ACTIVITIES

Explore our exciting Activities
and great Amenities

Activities…
Something for everyone

Blue World Diving & Watersports

Mafia Island is a diver’s dream, a bucket-list destination. These are some of the richest reefs you will ever see, with a great variety of hard and soft corals and diversity of tropical fish. There are shallow reefs from 6 down to the base of the Pinnacle at 28 metres, bommies, walls, caves and clefts and walls outside the bay. There is great diversity from a host of tiny nudibranchs to rays, sharks and large game fish to study close-up. Download our Guide to the Dive Sites of Mafia Island HERE KINASI operates Blue World Diving & Watersports, with PADI and NAUI affiliations. Our instructors and dive masters will take care of you and any refresher coursess or guidance you may need, from snorkeling with the inexperienced through to the Dive Master Certification. You can download our diving and snorkeling rates HERE as well as our Dive Special Offers HERE.

Kinasi & BlueWorld
dive packages Diver Down Diver Down We have standard 4, 5, 7 and 10-day all-inclusive packages (flights to/from Mafia from Dar es Salaam, full-board accommodation, diving, equipment and Marine Park fees). download the details HERE. Enquire for any variations or special arrangements you may want by email, Skype or LiveChat. KINASI operates Blue World Diving & Watersports, with PADI and NAUI affiliations. Our instructors and dive masters will take care of you and any refresher coursess or guidance you may need, from snorkeling with the inexperienced through to the Dive Master Certification. You can download our diving and snorkeling rates HERE as well as our Dive Special Offers HERE.

Mafia North and South
You can dive from Kinasi in Chole Bay and Lua Cheia at Ras Bweni so you get ALL the best of Mafia in one safari .… having two centres allows us to offer a one-week or ten-day superlative dive package that combines the Chole Bay and Ras Mkumbi adventure dive sites.

Zanzibar-Mafia and Mafia-Pemba dive offers
We have arranged with Zanzibar Watersports to bring you the best diving of Mafia and Zanzibar in a single travel package and also with Swahili Divers in Pemba to offer a similar combination. Please check out these dive safaris HERE and email us for more information.

Scuba training
You can learn to dive in Mafia with our excellent team of staff. We have all the facilities and excellent dive instructors for all your training. you will be expertly assisted by our dive team on board our boats during all phases of the dive safaris. Alternatively you can start your training before your trip through PADI e-learning by clicking the banner below.

SNORKELING
IN MAFIA ISLAND

Mafia Island Marine Park is a snorkeler’s paradise with the Coral Gardens: Kinasi Pass Islets, Darusi & Miewe Island, Mange Reef, Kitutia, Jibondo Pass, Chole Chan nel and Reef, North Side of Kinasi Pass

There is a daily snorkeling programme organised.

SNORKELING
IN MAFIA ISLAND

Snorkelling and swimming around the islets and beautiful coral shelves of Chole Bay

SPECIAL BOAT
EXCURSIONS

We individually arrange with our guests the activities they wish to enjoy to maximise their experience of Mafia and all it has to offer….so guests can plan their own all-day or half-day picnic excursions and take in snorkelling, a picnic on the beach with fish cooked on an open fire, Swahili style, swimming and just lazing away in nature’s playground….The excursion includes picnic lunch (if required), soft drinks and water and they will be accompanied by an expert guide and boat crew.

SPECIAL BOAT
EXCURSIONS

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.

FISHING
IN MAFIA

Catch-&-Release fishing (trolling, popping, jigging) with “Pyxis”; twin engines and room for up to six fishermen. Equipped with life jackets, food & drinks and first aid kit. Enjoy the adventure along Mafia’s famous drop-offs.

FISHING
IN MAFIA

Fishing the waters of the Mafia Archipelago

Sport Fishing in Mafia and Songo Songo Archipelago is available from our power boats and excursion boats. Sport fishing is not encouraged inside the Chole Bay zone of Mafia Island Marine Park, so all fishing offered by Kinasi in Mafia is outside the Bay towards the north, east and south-east from Kinasi Lodge and north-east from Lua Cheia at Ras Bweni in the north. With the two options of Kinasi and Lua Cheia the fishermen is able to access all the fishing grounds of Mafia, which offer some of the best fishing in Africa.

