Mafia Marine National Park

Mafia Marine National Park, Mafia Island: Address, Phone Number, Mafia Marine National Park Reviews: 4.5/5

Mafia Marine National Park
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270 reviews
Very good

Cape Town Central, South Africa620 contributions
My first and last time for Mafia island
May 2021 • Couples
In Mafia island only the life under water is beautiful beautiful but you always have to pay in dollars everything you do and the park fees 20 Usd ( if you pay in Tsz they have there own exchange rate which is 10 % more than the normal rate ) even if you stay in hotel inside or near the park you have to pay the park fees or just go to the very classic beach for sunbathing
My first and last time for Mafia island
Written June 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Houston, TX1,508 contributions
STAY ON MAFIA! Avoid the Zanzibar crowds...Peaceful, Outstanding Snorkeling, Whale Sharks
Dec 2020
We planned a two week safari in Tanzania and since we were traveling so far to get there, decided to add another week and have some beach & snorkel time. We originally planned to stay at Zanzibar, would've loved to tour the Stone Town and spice market & have a cooking class, but the primary purpose was to relax on a beach and snorkel....and when we found out whale sharks were a very short trip from the beach at Mafia and there when we would be there, we decided to go to Mafia....and we were SO glad we did!

It was Christmas time and our first flight went to Zanzibar....that flight was packed, there were several other flights going there at the same time and we saw the airport there which was also packed, and the island viewed form the air showed it had a high density of people lodging/living areas. We arrived at Mafia, to a tiny one room airport, with a total of three planes for the day (yes! for the day, so no more than 36 people can arrive by plane in a day!) found our transportation outside and they took us directly to Kinasi Lodge, which served as our base for the week and arranged all of our tours for us, included in our package.

We have snorkeled numerous places in the world...Maldives, Yucatan, Bahamas, Ecuador, Hawaii, Guam, if you can snorkel there, we've done it, and there are a few things we look for that makes an ideal snorkel trip. (of course, our ideal is an excellent snorkel from the beach, but we only found that in the Bahamas) We found our snorkel trips from Kinasi Lodge to be well guided (the guide listened to us, observed us, and kept our slow pace letting us look closely at everything and watch the octopus or clownfish for 15 minutes if we wanted to) they would let us down in a good spot, and if there was a swift current, pick us up at the end rather than making us swim.

There were several locations to snorkel here and we saw amazing corals, grasses, and of course fish & octopus! This was all in Chole Bay. The tides can make snorkeling better at sometimes rather than others, but when it's shallower, the current is swifter. We really loved snorkeling here, if you like to snorkel and are in TZ, you should definitely visit here (we hear Zanzibar is super crowded, so go to Mafia!) but it wouldn't be worth a specific trip for snorkeling if you live in the Western Hemisphere.... Oh yes, and there are the whale sharks that are not in the Marine Park, they're on the other side near the airport. We only saw one, it had been raining for several days and they had gone deeper because of overcast skies and rain, our photos showed murky water so the whale sharks weren't real clear. Kinasi Lodge also arranged our whale shark trip...couldn't recommend them more for your stay on Mafia
Written February 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Martin Y
Valencia, Spain8 contributions
Exhuberant coastal wildlife, best for couples
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.

Liverpool, UK337 contributions
Why snorkel Mafia.
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.

Knivsta, Sweden7 contributions
Snorkeling in Mafia Island Marine National Park
Feb 2020
Staying at the southeast end of Mafia Island means inside the National Park, which costs about 23 USD/day/person. We have shopped around and it seems that most snorkeling tours depart from Kilole village and goes around in Chole Bay. Walking along the beach gives several opportunities and the price is 25-35 USD/person for two or three stops (about two hours).

Tours depart either at low or high tide. We have only snorkeled in low tide (mid February) and the visibility was really bad (maybe 4-5 m), lots of particles, and taking images with flash is almost impossible. The low visibility could depend on the tide, lots of rain, hot water and algae, as well as the devastation of forests in Selous Game Reserve, where Tanzania is building a new dam for hydroelectric power. Great Ruaha River flows out into the Indian Ocean west of Mafia Island where it deposits its silt. Sad development!

One destination in Chole Bay is the "Coral Garden" which still teams with fish. However, the coral in shallow waters is dead to about 65-70% with some patches in better condition. Hard corals are almost gone. Repports from divers says that corals at depths are in better condition, which we cannot confirm, but hope is true.

I had looked forward to this national park, but I can only confirm that the terrible death of the worlds coral reefs is certainly also true in Tanzania.
Written February 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Charles L
Beaufort, NC17 contributions
Amazing fish and corals
Oct 2019
We dove with Big Blu scuba, which had good boats and very knowledgeable guides. The best site was Pinnacles with giant groupers, turtles, stingrays and other amazing fish. Being a protected marine park makes all the difference.
Written November 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

3 contributions
Great Chole Bay
Aug 2019
We spent a fantastic week on Chole island.
We had of course the opportunity to go snorkelling in the Chole bay and we saw all what we could expect.
Just be careful of possible strong currents. Better to go and swim with someone to guide you.
what we loved the most if the fantastic sand bank that appears in Chole bay at low tide. Really a great place to be! and with most of the time nobody around you!
One negative point is the very high fee that we need to pay to enter this Marine National Park... We understand it is necessary and we just hope the money collected is really invested the right way.
Written September 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

torino11 contributions
Wonderful mafia
Aug 2019 • Couples
We stayed in Mafia for 10 days and we enjoy a lot all the time spent on this wonderful island.
If you want a guide for the island, I can recommend Rafiki; he is a man from mafia and he organized for us all the boat trip in the marine park and trip all around the island.
He is very nice, speak English and the price of the trip with him are very honest, half of the price that the resort tells to their guest!
If you need more information about mafia and all the activities on the island here’s the number of Ratfiki (+255 717 075 003) also with whatsup.
For sleep on the island I recommend Afro beach house! They are amazing!
Written September 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

sara j
Truro, UK8 contributions
Fantastic range of wildlife
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.

Sanne C
Frederiksberg, Denmark8 contributions
Hidden gem
Jul 2019 • Family
Beautiful well preserved corals and marine life. This is really a paradise for divers and snorklers. I can recommend Mafia Island Diving. Dived with them twice 2015 and 2019 and they have been amazing on both occasions.
Written August 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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