With less than 1000 visitors per year, Mafia Island is an undiscovered Tanzanian gem.
With white sandy beaches, dazzling aquamarine waters and refreshingly few tourists, Mafia is often described as Zanzibar 30 years ago. A laid-back eco-alternative with no tarmac roads, few hotels, no shops, no ATMs (credit cards are accepted at the up-market lodges) which is not geared for mainstream tourism. Be warned, if you want fancy shops and a wild night-life, Mafia isn’t for you.
Mafia Island is a prime destination for lovers of deep sea fishing, divers and snorkellers. Aquatic life is abundant and the coral gardens are pristine due to the protection of the Mafia Island Marine Park. The park is located between the Rufiji River delta to the west and the open Indian Ocean to the east. The dual influences of the river and the sea have combined to create a rich and exceptional biodiversity with unique landscapes under the sea and on dry land. Whale sharks and Humpback Whales can be found in the waters surrounding Mafia Island, as can turtles and so rumor has it so can dugongs.