Mafia island lies off Rufiji River delta about 120 kms. south of Dar es Salaam. It is 160 kms south of Zanzibar and the same distance east of the Selous. It is reached in 45 minutes from Dar es Salaam, one hour from Selous and Zanzibar, by light aircraft. The island was an important trading post from 11 th to 13 th centuries.
Today the island is known as a Resort Island for deep-seas fishing and scuba diving. With 40,000 inhabitants, Mafia is an archipelago ringed by pristine coral reefs.
Mafia Island Marine Park
Mafia Island Marine Park, declared in 1995, covers the southern tip of the Island. The excellent condition and diversity of the reefs stimulated the creation of the Tanzania's first marine park. The park covers 822 sq.km and is host to over 48 genera of coral and 400 species of fish.
It offers ideal conditions for diving, snorkeling, big game fishing, surfing, sailing, windsurfing scuba diving, swimming and boats excellent cuisine. The park also offers bird watching and picnic excursions.
Diving in Mafia
For the diving enthusiast, Mafia Island is a delight. Renowned as an excellent, world-class diving destination, Mafia has some of the richest reefs in the world and an unparalled variety of hard and soft coral and a diversity of tropical fish.
Chole bay is blessed with a number of excellent dive sites within the bay, ensuring diving in almost any weather as well as easy access. Diving outside the bay is subject to weather conditions and tides.
Dive sites inside the bay include:
kinasi wall, Chole wall, Coral Gardens, Coral Patches, The pinnacle and Kinasi Pass.
Dive sites outside the bay include
Dindini Wall, Jina Pass Reef, Kitutia Reef, Kifinge Bay, Ras Mkumbi and Okuza Island.
The Dive Center at Mafia Island Lodge offers great diving opportunities for advanced and novice divers. Trained assistants handle and check all equipment and help divers. Single-day dives, Single- night dives and 4/6/8/10 dive packages are available.
The Dive Center offers the following equipment on hire: Jacket / DCD, Regulator, Wet Suit, Mask and Snorkel, Fins and Diving lamp.
The Dive Center conducts Introductory Courses, Open Water Courses, Speciall Courses and Advanced Courses in PADI and NAUI.