The island of Mafia, along with the other islands of the
archipelago, is located about 120 km south of Dar es Salaam and 20 km from the
eastern end of Rufiji in the Indian Ocean.
The main island of Mafia is about 48 km long and 17 km wide at its widest point. Several smaller islands and islets are scattered in the west and south.
Mafia, although its pronunciation is Mafìa, is also known as Chole Samba.
The name "Mafia" derives from the Arabic morfiyeh ("group" or "archipelago") or from the Swahili mahali pa afya ("healthy place").
The first Tanzanian Marine National Park was created in Mafia in
The marine park of the island of Mafia (MIMP) consists of eight small reserves, in which fishing has been regulated since 1975.
The area of the marine park of the island of Mafia covers about 822 km², over the 75% of it is below the sea level.
The area hosts an exceptional mosaic of tropical marine habitats including: coral reefs, algae and mangroves.
Along the eastern coast of the island you can find beautiful forests, and going inland we find flatter areas.
Two species of sea turtles use the beaches of Mafia as nesting areas, in fact the area has been internationally recognized as one of the most important sites for biodiversity.
The waters of the Mafia, given its distance from the continent, are among the most beautiful and pristine in the country: in the area of the marine park people can find the most beautiful coral reefs in Tanzania.
The island's beaches are pure, uncontaminated and uncrowded.
They are ideal for diving, snorkeling, kayaking, deep-sea fishing and many other activities.
The deepest seabeds around the island are renowned throughout the
world for the multitude of marine species that inhabit them. Also
you can see many corals.
On less crowded beaches you can often meet giant turtles. Furthermore it is possible to observe over 120 different species of birds.
On the island there are many historical sites: there are many buildings dating back to the nineteenth century, including some mosques, this was because it was a crucial point for trade between East Africa and the Far East.
However, there are some ruins that date back to the 8th century.
What to do
Beach holiday, boat and canoe trips, diving and snorkeling, fishing, luxury trips.
The island covers an area of 825 km², is 48 km long and 17
It is an island of Tanzania, located in the Indian Ocean about 25 km from the coast of the continent and 120 km south of Dar es Salaam.
When to Go
The climate is coastal and the temperatures are between 20 and
The season of the Great Rains is from April to May, while that of the Little Rains is from October to November.
The best time of year to visit the Mafia Island is from July to October, which are also the hottest months.
Mafia can be reached from Dar es Salaam by plane or by ship.