We all long for the carefree ideal trip to the Island getaway with sunny skies, clear oceans, cool breezes and cocktails and by all means, Mafia Island has this in abundance. But his island paradise is more than a serene spot to work on your tan or enjoy a refreshing swim, it also plays host to several awesome activities.
Mafia Island lies south-east from Dar es Salaam about 30 miles off the coast. It is a pristine, beautiful Island with a lot to offer to nature-loving tourists! It is known for being undeveloped, unspoiled with an enormous marine park which has led to it having unspoiled waters and coral reefs. The Island has many fun, relaxing and adventurous activities and excursions for you to try. The island is a hidden gem in Tanzania and it’s never busy, so you’ll have a lot of privacy and alone time with your family or friends.
Here are some of the things to do on Mafia Island:
1. Swim with the Mafia Island whale sharks
Imagine coming head-to-head with the biggest fish in the world! That’s exactly what swimming with the whale sharks is! Don’t worry, the Mafia Island whale sharks won’t harm you. In fact, they’re pretty fun to swim with! It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you need to try!
For more on Whale Shark diving check out our guide – Spotting Whale Sharks of Mafia Island
Swimming with Whale sharks on Mafia Island, Image Source: MafiaIsland.Com
There are many diving sites available near Mafia Island for you. Here are some of the best diving sites around Mafia Island:
- Chole Wall: Here, you’ll get to spot many butterflyfish, angelfish, nudibranchs and damselfish.
- Milimani Reef: explore stunning corals, glassfish, lionfish, and moray eels
- Kinasi Pass – Here, you can spot parrotfish, large groupers, and barracuda!
At Mafia Island, you can find free Kayaks to explore the Indian Ocean! You can also explore the tiny islands that are situated around Mafia Island.
Kayaking on Mafia Island, Image Source: MafiaIsland.Com
4. Go snorkelling in the Mafia Island Marine Park
The entrance fee for the park is about $26 per person, but it’s definitely worth it! The park has one of the most beautiful coral reefs that you’ll get to see along with numerous marine species including stingrays, octopuses and eels!
5. Watch turtles hatch!
Mafia Island lets you explore nature in every way possible! If you want to see turtles hatching, all you have to do is ask your tour guide for it and they’ll take you to the closest nesting site.
Watching the turtles on Mafia Island, Image Source: KinasiLodge.Com
6. Check out the lighthouse on Mafia Island
The Ras Mkumbi Lighthouse is located in the northern area of Mafia Island and it’s been there since roughly 1894! It’s a stunning building that has been maintained since then
This is another activity that you can take part in for free at Mafia Island! There are trained boatmen to help you with the boards!
Mafia Island offers professional fishing services! You can catch tuna, giant trevally, barracuda and even kingfish!
Fishing on Mafia Island, Image Source: KinasiLodge.Com
9. Birdwatching at Mafia Island
There are about 200 species of birds at Mafia Island, making it a great spot for birdwatching. Moreover, many of the bird species here are difficult to find in other parts of Tanzania!
These include the Yellow-fronted canary, house sparrow, zebra waxbill and purple-banded sunbird!
Bird watching on Mafia Island, Image Source: BirdingTanzania.Blogspot.Com
10. Interact with the locals that live in villages near the coast and inside the Island,
No tour is complete without interacting with the locals there and getting to know them! The locals are extremely friendly and welcoming and you’re bound to have a great time with them. Typically, a guide will also accompany you during your tour to any nearby village.