The perfect safari holiday in Mafia Island
A beautiful island in the Zanzibar archipelago, ideal for relaxing on the beach and exploring local culture
Mafia lies south of Zanzibar Island and is the largest island in a coral reef archipelago. It can be reached by taking a 30-minute flight from Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar. Tourism here is on a small scale making it a truly unspoilt tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean. The island provides so much in the way of marine-related activities that it is ideally suited to the more outdoorsy type of holiday-maker.
The relaxed Swahili Coast atmosphere makes for an interesting choice of small lodges and Chole Bay, on the east of the island, is the centre of the tourist development. The whole area is protected by the Mafia Island Marine Park, formed in 1995, to try and protect the island’s unique attractions. The bay contains numerous sand bars and coral atolls and is sheltered by a reef that runs the whole length of the island, making it ideal for swimming, snorkelling and diving. The wildlife that are attracted to these idyllic conditions include over 400 fish species, five turtle species and even the whale shark which visitors can enjoy swimming with.
The weather on the coast of Tanzania is characterised by tropical rains and high temperatures. The two peak seasons include July/October and December/March.
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