Mafia is Tanzania’s island paradise just to the south of Zanzibar. Covering an area of 822 square km, this beautiful Indian Ocean tropical island is famous for deep sea fishing and scuba diving. Aquatic life is abundant and the coral gardens are pristine due to the protection of the Mafia Island Marine Park. The reefs around Mafia are home to over 400 species of fish and marine animals.
Mafia Island is the site of Tanzania’s first Marine Park, which was gazetted in 1995. The park covers the southern half of the island and part of the northeast, and is one of the most important marine habitats in the world. It has mangroves, sea-grass beds, coral reefs, inter-tidal reef flats, lagoons and coastal forest.
Chole Bay forms the hub of Mafia’s limited tourism development. The bay is surrounded with coral reefs teeming with sea life, has a number of isolated sand bars, and is sheltered by a reef that runs unbroken for the length of the island. It is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, sailing and diving. Its natural horseshoe shape offers great beaches. Outside the bay there are some unique reefs that offer spectacular diving, including colourful coral gardens, walls at various levels and many shelves and coral heads.

Mafia is a real sleepy backwater … unspoiled, un-commercialized and apparently timeless, where local people go about their traditional ways of life barely touched by the outside world. It is the ideal location for total relaxation in the sun, sand and sea, and a marine paradise for scuba and deep sea divers. The pristine coral reefs are spectacular offering a colourful undersea adventure experience, the world’s most unique underwater seascape.
Other activities on the island include bird watching, fishing and visits to local villages, historic archaeological sites, coastal forests, coconut plantations and traditional boat-building yards.