THINGS TO DO IN MAFIA ISLAND – TANZANIA
Without any doubt the Mafia Island Marine National Park is the biggest attraction in Mafia. Being the largest Marine Park in the Indian Ocean, it shelters a facsinating complex of estuarine, mangrove, coral reef, and marine-channel eco-systems with over 400 different species of fish.
The best way to explore the park is of course through a diving mask.
Whether you prefer snorkeling or scuba diving, the underwater landscape, the variety of coral reefs, and underwater life is overwhelming.
Although we do not operate as a diving center, there are different well-equipped and professional Dive Centers in the nearby Utende village that can assist you in finding and booking Scuba Diving or Fishing games.
There is nothing quite like the experience of exploring a new world.
A world where you have never been before.
There is nothing that can quite compare to the thrill of seeing something for the first time.
Witnessing alien life in an environment that is totally foreign to you is like snorkeling in low tide and shallow reef waters inside the marvelous Chole Bay.
Whale Shark Adventures
One of the highlights of a dazzling trip to Mafia island is the opportunity to swim with whale sharks.
These beautiful giants are seasonally found just a few hundred meters offshore near Kilindoni Harbour.
A short boat ride towards the west brings you to a feeding ground for the sharks and soon fins and dark shapes are apparent through the glimmering waters of Tanzania.
Up to 24 of them can be seen at one time: males, females, and juveniles, all of which are beautifully marked with alluring stripes and spots.
The larger sharks are estimated at over 8 meters long.
So they are an impressive sight next to the boat, and quite stunning underwater.
Marimbani Sand bank is the perfect place to comfort your self on the soothing sand of Marimbani Sandbank , and relax.
Just a 20-minute boat trip away from Public beach.
It is approximately 700 meters long, and is half moon shaped on the low tide.
It is only accessible on the low tide as it becomes completely submerged on the high tide.
It contains the ruins of some Arab and Indian Merchant buildings used by the Germans during the First World War.
Chole Island is also covered by extremely assorted lush vegetation.
You can visit a boatyard where traditional construction methods are still used to build houses.
Among the island’s curiosities are a number of trees containing colonies of Comoro bats. (a protected species of fruit eating “flying foxes)
The city of Kua located in Juani Island, was a major trade centre linking Africa to Asia, Kilwa to Zanzibar.
Its elite inhabitants were the Persian Shiraz, who conquered Mafia in the 10th century.
Who later intermarried with the Mashatiri descendants of the Prophet Mohammad.
Kua was ruled by a Queen Mwanzuani.
In the late 15th and 16th century, the Portuguese raided, but Kua met its demise from the Sakalafa, a pirate group from Madagascar.
In retaliation, the Omani Arabs from Zanzibar slaughtered them.
The ruins of Kua city lie undisturbed in the bush, intertwined by trees.
Juani Chanel & Lagoon
The Juani Chanel is a long channel linking the huge inland bay with the open sea that is breaking the southern point of Juani.
At the end of the channel is an enormous Lagoon-which is a natural swimming pool-that is surrounded by forests
The lagoon has water levels that varie according to the tides.
After a short walk, you can enjoy its clear waters.
The area can only be reached by boat during high tide.
In June and September between, hundreds of turtle babies make their way from the Mafia Island beaches into the warm Indian Ocean.
They are born in these nests that are carefully dug between 45 and 60 days before by their with care.
Juani Island is the preferred location as its secluded eastern beaches allow the turtles to complete their life cycle in peace.
Low tide walking
All Mafia Island coral reefs are accessible by boat.
However, the tide pool in front of Chole Island are rich in all sort of invertebrates from anemones.
Sponges to seacucumber, nudibranch shells and sea hitch etc.