Our boats are based at Lua Cheia, which is outside the Marine Park and close to some of the best fishing in East Africa, but move as required and as the fishing conditions suit, with accommodation at both Lua Cheia and Kinasi Lodge. The boats are equipped with deep sea and inshore fishing tackle, electronics and safety equipment for up to four fishermen, and are powered by twin engines. The fishing includes trolling along the shelves and seamounts offshore in Mafia’s very deep waters, popping, jigging and fly fishing for game species. please download or fishing rates HERE.

The fishing grounds include Mafia Island and its reefs (Mange, Kitutia, Ras Mkumbi), Songo Songo islands, the deep sea crescent north-east of Mafia extending to Okuza, Nyuni and Njove Islands, and in the channels from Ras Bweni to Miororo Island. the more distant fishing areas require special planning so please contact us for more information. These have always been regarded as among the best game fishing grounds in East Africa, with catches of sailfish, blue, black and striped marlin, barracuda, wahoo, kingfish, giant trevalley, yellowfin and dog-tooth tuna, dorado, five-fingered jack and rainbow runner, red snapper, rock cod.

Night and day-time bottom fishing trips can also be arranged or – more interestingly – as trips accompanying local fishermen on their boats. The deep sea crescent off Mafia and the Songo Songo Archipelago is potentially one of the most exciting game fishing areas in the world, with expanses of virtually unfished waters that offer a keen challenge to sport fishermen. In 1950 the author Arthur Conan Doyle set an all-Africa record for dorado of 34.2 kg that still stands. We believe that Mafia offers many more records but the facilities have not existed in the past to facilitate the serious fisherman.

Mafia Channel Fishing Club

In 1996 we founded the Mafia Channel Fishing Club and have hosted two fishing tournaments for visiting boats in Mafia. In one tournament 34 sailfish were hooked and released in a single day.

In early December 2015 – to celebrate our 20th year in operation – we expect to host another tournament at Lua Cheia, so enquire about our inclusive packages or BOOK NOW

Catch and Release

All fishing is based upon catch-and-release with one fish allowed for the table. It is expected that keen and experienced fishermen will have some of their own specialized fishing rods and tackle for fly fishing.

Fishing seasons

The best fishing is from September to March, but we catch common species such as barracuda, rainbow runner and trevalley all year-round. The tuna run is from October, with the waters busy with schools of bonito and yellowfin.

KAYAKING
IN MAFIA

Available to our guests free-of-charge at any time for paddling the mangrove alleyways and forests.

KAYAKING IN MAFIA​

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SUN
BANKING

For beach- and sun-lovers to enjoy beautiful locations in Chole Bay if not diving or snorkeling, according to weather, tides and other excursions with a picnic excursion and snorkeling or simply swimming and lazing away under the sun shades we erect on the sand bank.

SUN
BANKING

We do not want you to “bake” but we do want you to enjoy the delightful Marimbani Sand Bank in Chole Bay as well as Miewe island, Mvinje Beach and other great spots, like the sea-mouth of the Kua Channel with its beaches and islets that are full of sea birds, that are seldom visited and you can enjoy all by yourselves. Our boat crew will erect a sun shade for you and lay out your picnic lunch while grilling fresh fish on a small fire.

At Marimbani and Miewe there is also interesting snorkelling: at Marimbani for sea horses and at Miewe among the small bommie reefs.

WHALE SHARK
WATCHING

This wonderful trip includes snorkel gear, road transfer to Kilindoni and back and boat hire. Seasonal from October through March. We make this a full-day excursion leaving Kinasi at 10 and following the latest news on the location of the sharks. After snorkeling with these magnificent fish you relax on a sandbank with picnic lunch and refreshments.

You can snorkel with whale sharks

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.

