Experience the traditional Swahili Coast
“I sit for a while and watch the fisherman, as they push out to sea in their dhows, with excited expectation at what the day’s catch will bring… I feel like I have stepped back in time.”
While Zanzibar may take all the headlines, the relatively unknown Mafia Island is a diver’s paradise. Lying just 160km south of its better-known cousin, the Mafia archipelago really can make claim to the title of ‘unspoilt’.
This collection of coral reefs, bays, lagoons, sand bars and beaches receives fewer than a thousand visitors a year. Mafia Island itself is home to rural fishing communities, and the historic ruins of Chole Island are easily accessible by boat.
This peaceful island is eulogised by divers, snorkellers and game fishermen alike. A barrier reef teeming with marine life surrounds Mafia Island. To date more than 50 different corals, 460 species of fish and five different types of turtle have been recorded in the waters around Chole Bay. In the centre of the island a series of lakes, believed to be the remnants of an old lagoon, are home to a small number of hippo.