We loved Chole Foxes. You will too, if you come with a spirit of adventure, patience and tolerance. It is owned and managed by local people, unlike most of Mafia’s lodges. It is a work in progress; the manager Mbaraka has started on a shoestring and is steadily trying to build a good little lodge. He is a good communicator and organizer, and works really hard to please his guests.
Mbaraka sends a car to drive you from Kilindoni airport, about ½ hour across Mafia island to Utende. From there the hotel’s boat takes you 15 mins across the channel to Chole. Chole is a little island about 1 km long and covered by a very spread-out village. At low tide you land at Chole Mjini at the north end, which has some historic ruins and the Chole Mjini lodge (not open to drop-ins) and the very pleasant Red Herring bar. We walked from there about ½ hour to Chole Foxes which is at the south end – one of the boat crew helped carry our bags. It’s a pleasant mostly shady walk through the village. At high tide the boat can take you straight to Chole Foxes, entering through a channel in the mangroves. There’s no beach, just a little sand and steps going up to a coral ledge where the lodge stands among baobabs, palms and other trees.
When you stay at Chole Foxes, as with any of Mafia’s beach lodges, you are within the Marine Park and have to pay a daily park fee of $20 whether you go in the water or not.
Chole Foxes is completely off the grid. It has NO power other than LED lights charged by tiny solar panels. That means no fans or A/C, no charging of equipment, no wi-fi, no fridge, and no generator noise. We could live without most of that. One staff member, Kamna, was happy to charge laptops, batteries, phones etc at his home when needed.
Rooms are very basic with beds, bathroom, mosquito nets and minimal furniture. We were there at the hottest time of year, and nights were warm, but our room had a good through breeze (VERY important!) and a nice shady porch. The main lodge building is a big open-sided thatched hut, shady and breezy.
The food was excellent – simple and always fresh, and half-board provided quite enough for our needs. Timing was sometimes an issue, but...no hurry in Africa!
We found plenty to do. There is no good snorkeling close to the lodge, though the mangroves are interesting, but a ½ hour boat ride across the central lagoon got us to the Coral Gardens or some rocky islands, where we saw beautiful coral and abundant fish. During Nov-March, many whale-sharks come quite close to the W coast of the main island and are easily approached by boat – we went and swam with them. One day we walked to Juani Island which has extensive medieval ruins, worth a visit. It’s about an hour each way with a good deal of wading in shallow water, and you need a guide. Chole Foxes organized all excursions for us.
We walked a lot on the island, found the people very friendly. The famous flying foxes aren't close to Chole Foxes, they are about 20 mins walk north, where they roost in several huge trees. They fly at night but are active all day. Birdwatching around the lodge, we easily saw 50 species, quite good for a beach resort.
Bottom line - if your budget is tight and you aren't fussy, this place is fantastic value.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Kindly we thanks to you very much more than thanks for your Nice review. We apriciate you Opinion is like grand father and their children.
MR Dacid and his wifes thre was our great guest who booked for the one week and decided to stayin morre than are week about aw0 day, Arcording of good services and nice enviroment of chole Island
On chole Island its true there is no good beach but there is small channel of beach and mangrove you can swimm if is high tide, Mr David their interest it was not Beach and luxury palce but it was interesting in Mangrove and Birds watching they found more than 40 types of birds and they gave me on mentioned paper of all Birds they found.
Please be awre on Chole no electricity no motor bike no Car, iys very hard to recharge batries cameras and Computer. But our friendly and helpfull Staff Kamna Is the on who help all of our guest to recharge battries and Cameras
How ever in future we are going to establishing large solar Panel for electricity.
All the day I was trying to make sure they had got comfortable staying and they tried to helping me some more ideas how I can run the Busness
On our future we are going ro renovate all rooms and facilities as well as New rooms and and new Bar.
Thanks Mr and Mrs David we apriciate your support of local community
Please for more information and clarrification and all uptodate be awwre to mail us.
Chole foxes lodge
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.