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The Iconic Mafia Island Experience – Everything You Need To Know!

Mafia literally means a ‘healthy-dwelling place,’ and the Mafia Island Experience is an accurate translation of its name! Talk about swimming with whale sharks, spotting humpback whales or Turtles nesting, Mafia Island experience offers it all! With its beautiful beaches and slow-paced life, this island is a perfect getaway spot to relax and recharge your spirit.

How to get to the Mafia Island?

Located in the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Tanzania, 80 miles from the capital of Tanzania – Dar-es-Salaam, is the magnificent Mafia Island. You can either take a 30-minute flight costing roughly around $75 for one way or a 4-5 hour ferry ride costing approximately $8. The local Tuk-Tuks are commonly used to get around the island; however, taxis are also available. 

What’s there to explore?

Famous for its snorkeling, diving, and scuba, especially in whale shark season, Mafia is ranked as one of the world’s best islands for its majestic marine life. The Mafia Island has a beautiful swimmable beach known as the paradise for divers, an alluring marine park with mangrove forests, coral reefs, lagoons, and sea-grass beds. Popularly known as the coral garden of East Africa, the Mafia embodies the richest reefs in the world. 

Here is a list of everything you need to know about Mafia Island:

  1. Snorkeling and Diving: Mafia is world-famous for snorkeling and diving due to its crystal-clear underwater world with its majestic coral reefs, unlike anywhere else in the world. 
  2. Whale Sharks: The most exciting part of the Mafia is swimming with the giant whale sharks during the season, usually around November to February. Kilindoni harbor is an ideal location to see whale sharks.
  3. Humpback Whale: Each year, around August and September, the gorgeous humpback whale migration passes Mafia Island, and witnessing this sight is the dream of every nature lover.
  4. Turtles: Swim with the turtles at the Marine Park or witness the hatching on Juani Island.
  5. Flying Foxes: Watch rare Comoros flying foxes gliding over you on the Chole Island as these fruit bats spend their days hanging upside down.
  6. Nature: Mafia Island is known for its incredible biodiversity and wildlife. The iconic experience will remain incomplete without a relaxing walk after the water activities to explore and immerse yourself in the rich nature.
  7. Sunset Cruise: A truly mesmerizing feeling to witness the sunset while sailing on the cruise. The sunset cruise at Mafia Island is an iconic treat to the eyes with its breathtaking views.
  8. Kayaks: Paddle to the sandbanks and uninhabited atolls in a kayak to explore the island’s hidden treasures!
  9. Mangroves: Tanzania is world famous for its most extensive mangrove system; Mafia Island offers to explore the mangroves and snorkel in them when the tides are high.
  10. Kilindoni Market: Getting exposure to the local culture and tradition of the Mafia, the market portrays women wrapped in their traditional dresses carrying parcels on their heads. This is a great stop to grab some souvenirs, try the street food and engage with the locals.

Mafia Island can easily be claimed as the best tropical island with its authentic and rich nature. Once you are done spending time on Mafia Island, you can explore the Best Cities to Visit in East Africa