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Mafia Island is located southeast of Dar-es-Salaam of Tanzania Swahili Coast opposite to Rufiji River. It is a relatively undeveloped area, but it is a haven for divers, nature lovers, and people who love adventures. It has enchanting white sand beaches, beautiful turquoise waters, and a lush green interior around unpaved roads. Locals use bicycles to move around. Unlike the nearby Zanzibar Island, this place does not have any noisy nightclubs. Instead, Mafia is famous for protecting its underwater reefs. That’s why it is considered one of the best scuba diving destinations in Africa.

Top things not to miss on Mafia Island

Scuba diving

Mafia is famous for its perfect places for scuba diving. Scuba diving is the most popular activity there. Almost half of the coastline is under the protection of the auspices of the Mafia Island Marine Park and aquatic abounds. According to reports, there are nearly 460 species of tropical fishes, five species of turtle, the elusive dugong, and many hard and soft corals in the ocean of Mafia Island.

From September to March, whale sharks visit mafia Island on their annual migration and can be seen feeding on plankton upwellings in huge numbers. Kitu Kiblu are responsible operators at the island who give chances to swim along with the whale sharks, the world’s largest fish. If you are in Mafia, you must go scuba diving.

Fishing and other watersports

Mafia’s rich marine life attract many deep-sea fishermen. These fishermen often visit Mafia to catch various species, including sailfish, wahoo, tuna, and giant trevallies. You can also visit Marine Park to enjoy other water sports. Shallow reef sites are best for snorkelling. If you are visiting Mafia, make sure to enjoy fishing and snorkelling while you are there. Many of the lodges and resorts of the Mafia also offers dhow cruises to tour nearby uninhabited Islands and sandbanks of the Archipelago.

Wildlife viewing

The Interior of Mafia Island has a diverse array of high coastal forests and lowland rainforests. Explore these untamed forests on foot. You can see indigenous monkeys, squirrels, flying foxes, and wild lizards with your naked eyes. There are more than 120 bird species in the forests of Mafia. From September to August, humpback whales can also be spotted while they are migrating past the island. Baby turtles hatch between June and September. So during these times, these cute creatures can be seen. If you love nature, you should go to Mafia and view the wildlife.

Historic Ruins and Culture Tours

Mafia’s marvelous past can be found in the ruined settlements across the Archipelago. On Juan Island, Kua Ruins can be seen. This was a thriving trading post, with Swahili residences, mosques and a palace of Sultan. Now, these historical places are overrun by fig roots giving you the sense of having stumbled upon lost civilization. There are many ruins of world War 1 left by Germans. If you are visiting the place, make sure to visit these historical ruins to know about their history and culture.

Best time to visit Mafia Island

Mafia has two distinct rainy seasons. The short rain from November to December and long rains from March to May. If diving is your main priority, try to visit the place in the non-rainy season. You can check all variables before visiting the place to make your trip the best and enjoyable.

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