Mafia Island – Tanzania
Mafia Island is pure and even ‘un-touristy’. A handful of lodges, a couple of backpacker hostels, you really feel like you have stepped into the past. It is quiet, peaceful, undisturbed. White beaches that dazzle you with perfection, lined with coconut trees for miles on end and gently lapped by azure blue waters.
Combine this picturesque setting with a very easily accessible and relatively cheap spot to go snorkelling with whale sharks and you have found one of the best island escapes in the world.
And when you are not swimming with the whale sharks, there are plenty of other things to keep you busy, or beautiful beaches to flop down on for those who just want to sunbathe and chill.
The diving and snorkelling on Mafia Island are world-class and romantic cruises in a traditional dhow can be enjoyed whilst watching the setting sun.
Mafia Island is a true little paradise on earth.
About Mafia Island
Mafia Island is 394 square kilometres in size and lies only 20 kilometres from the coast of mainland Tanzania, opposite the mouth of the mighty Rufiji River.
The archipelago is formed of one large island (Mafia) and several small ones, most notably Chole island. Some of the other smaller islands are inhabited by local fishing communities or have been sold as private islands. It used to be an important Arab trade centre, before becoming a military base for the German colonists. It was then traded for a strip of land from the British and eventually handed over to become part of Tanganyika through independence from British rule.
Today Mafia’s inhabitants rely on tourism as well as the agriculture and fishing industries.