WHALE SHARK
WATCHING

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 !

Scuba DIving 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.

TURTLE
HATCHING

From July through September is the usual hatching season during which you can witness these tiny creatures emerge from their nests in the race for the sea. An early morning walk across the island of Juani brings you to the hatching beaches.

TURTLE HATCHING

The months of June and July have seen the beginning of the turtle hatching in Mafia Island and the start of the new breeding season. An amazing sight is to see the hatchlings crawling to the sea while adults swim just offshore (as if waiting for their “babies”); we have never witnessed that before.

The nest that hatched last week was set back quite a distance from the seashore, and when one considers the size of the creature and the energy it needs to reach the sea and start its new life it is simply extraordinary that a small round egg like a pingpong ball can achieve all this…..This is certainly an experience not to be missed when visiting Mafia in June – August.

SUNSET
CRUISE

To be arranged (min. 4 and max. 10 persons). This is a 2 hr dhow sailing cruise with crew, reserve engine and refreshments. A lovely experience accompanied by anecdotes from our Mafia culture, nature and history guide. We usually also take in the Blue Lagoon and Kua Channel on this excursion.

SUNSET CRUISE

We usually leave for the sunset cruise at around 16390 hrs, heading for Kua Channel, which has many little bays and beaches and a feature is the Blue Lagoon, a coral grotto fed by the sea. We visit this on the sunset cruise before sailing to the west of the Bay to enjoy the late afternoon sunset over the Rufiji Delta, usually a stunning sight. By now the crew has raised the sail so there is only the sound of rushing water along the hull and the creaking of mast and stays as our jahazi catches the wind…perfect harmony as it has been for hundreds of years.

HISTORY
& ARCHAEOLOGY

Visit the 850-year old Kua Ruins on Juani Island or Kisimani Mafia at Ras Kisimani where a once-famous settlement was lost to a cyclone in 1856, after being previously sacked by Sakalava cannibals (from Madagascar). There are also interesting ruins at Baleni Village and German colonial buildings on Chole Island and atKanga in the north of Mafia.

HISTORY & ARCHAEOLOGY​

Guided excursions are also arranged to the islands and village communities of Chole and Jibondo. The boat building on both these islands is justly famous throughout East Africa. All traditional methods are used, with hand tools and hand-forged nails to create the jahazis, dhows, mashuas and ngalawas you will see in Mafia. Ropes are hand-woven from coir (coconut fibre) and sails sewn from rough cotton sheeting (madrouf). There are also ruins of early settlement on Chole, which was the “capital” of Mafia until the early Twentieth Century.

On Chole Island and at the mosque near Kinasi the giant flying fox (Pteropus) can be seen in roosts.

At Kisimani Mafia an old town has been submerged. This was fully excavated in the 1970s and details can be found in our library, along with a description of Kuwa Ruins and the reports on the archaeology of Kilwa. Kisimani Mafia is at the far south-western tip of Mafia and is an all-day excursion. The Kua Ruins on Juani Island – a short distance across the Bay from Kinasi - are amongst the most important of the historic sites of East Africa for the valuable link they provide in the chain of historic events that shaped the coast of East Africa, and for the examples of construction and imported building technology that became common from Somalia to Sofala. The use of coral stone and lime mortar began approximately 1,100 years ago. Buildings found in Kua and its parent city, Kilwa, bear the indelible architectural stamps of Iraq, Persia, Turkey and the Hadramout of Yemen.

NATURE TRAILS
AND BIRD WATCHING

Bird watching in Mafia adds a very interesting dimension to a Tanzania wildlife safari, as the visitor will see many species of shorebird, including migrants such as the Crab Plover, and other species found in coastal thickets and mangroves that cannot be observed in the inland National Parks and Reserves.

To be arranged on request to experience the shore and mangrove nature trails, the open fields and bushland in the environs of Utende village and Kiegeani; this area is rich in a wide variety of species of birds. Serious birders should contact us in advance so that we can send them the Mafia Bird Checklist that we have worked on for two decades. We also have a series of nature trails along the wild coastline north of Chole Bay, crssing the peninsula of Mafia at Ras Mkumbi through the dense coastal forest and on the Island of Juani.

