Excursions for you to Explore and Enjoy Mafia Island
“The hotel for people who prefer not to stay in hotels”
Our hope is for you to be involved in Mafia the way our family was able to live and enjoy the fishing and snorkeling, sailing and picnicking and all the other attractions and interests….all without any crowds. We have provided as many facilities and activities as possible to allow you to do this. You are welcome to use any of the “toys” we have or we can arrange for you to join one of the local fishing boats. Just let us know. Here are some of our favourite trips and please download a small document about our excursions HERE as well as our excursion prices HERE.
Whale-shark watching in Mafia
You can snorkel with whale sharks during their annual visit to Mafia Island, usually from September through March.
These beautiful giants are usually found just a few hundred metres offshore near Kilindoni Harbour. A short boat ride towards the west brings us to a feeding ground for the sharks and soon fins and dark shapes are apparent.
Up to 24 have been seen at any one time: males, females and juveniles, all beautifully marked with stripes and spots. The larger sharks are estimated at over 8m long, so they are an impressive sight next to the boat, and quite stunning under the water !
The boat is able to move among them quietly and visitors can swim and snorkel to get a closer, underwater view of these gentle, wonderful animals. The sharks remain in a well-defined area and have a repetitive feeding pattern, so there is no noisy motoring all over the area to look for them.
Please make this a must when you visit Mafia. The whale shark trip that we organise can be combined with a picnic on the beach, swimming, a trip to the Kilindoni Market or a full day to Kitutia and Bwejuu Island.
Mange Reef Boat Excursion
One of the most wonderful excursions anywhere is the Mange Reef trip, which we do on a regular basis (se shots below). It is superb for its beautiful sandbank, excellent protected snorkeling and diving off the western side. To make this safari more often and more comfortable we will soon launch “Papara” our 15 tonne dhow, fitted with inboard engine and a host of comforts for guests, including a barbecue for fresh seafood while at the reef.
Road Safaris and Walks
Exploring Mafia is easy in our Land Rovers; or be adventurous and hire a TukTuk, the little three-wheelers from India that are the favourite mode of local transport. There are 24 villages spread over Mafia Island, Chole, Jibondo, Juani and Bwejuu islands. Take a picnic and go by road or boat.
Our most popular is a day trip to Ras Mkumbi, visit the lighthouse, lunch and swim on Lua Cheia’s magnificent beach at the SandSeaBar, and enjoy our luxury beach camp at Ras Bweni, where there are miles of white sand beaches littered with washed-up shells, the annual Crab Plover migration from November, walks to local farming areas and in the protected coastal forests.
KILINDONI – the main town, harbour and sites of interest
RAS MBIZI – the old coconut plantation
KIRONGWE-BALENI-JIMBO – see very different parts of Mafia and visit traditional villages
BWENI AND RAS MKUMBI – the very northern tip of the island is another world !
KITONI – on the south-east of the island, where the old ruins of Kisimani Mafia have washed into the sea
CHOLE ISLAND – a fantastic little world on this lush little island in Chole Bay
KUA RUINS – the 12th –15th Centuries just on Kinasi’s doorstep
KUA CHANNEL – a beautiful pass on the south-west end of Juani, with sandy inlets and islands
JUANI ISLAND AND CAVES – visit the ancient caves of remote Juani island
MIEWE ISLAND – a great picnic spot on the high tides, near Kinasi Pass
JIBONDO – famous for its boat building and shark- and octopus fisheries
KITUTIA – the far western end of line of reef running the length of mafia
– an ancient coral outcrop protecting a beautiful sandy cay; one of Mafia’s best excursions by boat
RAS KISIMANI – the far western end of Mafia, with beautiful sandy beaches now a core zone of the Marine Park
MARIMBANI SAND BAR – our daily, favourite picnic spot in Chole Bay – a long white sandy cay
Seasonal turtle hatchings start as early as May each year and are all recorded by researchers so we can predict exactly when they will open and free the “turtlets”…this makes a great excursion with our safari guide. Information is posted in our bar each day.