3. Chole Mjini, Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania
Describing itself as ‘the acme of responsible tourism’, Chole Mjini is as rustic as they come – and it’s a property that certainly has a place in our hearts. Unique, quirky, and completely off the grid, it is located on the northern tip of Chole Island in the Mafia Island Marine Park, off the coast of Tanzania. The primary purpose of Chole Mjini was to offer development and support for the people of Chole Island, and a stay here provides direct income to the village projects. Built slowly and with local skills and labour, each tree house took from six months to a year to complete, as all were built completely by hand (no power tools in sight), using materials sourced only from traders living on Chole.
There is no electricity, running water, radio, TV, Wi-Fi, and especially no stress. To keep yourself busy at Chole Mjini, you can go diving, snorkelling, and dhow sailing, or simply walk along the beach, taking in Tanzania’s stunning southern Zanzibar Archipelago.