Mafia Island Holidays

  • 30 minutes south of Zanzibar
  • Very good for diving
  • Essentially an activity destination
  • Best beaches are on islands off the coast
When To Visit Mafia Island:

Mafia Island is a sleepy island located south of Zanzibar, where days are spent exploring exposed sand bars, fishing and diving. Scuba is seriously good here, especially in whale shark season.


Mafia is a 30 minute flight from Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. It is home to the largest marine park in Africa and is a very good destination for spotting whale sharks. The diving here is even better than off Pemba – in fact, we think it is the best to be found in Tanzania.


There are more hotels here than in Pemba but, true to the island atmosphere, they are more rustic-chic than luxurious. We think this is a good destination for adventurous travellers who enjoy the outdoor life. It is particularly suitable for advanced divers. For a facility and activity heavy lodge, consider Kinasi, which is the first major lodge on the island. However, if you’d prefer a characterful and quirky base, try either the fabulous treehouses at Chole Mjini or the scenic raised bungalows at Pole Pole.

Mafia Island