Mafia Island - Home of Whale Sharks
Mafia Island is located in the Magnificent southern circuit of Tanzania and Zanzibar and is part of a fascinating array of parks, wildlife reserves and Indian Ocean islands. Mafia is a blessed and recognized as a home of hundreds of whale sharks. They are the biggest recorded fish in the ocean globally. A whale shark can measure up to 18 meters long and weigh more than 20 tons
- Mafia is an excellent world-class diving destination with some of the richest reefs in the world
- The park covers the Southern part of Mafia Island and includes the inhabited islands of Chole, Juani Jibondo and Bwejuu and several uninhabited islets and the associated waters.
- Mafia Island and its chain of small islets lie approximately 120 km south of Dar es Salaam and 20 km offshore from the eastern extent of the Rufiji is one of the largest delta systems in Africa.
- The main island of Mafia is about 48 km long and 17 km wide at its widest point. Several smaller islands and islets are scattered to the west and south.
- Two species of sea turtle use Mafia’s beaches as nesting grounds and the area has been recognized internationally as a critical site for biodiversity.
- Several sites of historic ruins lie within the marine park area, some dating back to the C 13th. Mafia Island’s separation from the mainland and its freedom from industrial development have ensured that its surrounding waters are some of the least contaminated in Tanzania.
- The marine park area has national importance as one of the few remaining reef complexes within Tanzania’s coastal waters in relatively intact condition.
Good to Know
Best Time To Visit
The best season starting in June and running through to the following March; the related climatic features can be described as follows:
o June: Cool and dry
o July: Cool but windy
o August to October: Cool, dry season with pleasant temperatures and excellent weather.
o November: Short rains, but often unreliable running into December
o December-Earl March: Hot season, mainly dry with showers and increasing humidity
o April-May: Long rains, very wet with heavy downpours lasting all day
The Island offers a plenty for beach and water sport exciting activity:
o Swimming with Whale Shark
o Beach holiday
o Diving and Snorkeling
o Fishing, Sailing ,
o BBQ Lunch on Marimbani Sandbank
o Culture and historical tour
o Kayaks, Bicycles, Boat and Canoeing
Mafia Island has wide-ranging beach accommodation, from Chole Mjini's treehouse experience, Eco-Shamba Kilole Lodge, Butiama beach Hotel, Meremeta Bungalow Lodge, Kinasi Lodge's stone walled cottages, Pole Pole's rusting bungalow suites to Mafia Island Lodge's value guest rooms,