From Kinasi several walks can be made to places of interest as well as to just “meet the locals”.
Mange is an atoll on the far western edge of the archipelago and lying in
the Mafia Channel. It is a stunning place with a sand island – cay –
exposed at low tide and an excellent coral reef for snorkelling and good diving on the deeper channel side.
This is a full-day excursion on our boats with picnic lunch and barbecued fish on the beach. We erect a sun shade canopy to protect you and of course carry the essential cold stores to make sure you don’t dry out, especially on the homeward journey when sundowners are mandatory.
The Mange excursion will be arranged for guests by the activities staff. It is a wonderful excursion so please take part whenever the conditions are right.
Jibondo is our best-known fishing village and another fascinating
boat and walking excursion that brings you closer to the lives of our
people. The island is about 30 minutes away by boat.
When we first came to Mafia in the early 1980s Jibondo people
fished almost exclusively for shark and octopus, which was sun-dried
and exported to all parts of Tanzania and as far as the Gulf. Over-
fishing resulted in a decline in shark populations but the people still
harvest a great deal of octopus that is processed by Tanpesca and
exported to the Mediterranean. Seaweed farming is now becoming
an important business, growing in the shallow waters protected by
the barrier reef that runs along from Kinasi Pass all the way to Kitutia.
Jibondo is a large village of very friendly people and you are
welcome here as you are on Chole Island and can take photos and
talk to the people and see how they live and work without any feeling of intrusion. The people are
related to the main communities to the south, on SongoSongo island and Kilwa. The Jibondo
people are famous throughout the Swahili-speaking world as boat-builders, and their “jahazis” will
be found all over East Africa, as they are very well constructed for the rough seas outside the
Unlike Chole, Jibondo island is almost entirely
coral rock (ancient Porites coral) so no crops can
grow in the shallow soil.
RAS KISIMANI and BWEJUU ISLAND
Ras Kisimani is the far western cape of the main island, facing the Rufiji Delta. Kisimani Mafia, just north-east of the Cape is KiSwahili for “the place of the well”. An old town dating to the 12 th Century has been drowned by rising sea levels and a collapsing foreshore for over 100 years.
The Kinasi library contains a full account of the fascinating archaeology of these ruins, once the most important town on Mafia, especially from the 12 th to 14 th Centuries. It was founded by Bashat, one of the sons of the first Sultan of Kilwa, and extended the control of the Sultan to
Mafia. The power and wealth of the Sultan of Kilwa was based upon gold, ivory and customs tariffs on all goods traded on the southern coast. In its time it was far more important the Zanzibar but its economic influence waned upon the arrival of the Portuguese at the end of the 15 th Century.
There is little left of the town now, but visitors can easily find many beautiful potsherds and coins in the ruins and on the beautiful palm-fringed beach. The circular rock weights used to confine slaves at night can also be found here. Due to erosion the old well from which the town took its
name now stands on the beach. The whole area is now a protected core zone of the Mafia Island Marine Park.
Bwejuu Island sits between Ras Kisimani and the Rufiji Delta and is a lovely sand-fringed, palm-covered island surrounded by sand bars and snorkelling reefs.
These are wonderful all-day excursions by boat from Kilindoni for beach-lovers and those looking for a castaway experience. There are huge expanses of beautiful beaches and fabulous swimming along the edge of the Ras Kisimani point and off the reefs and sand bars of Bwejuu.
If you wish to make this excursion we will arrange a boat, beach shade and picnic for you.