Kinasi Lodge Mafia Island Rooms

Rooms of Kinasi Lodge Mafia Island

Curate your stay to perfection by choosing your room and your activities while at Kinasi….Here are your room choices and srefer to the Layout Map of Kinasi and the view and room images for more detail:

1.    China The voyages of Admiral Heng Po in the period 1421-1423, immortalised in the book “1423’’, brought one of his fleets down the East Coast of Africa and relics from this voyage can be found in the genes and oral history of the coast. One ship was famously sunk off Lamu in Kenya. This is our honeymoon suite for its amazing position with more than 200 degree views. The colour scheme of this room’s furnishings is pale green and gold.
2.    Britain Britain controlled Tanzania after World War II until Independence in 1963, yet Zanzibar – under Omani control for hundreds of years after its capture from the Portuguese – remained a British Protectorate thereafter, ceded during the revolution in 1963. Of course the colour scheme here is blue and gold – what else ? Next in the front row of sea-view rooms overlooking the ebach and Bay towards Chole, Juani and Jibondo Islands.
3.    Germany Germany was the colonial ‘’owner’’ of Mafia and a part of the coast stretching from Kilwa to north of the Rufiji River, purchased from the Sultan of Oman in 1890 and lost to Britain in 1915 in a famous skirmish against soldiers, askaris (African police) and cocnut growers. The sinking of the Konigsburg in the Rufiji Delta in early 1915 involved the use of linked floating pontoons that created the first sea-borne landing aircraft runway. Colours of burnt orange and gold highlight this twin room facing Chole Bay and islands. Sweeping views of the Bay and islands.
4.    Portugal Portugal was the first western power to directly and disastrously influence the region, following the voyages of Vasco da Gama from 1494-1495. Peaceful trading existed for 1,500 years with northern powers and possibly India but western influence was more aggressive, dominating and ruthless, based on religious supremacy and the Papal Bull that awarded the western hemisphere of Earth to Portugal. Deep blue and gold highlights complete the last of the western wing of sea-front rooms, with amazing beach and bay views.
5.    India India has had an enormous influence on East Africa over at least 500 years. They have always been traders, craftsmen, money lenders for wealthy Arabs. The food, agriculture and industries owe much to Indian culture and enterprise to this day, Situated to the end of the eastern wing and positioned with magnificent bay and island views. Shades of pale desert red and salmon tone this room to perfection.
6.    Swahili The word derives from sawahel, the word for beach or sandy areas in deserts, and crept into vogue to describe the coastline down to Sofala. It also denotes the people waSwahili and the lingua franca of East Africa kiSwahili. It has the connotation of the rich and incredibly varied bloodlines of the people after two millennia. Gold and soft blue colours in this twin-roomed family bungalow, left of the restaurant and overlooking Chole Bay. Set back a little from the path to other rooms for extra privacy.
7.    Shirazi The Shirazi history has not been well researched. The only detailed history we have is of theSultan of Kilwa who emigrated from Shiraz in Persia in the 10th Century and had seven sons, setting them in different parts of the coast, including Mafia (Kisimani Mafia, and later Kua), so becoming a mini-colonist. This was not successful but he was instrumental in the growth of gold and ivory trading in the 14th Century that saw Kilwa become the most important entrepot in the Indian Ocean before a combination of events, finally the overrunning of the beautiful old town in Kilwa in the 1800s, by the Zimba, a cannibal tribe, thought to have come from central Africa. Ivory and green-gold matching highlights on soft furnishings give this room a regal appeal. This is the family bungalow with two bedrooms sharing a bathroom between. Both have large double beds. Excellent for families with 1 or 2 small children or a twin. Close to the beach and lapping of gentle waves at night on our beach.
8.    Rome It is hard to believe but in about 250 AD Rome – then under soldier emperors, despatched a reconnaissance voyage to the East Coast of Africa, thought to have been seeking ivory, gold and animals, possibly elephants. Some years ago ethno-archaeologist Prof Felix Chami, while staying with us, found Roman beads and coins in caves on Juani Island. Could they date to this time? What else could Rome be but all gold ? Room 8 is near to the Bar and Restaurant and has an excellent view over the pool, Chole Bay and Chole Island.
9.    Egypt Egypt also despatched ships to the coast and islands about 600 BCE, in the period of the pharaoh Neto. Little is known of the reason and results for the voyage. Our love of all things Egyptian prompted the naming of this room and the Isis Spa, Isis being the Goddess of Health, Marriage and Wisdom. Egypt is in blue and gold, colours of the pharaohs and has garden views and parts of the bay. The perfect room to be in on a full moon as the silver path spreads over Chole Bay.
10. Omani In 1698 the Omanis defeated the Portuguese at Fort Jesus in Kenya, giving them control of territory held for 200 years by Portugal, stretching from Lamu in the north to Kilwa in the south. This rule lasted until 1890, when the Sultan cleverly sold the southern area, including Mafia, to Germany for DM 4 million, a true fortune if inflated to the present day. Green for the flag of Oman and gold for its sultanate; this is a twin-bed garden room set beneath coconuts and cashew trees and looking out to sea between rooms 2 and 3.
11. France Yes, the French too have been in our waters, after establishing a small colony on the western coast of Madagascar. At that time the vast island was thought to be unpopulated and they ‘’imported’’ slaves and African settlers from Mozambique and possibly further north along the coast. Theirs was a not  a long nor successful venture into the Indian Ocean, being out-competed mainly by American buccaneers and traders. Salmon and gold themes for the romantic French; we did away with the Tricolor here in this garden double room looking over the lawn, garden and the sea between rooms 3 and 4. Rooms 10 and 11 are often used by families with teenage children
12. Indonesia The fact that Indonesian seafarers reached East Africa over 1,000 years ago is little known. They settled on the northern peninsula of Madagascar and have ethnic and historical links to the people of Pemba Island. These early settlers came on outrigger boats with two sails and these are believed to be the precursors of the ngalawa so common in Mafia. Room 12 is set in Kinasi’s western corner under huge trees and has a sea view between rooms 3 and 4. Quiet and private with pale green and gold highlights to complement the lush garden setting.
13. Africa Azania Known as the Gorofa (building with more than one floor) this is very roomy and private, set back in the garden. East Africa, from Lamu to Sofala (Mozambique) was known as the land of Azania 2,000 years ago when the first guides to seafaring this region were written. This is the ‘’Owners’Suite’’ as it was built for our family. It has two floors: downstairs with long settees used as beds for children; upstairs with a huge super-size double and single. Verandahs up and down with a courtyard. Furnished in ethnic African colours and prints.
14. Persia Persia, now Iran and parts of Iraq has had an influence through trade, especially in valuable porcelain and the famous “Persian green” glazed bowls. The royal colours of Persia were enamelled blues and greens and have been used here. This room sits overlooking a small valley to the swimming pool and out to sea and Chole Island.


The history of Mafia has been a study of special interest for us and our library holds many papers, books and reports of Mafia down through the ages, its people and its trade and cultural links to the World.

Our historical research shows that Egyptian, Phoenician, Roman, Arab, Indian, Greek, Chinese, Portuguese, French, American and British ships have visited Mafia from at least 500 BC. Peoples of many different foreign origins have lived in Mafia: African (Madagascar, Mozambique), Indian, Yemeni, Baluchi, Omani, Shirazi, Chinese, Japanese and from several European countries. The racial potpourri can be seen today in the wide variety of skin colour and stature of the local inhabitants. The historical mix has also left a culture of great tolerance and self-sufficiency. Mafia has at different times been the property of the Sultan of Kilwa, the Sultan of Oman, Germany and Britain, before Tanzania became independent.