Mafia Marine National Park
National Parks • Reefs
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
273 reviews
Excellent
153
Very good
80
Average
25
Poor
8
Terrible
7

Martin Y
Valencia, Spain8 contributions
Jan 2020
Fabulous place to stay with your partner, enjoying the enormous wildlife.
Snorkeling in the reefs around the marine park and swimming with whale sharks are the most impressive things I've done regarding wildlife.
It' s a safe place and the locals are incredibly helpful. My motorbike broke in the middle of nowhere and a man with whom I couldn´t speak a word drove me to the next station where I could get it fixed. The kids are also very curios and joyful
Written March 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Travelling_Louise
Cape Town149 contributions
Jan 2012 • Family
In a remote part of the world, these waters are fantastic. The diving is totally superb in clear water among unblemished coral. Swimming with whale sharks is a must on anyone's bucket list.
Written February 5, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Carl42
Petersburg, AK13 contributions
Oct 2011 • Friends
Shoals, banks and schools of fish. Water clarity was not the best. but the corals were very beautiful and the variety and numbers of fish were amazing.
Written November 30, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Global-Palatinator
Albersweiler, Germany91 contributions
Jul 2021
We stayed 1 week in the park, and as a fee we paid 25 USD/day / person.
We do not dive , but we are vivid snorklers.
We went 5 times by boat to the rock islands for snorkeling but we were a bit disappointed . At some places , the corals are still in poor shape, not recovered from years of bomb fishing . At other spots , the corals were partly ok , but mainly small and not overly impressive. We saw all the typical local fish, including firefish ....but need to report the complete absence of any larger fish then 3 pounds. At one time , we even observed a large group of locals fishing with a large net just next to the rocks.
We discussed our disappointing snorkeling sightings with some divers, and the divers did not confirm our observations of very average snorkeling ground, the divers reported also large fish and exciting dives . But our snorkeling was max average compared to other snorkeling sites in the Indian ocean.
We also went snorkeling from the beach , and found a very few interesting animals and corals, like a sea-horse and 3 firefish, but the visibility was not ideal at all.
One morning , we observed a turtle hatching , which was very nice . Another day , whilst returning from the rocks to the beach, we met a group of Dolphins briefly. We missed the season of the whalesharks and whales passing by , by a few month. In July we faced a lot of heavy winds, resulting in a very choppy and rough sea.
We find it imperative , that there is a Marine park, and we do not mind paying the 25USD, but we also expect the rangers to stop any poaching and abuse of the park, and we feel, that we paid much more then what we received.
Written July 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Liverpoolwonder
London, UK3 contributions
We had a day within the Marine Park, it was, fine. Chole Bay is beautiful, and the snorkeling was good although the beach at Utende wasn't up to much, a bit dirty and having spent time on the other side of the island quite busy - this is crowded for Mafia though! Be warned, none of the lodges apart from Mafia Lodge will let guests from other hotels in for so much as a coffee, I assume this is due to the difficulties of supply and having enough for their own guests but it felt a little unwelcoming.
Written November 10, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

goldsb
Liverpool, UK351 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
Why snorkel here? You have to be crazy! ( or like us desperate for something to do as the whale shark season ended early and we had come to Mafia specifically to see and photograph these animals). The cost to get to the water was 47 USD for two. The snorkelling ( for an hour) is extra. We have all our own gear having dived and snorkelled around the world. The staff are very nice at the bigblu dive centre. We had to have a guide ( this does add to the cost with tips for boat driver and guide). The bay is not clean at low tide. The water clarity moderate. Small marine life was seen. Nothing outstanding. Some of the coral was bleached. I did not see any fan coral. The coral seems to be around the small rocky islands in the bay.
So, why pay a huge sum for a moderate to poor experience? You find that to travel here offers nothing special. I believe diving offers turtles and eagle rays etc. You are stuck to boat snorkelling here. Not the lovely house reefs of the Maldives or the shore reefs in Hawaii. Indonesia was wonderful.
Mafia is competing in a global market - it is a looser unless there is real investment and a realistic appraisal of price. The Island has very little to offer. Whale sharks are a must see ( we have dived Mexico). Yesterday we were asked for 50 USD just to walk the beach ( in safety) by a local!
The fishermen do not like photos. Mafia Island will continue to be off the beaten track for tourists. The beaches are filthy around the island.
Written March 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

sara j
Truro, UK11 contributions
Aug 2019
Great for open water snorkelling but you need to be a confident swimmer or have a great guide as it can be choppy! Lots to see though and an amazing experience.
Written August 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Margaret
Aalborg, Denmark74 contributions
Feb 2018 • Solo
i stayed in kilindori: the idea of paying 23.60 usd/day on top of accommodation and food and activities was not appealing ( as you must take some activities as the beaches are mostly not swimmable due to the tide. 2 nice beaches are: in the North, at the lighthouse 45 Km from kilindori, maybe 30 usd tour, or at Ras Kisimani, in the south, 30 minutes away due to bad road, and circa 35.000shellings). So if you are stuck here cause you had very wrong reviews of the island...here it goes my advice:
I surrounded to the beauty of the underwater in Chole bay and to Chole island (please visit, and the blue lagoon and the sand bank). For the job is highly recommend a local big guy, very passionate and enthusiastic who really loves his job: ask of Hamis, from Chole, that will give you the beast snorkeling experience of your life, especially if you like me think: "pfff snorkeling? no i will go diving, not spending a day with people who have no clue!"... wrong! well, he is a good freediver and if you are able you can follow him and feel very safe as he knows all the rocks and coral and currents and tides...good eye for rare species: like no one else! He said he is also good with total beginners, towing them around in full safety; and most of all, you will spend in the water a very long time, not like some snorkelling tours where they drop you off, give you 10 minutes and done! he is coming in with you for guidance, supervision, help, information and FUN!snorkeling with him is about 25 usd but I ll recommend the full day for 45-55 usd so he can show you around. Marvellous! He is the best and local guy!
you can find him by contacting tourmafiaisland or afrosharksafati and asking of him for snorkeling! In this way you are sure your money will go directly to local passionate people and not only to the government and foreigners exploiting tourists. have fun :D!!!
i went 3 times and never went for diving despite I really love diving.
Written February 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Alexaduplessis
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania42 contributions
Dec 2016 • Couples
Worth the marine park fee for the beautiful coral and fish! You need a lodge to take you out on the water - we used Big Blu who were super.
Written December 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ackertron
ackertron31 contributions
Sep 2016 • Couples
We stayed at a home stay literally 50m past the marine park checkpoint where you had to stop and pay entry fee. The fee was $20 per person per day! This is crazy, so we had to pay $20 extra each just to be allowed to sleep in our hotel! It's not even a marine park! I can understand the charge for anybody who is partaking in any marine based activities e.g diving, boating etc, but being charged an entry fee to simply stay in a guest house on the main island is exploitation! Marine by definition is relating to in the sea, so why it is considered you are in a marine park when staying on an island that that has 1 part none marine park and another part considered a marine park. This is an absolute money maker for the government and will cost local businesses in the long run because people will not stay as long as planned because of these hidden charges!
Written September 16, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Mafia Marine National Park (Mafia Island) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go