There are five main islands in the Mafia Archipelago, they lie south of Zanzibar at the mouth of the Rufiji River.

Mafia is the main island with a tiny airport. Mafia international airport (with its windsock and terminal building comprising a tin roofed hut) is like stepping back in time.

You can reach Mafia via Dar es Salaam flying time is approximately 40 minutes.

All five islands of the archipelago – Mafia, Jibondo, Juani, Chole and Bwejuu – have lush vegetation, mangrove swamps providing a haven for birds (130 species) as well as a number of forest mammals. These islands are an idyllic natural haven.

The Mafia Island Marine Park was formed in 1995, which now protects the coral reefs which are perfect for snorkelling or learning to dive. The marine life is startling with over 50 species of coral, including giant table corals and over 400 different species of fish.

Some of Tanzania’s best diving can be found here as well as a great place for the sport/deep sea fishing fraternity. Large game fish, brightly coloured clownfish, octopus, rays sharks and dolphins are all found in the deeper waters.

Mafia is a viable option for those seeking a bit of tranquillity away from the crowds and more popular island of Zanzibar, we suggest you check out Ras Mbisi as a place to stay. Please refer to our lodges guide for other properties on the island.

Lodges in Mafia