NATURE TRAILS
AND BIRD WATCHING

From Kinasi several walks can be made to places of interest as well as to just “meet the locals”. Our principal guide is Mzee Kirobo (Mzee being a term of respect, not simply “old man”). He is extremely knowledgeable of all Mafia lore, as well as much of the history and many of the birds. A trip with Kirobo means that you will be late for your next meal !

KIROBO SAID, SAGE OF MAFIA

Village Walk and Bird-watching

Visit the village and surrounding farmlands where you can see rice-growing, cassava, beans, sweet potato and many fruit such as coconuts, papaya, bananas, pineapples, custard apples, jackfruit, mangoes, guavas, This can also be a bird walk as many of the interesting birds are busy harassing the farmers’ crops or are more easily seen in the open farmlands. The visitor will see many spectacular rollers (Lilac-breasted) and bee-eaters (White-cheeked) between Kilindoni and Kinasi, and there are five species of sunbird in the Kinasi gardens. The black or white Dimorphic Heron is the common species at roosts in Chole Bay. The Kinasi Nature Trail has been designed with bird-watching very much in mind. The lilac-breasted rollers and Madagascan bee- eaters are especially spectacular. The Bird Check-list of Mafia is in the Kinasi library.

BIKING
IN MAFIA INSLAND

A great way to see the island and also to observe the lives of the local people and see how they use the land and depend entirely on nature.

BIKING
IN MAFIA INSLAND​

We arrange for bike rides through village farming areas to give you the chance to meet the local people and see what happens on Mafia Island and how and what the farmers grow. You will be accompanied by our experienced personal guide, if you wish.

CULTURAL
EXPERIENCE

Being accompanied by a trained and experienced personal guide, visitors can experience the cultural heritage and traditional village life of Mafia. The excursion includes visiting Chole island and village, Jibondo Island and village, Juani Island, Utende village and environs and Kilindoni Town.

CULTURAL
EXPERIENCE

The excursion includes visiting Chole island and village, Jibondo Island and village, Juani Island, Utende village and environs and Kilindoni Town.

ROAD SAFARIS
AND PICNIC EXCURSIONS

Visitors will see surrounding villages and traditional life of Kilindoni Town & Harbor areas, Ras Mbizi Plantation area; Baleni & Kifinge Bay, Kirongwe, Kanga & Jimbo, Ras Mkumbi (The Lighthouse), Mrora Coastal Forest and the Hippo Pools and others great opportunities to explore Mafia by road.

DIVING
IN MAFIA ISLAND

All diving is by our fiberglass dive boats and dhow.

Diving inside Chole Bay- Kinasi Wall, Chole Wall, Coral Gardens, Coral Gardens (the Pinnacle, Kinasi Pass, Milimani Reef, Msumbiji). There is also “Seahorse City” a shallow dive just off Utende Beach where you will sea these beautiful fish.

Diving outside Chole Bay- Dindini Wall North, Dindini Wall South (Jina Pass shelving reef, Jina Reef, Kinasi Pass Entrance), Juani Island reef Excursion Dives by boat- Mange Reef and Sandbar; Kitutia Reef and Sandbar and the Lighthouse at Ras Mkumbi with Kifinge Bay on the way.

Night Diving- Focusing on the many small, delicate reef species usually missed during the day, garden eels and more.

There is a dive, snorkel and excursion programme organized every evening with each individual guest prior to the next day’s activities.

ROAD SAFARIS
AND PICNIC EXCURSIONS

We can also organize motor bikes and the three-wheel tuktuks for the adventurous. The activities are arranged as half- or full-day safaris with refreshments and picnic lunch on a per vehicle basis.

ISIS SPA

The spa is managed by Khun Nam our lovely therapist from Thailand, highly trained, very experienced and a lot of fun as well.