MILES AND MILES
OF UNSPOILT BEACHES
The sand is white and pure and one can always swim, despite tidal changes.
SCUBA
DIVING AND SNORKELING
Mafia Island and its reefs are renowned as an excellent, world classdiving destination.
WHALE SHARKS DIVING AND SNORKELING
These beautiful giants are seasonally found just a few hundred metres offshore near Kilindoni Harbour.
HISTORY
& CULTURE
These islands of Mafia host antiquities dating back to the eleventh century, including ruins at Kisimani Mafia, Kanga, Kua and Cholesland.
AMAZING NATURE
Walks and nature trails to enjoy the native trees, animals and birdlife, cultural visits to villages to understand local village life and watch skilled craftsmen at work.
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Images of Mafia

professional & amateur mafia island photography compilation

How to get here

To reach Mafia one no longer sails, but must fly in light aircraft from Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar, or one of the game parks such as the Selous. The experience is fantastic, with great views of the African bush and coastline.

Contact Us Now

Enquiries & Reservations

Email: stay@mafiaisland.com
Mobile/WhatsApp +27 (0)722930 475
Managing Director: +255 (0)777474911

VISAS,
HEALTH
& SAFETY

VISAS

The Tanzania tourist visa is a three-month travel visa for bone fide tourists. It may be extended once for a further three months. Check with the Tanzania Ministry of Home Affairs for your country and the fee at

You may be eligible to apply for your Tanzanian visa online here:

You can also get your tourist visa on arrival but credit cards must be used for payment and there can be long delays

HEALTH

Malaria is the main health issue along the coast of Tanzania, so each traveller should seek expert advice from a doctor competent and up-to-date with tropical medicine (effective drugs are changing rapidly).

If you come from a Yellow Fever area please understand you will need a vaccination certificate. Please check here

if you do not feel well please get a checkup as soon as possible. The diagnostic facilities at the Mafia District Hospital are good and include a labora tory for identifying malaria and other parasites, radiology and ultrasound. There are also several private clinics and some well - stocked pharmacies.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

In general Mafia has a low security risk as it remains relatively undeveloped and unaffected by tourism and urbanisation. There is almost no chance of any untoward personal harm in Mafia, due to crime.

Happily Mafia suffers a minimum of the scourges of modern-day life in urban centres such as Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar Stone Town, where – more than anything else – the traveller is a target for scams and touts offering anything from money changing to hard drugs. However, pick-pocketing, bag-snatching and more dramatic forms of robbery do occur and the traveller is advised to get some good local knowledge on where not to be and what not to photograph. In other words, apply the normal caution you would in any area that is foreign to you, as you would going to a new city in Europe or USA.

Passports, cash and cameras are of course the favourite targets. Travellers should not carry cash and other valuable on their person during daily activities, going to the beach, out on boats, etc and should always deposit any valuables, including passports and tickets, with hotel managers.

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BICYCLES

Some of the lodges have bicycles for their guests’ use. Check our information page for your hotel/lodge or host.

At Utende you can hire bicycles from Meremeta Lodge.

If you are staying in Kilindoni ask at the market - it won’t take long to find someone ready and willing to hire a bicycle. The best source of information are the tuktuk and bodaboda drivers at the market

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MAFIA ISLAND MARINE PARK

The Mafia Island region (see map) which includes the Rufiji River Delta and Mafia channel, forms one of the finest complexes of estuarine, mangrove, coral reef, and marine ecosystems in the world, all lying in an area of around 1500km².

The coral reefs are particularly diverse for Eastern Africa. Habitats in the area of the MIMP (821km²) include hard coral dominated reefs, soft coral and algal dominated reefs, sheltered back reef systems, inter-tidal flats with hard and soft substrate, mangrove forests, extensive seagrass beds, algal, sponge and soft coral sub-tidal beds.

The area includes critical habitat for the dugong (Dugong dugon, vulnerable, IUCN, 1994) and sea turtles (Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricata, Lipidochelys livaceae, Dermochelys coriacea, all endangered and Caretta caretta, vulnerable, IUCN, 1994) and has been recognized as a critical site for biodiversity.

Marine Park Concept

The ecological and economic sustainability of Tanzania’s coastal and marine ecosystems is improved and maintained.

To assist the management of the Mafia Island Marine Park so that the ecosystem processes and biodiversity are maintained for the benefit of the people of Tanzania, and particularly the Mafia Island community.

To facilitate the development of economic activities to reduce pressures on the Park ecosystems, while ensuring all natural resources within the Park are used sustainably.

The management goals, which reflect the integration of development, environmental protection and sustainable resource use, were previously expressed in the General Management Plan of 1993 as:

To protect natural ecosystem processes and areas of high species and genetic diversity;

To stimulate the rational development of non-utilized natural resources including tourism;

To promote sustainability of existing resource use incorporating recovery strategies for over utilized resources.

To involve marine park users, especially Mafia community, in the planning, development and management of the Park, and to give priority of resource use and economic opportunity to Mafia community in pursuance of goals tow and three.

Mafia Island was chosen as Tanzania’s premier Marine Park because its unique shallow waters provide ideal habitats for over: 52 genera of coral identified, 460 species of fish, 400 types of sponge, 200 algal types and other species, some yet to be identified. The unique Mafia island ecosystem provides a vast array of larvae which are swept into The Indian Ocean, and carried northwards by the prevailing North East African Current ultimately adding to the rich diversity of marine life found as far north as The Red Sea.

The Park borders south-east Mafia Island and stretches over 700 square kilometers, encompassing six islands. Stretching from the top of Forbes Bay to the north and Tutia Reef in the south. Circulating the entire park an 800m wide buffer zone exists, protecting the park from any detrimental practices ie. Commercial fishing and coral mining. The park is patrolled by wardens, maintaining a permit system. This enables these areas to be restricted, but local fishermen and tourists alike, are permitted to enjoy the wonders on offer.



The challenges to sustainable development are staggering in number, scale and complexity. Some of the most pressing problems of Mafia District include depletion of both renewable and non- renewable resources; haphazard solid waste disposal; unsustainable agricultural practices; loss of biodiversity; poverty;

population pressure and low standard of education. Mafia district needs to develop and to modernize in less wasteful ways than those prevalent elsewhere, without losing the sound social and cultural values and practices which underpin the traditional way of life. Mafia district needs to find alternative paths to an alternative goal; a goal which ultimately is the true goal of development; an environmentally sound and sustainable quality of life, which is socially just and equitable. We believe that well-managed tourism can play a vital part in this process.

Marine Park Rules

The collection of marine organisms whether dead or alive by visitors is prohibited.

All forms of waste disposal are regulated within marine parks & reserves.

Fishing in marine parks is mainly reserved for registered local fishers.

To protect natural ecosystem processes and areas of high species and genetic diversity;

Users of the marine parks & reserves should avoid all physical contact with reef organisms, such as corals and sponges. They can be easily damaged.

Fishing in marine parks is mainly reserved for registered local fishers.

All extractive activities are prohibited in marine reserves and core zones.

It is illegal to pick up or possess any marine organisms from a marine protected area without a valid permit or license.

Visiting
The Marine Park

The entrance Service Charge is US$ 20 per day for adults and half for children , To this you must add the government value added tax of 18%. Currently the only entrance is at Utende and the Gate is clearly marked with a barrier. Payment must be made by credit card. If you do not have a credit card you can obtain a “Tembo Card” which is a prepaid card that can be purchased from appointed agents.

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