Mafia Tourist Places to Visit in Mafia, Tanzania, East Africa, Africa

Mafia Tourist Places to Visit in Mafia, Tanzania, East Africa, Africa

Mafia Island is an island belonging to the Zanzibar Archipelago in Tanzania, located at 7°51′ S 39°47′ E. It is one of the popular tourist destinations of Tanzania, drawing a substantial number of tourists, especially game fishermen and scuba divers. The island covers an area of 435 sq. km with a width of 17 km and length of 49 km. Kilindoni is the major town of the Mafia Island, situated on the southeastern part of the island. The economy of Mafia Island is concentrated on fishing, agriculture and touristic activities.


History of Mafia Island:

Mafia Island has a strong historical background, dating back to the 8th century, used as a stopping point by Arab traders between Middle East and Africa. Mafia Island was acquired by the German troops in 1890 by the treaty with the Sultan of Oman. Mafia Island also witnessed the British rule in its long history.


How to reach Mafia Island?

There is an airport on Mafia Island, served by Coastal Aviation with flights from Dar es Salaam, Pemba, Selous, Tanga and Zanziba. The airport is located within the town premise of the island’s main town Kilindoni.

Probably buses are not available to get around Mafia Island, but one can rent a rickety Land Rover with driver in the vicinity of the market of Kilindoni. Bikes can also be hired that are gettable at the major hotels and resorts on the island.


Food and Shopping on Mafia Island:

Kinasi Shop is a well known handicraft centre on Mafia Island. Some nice food corners on Mafia Island include:

  • Kinasi Lodge Restaurant
  • Kinasi Bar
  • Top Life
  • Sunset Bar


Things to do in Mafia Island:

  • Diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Boat riding


What to see in Mafia Island?


Mafia Island Marine Park:

The Mafia Island Marine Park is one of the highlights of Mafia Island, founded in the year 1995 with the financial aid of the WWF (World Wide Fund for nature). Apart from marine lives fishes and turtles, the park also offers a great diving experience.



Jibondo is an island as well as fishing village, situated to the south of Mafia Island. It can be reached by boat from Mafia Island, which takes around 30 minutes. It is worth a trip.


Big Blu Mafia Island Diving Center:

The Big Blu Mafia Island Diving Center is a situated at Utende beach within the Mafia Island Marine Park. It is an excellent diving centre and also provides accommodation and dining facilities for visitors. Sea excursions and land excursions are also offered here.


Bwejuu Island:

The Bwejuu Island is an island situated between the Rufiji Delta and Ras Kisimani, towards the east of the main Mafia Island. It is home to beautiful beaches, where visitors can experience fabulous swimming. It is also a wonderful snorkeling point.


Other places of interest in and around Mafia Island include:

  • Afro Whale Shark Safari
  • Lighthouse at Ras Mkumbi
  • Ras Kisimani
  • Mafia Airport
  • North Mafia Island
  • Beaches of Dar es Salaam
  • Makumbusho Village Museum
  • Benjamin William Mkapa Pension Tower
  • Dar es Salaam Marine Reserve
  • Dar Es Salaam Botanical Garden
  • Azania Front Lutheran Church
  • Karimjee Hall
  • Mbudya Island
  • Askari Monument
  • Zoological Gardens in Dar es Salaam


When to visit Mafia Island?

June to October and December to February are the best times to visit Mafia Island and visitors can also consider September – March for diving.


Where to stay in Mafia Island?

Mafia Island houses a wide range of accommodation options ranging from budget lodges to resorts to bungalows with all tourist favor amenities and services. The prominent hotels in Mafia Island are listed below:

  • Mafia Island Lodge
  • Mafia Beach Bungalows
  • Butiama Beach
  • Chole Foxes Lodge
  • Ibizza Inn
  • New Lizu Hotel
  • Pole Pole Bungalows
  • Whale Shark Lodge
  • Meremeta Lodge
  • Shamba Kilole Eco Lodge
  • Chole Mjini Lodge
  • Lua Cheia Beach
  • Ras Mbisi Lodge
  • Didimiza Beach Guest House
  • Kinasi Lodge

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