneers and slavers in the 1800s. Recent English and German occupations have left their imprints.

Mafia Island is located approximately 25 kilometers off the Tanzanian coast, 130 kilometers from Dar es Salaam, and takes approximately 35 minutes by air. The mainland is covered in dense forests of palm trees, baobabs, and mangroves (as many as 7 species). Small antelopes; over 130 species of birds, including a rare species of bat found only on the island of Mafia and the Comoros Islands; and various species of primates, including the curious galacids, small nocturnal primates known as “Bush babies” or “children of the forest” due to their unique verses, similar to human stirrings, are among the fauna. The Mafia Marine Park’s waters are home to vibrant coral reefs (about 48 species), vast submarine meadows, and over 400 species.

Overview

The blue lagoon is a long channel linking the huge inland bay with the open sea that bisects the southern point of Juani. At the end of the channel is an enormous natural swimming pool whose level varies according to the tides and also boasts a staggering number of upside down jellyfish. After a short walk you can enjoy its clear waters, swimming in your own private, natural pool.

Mafia Island Tour Highlights

  • Blue Lagoon
  • Jelly Fish Pool
  • Visit to the ruins of the ancient city of Kua
  • Overnight in Mafia Island Lodge

Itinerary

Meet and greet at Mafia Airport and get transferred to Mafia Island Lodge for the 2 nights accommodation. Mafia Island Lodge stands amidst tall palms on a sandy beach in Chole Bay, in the heart of the marine park near Utende village on South coast of Mafia. Mafia Island Lodge has 30 comfortable rooms that are located among the coconut trees. All rooms have their own veranda overlooking the bay or the large park that surrounds us, hot water available in every room. The main lodge has a relaxing atmosphere with a large open restaurant, bar and lounge area. Board games, table tennis, table pool and volleyball are also available. A small library with 200 books in different languages is available in our lounge. Other facilities include a gift shop and laundry service. Dinner and stay overnight, Mafia Island Lodge.

The blue lagoon is a long channel linking the huge inland bay with the open sea that bisects the southern point of Juani. At the end of the channel is an enormous natural swimming pool whose level varies according to the tides and also boasts a staggering number of upside down jellyfish. After a short walk you can enjoy its clear waters, swimming in your own private, natural pool. The area can only be reached by boat during high tide for a few hours a day. Those more adventurous individuals amongst us could trek from Kua to the Blue lagoon through the lush green forests, inhabited by monkeys and tropical birds. By doing this on low tide one will witness a natural phenomenon only known to few people: the whole channel drains of water creating an extraordinary view of the ocean waves breaking on the reef in the background. A fantastic photo opportunity of nature at its best. Dinner and stay overnight, Mafia Island Lodge

After breakfast we leave for Kua Ruins. Across the bay from our beaches, on one of the largest and most characteristic islands in the archipelago, are the ruins of the ancient city of Kua. An identified archaeological site from the 12th century which still has no firm reasoning as to why all of a sudden the civilisation ceased to exist, although there are various legends. This island is bursting with unusual fauna including wild pigs, monkeys and small antelopes (blue duiker) and is an important nesting site for Green turtles. The city of Kua was established by settlers from Kilwa, and was heavily involved in trade. There are many giant baobab trees throughout the area and most of the ruins are covered in green, being smothered slowly by the surrounding nature. All over the ruins you can readily dig up pottery sherds, some dating hundreds of years ago to Chinese and Persian origins. As you wander between crumbling walls smothered by the roots of strangler figs, you will pass several mosques, a cemetery, a palace with large storeroom, a dispensary and a school, all which were funded by the then-lucrative trade in cowrie shells. Vervet monkeys scamper among the fallen buildings and plenty of haunting cries from surrounding birds will add to the mysterious atmosphere, letting your imagination run wild. Dinner and stay overnight, Mafia Island Lodge.

The tour starts with a pick up early in the morning by Car or Bajaj which takes you over to the Western side of the Island where you will be invited on board (Dhow) and head out to start spotting sharks! Tea and coffee as well as some small snacks are served on board in between whale shark sightings. In Mafia between the months of October and March one can indulge in a truly magical experience: swimming with Whale Sharks. Whale sharks are not whales and are not your typical sharks, they're the largest fish in the sea measuring up to 20m. The whale shark is a filter feeder and therefore has no teeth, they are completely harmless. The majority of the time they're very shy although on occasion can be inquisitive making your encounter that much more spectacular. Clients usually return around 11:30 however this really depends on how long it takes to spot the whale sharks and how long you want to be out swimming with them! After the tour we drive back to the hotel for lunch and leisure. Dinner and stay overnight, Mafia Island Lodge.

You have 2 days to relax on the island although you are totally free to book any other excursion. Mafia Island lies approximately 25 kilometers off the Tanzanian coast, 130 kilometers from Dar es Salaam which takes approximately 35 minutes by air. The mainland is covered with large forests of palm trees, baobabs, and mangroves (as many as 7 species). Among the fauna there are small antelopes; over 130 species of birds among which also a rare species of bat present only on the island of Mafia and in the Comoros Islands; different species of primates, among which the curious galacids, small nocturnal primates also known as "Bush babies" or "children of the forest" because of their unique verses, similar to human stirrings. The waters of the Marine Park of Mafia host colorful coral reefs (about 48 species), immense submarine meadows, over 400 species of fish, dolphins, sea turtles and the dugong, a mammal similar to the seal that, after 20 years of absence in these areas, seemed to have become extinct. Dinner and stay overnight, Mafia Island Lodge.

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Mafia Island Tour TTSL 074