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Plot 16 - Utende Beach, Mafia Island Tanzania
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COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this property is taking.Read more
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Traveler (324)
Pool & Beach (78)
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What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
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What you can expect during your stay
  • All linens sanitized in high-temperature wash
  • Face masks required for guests in public areas
  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
  • Hand sanitizer available to guests & staff
  • Stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
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Updated 03/01/21 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Pole Pole Bungalows
Updated 03/01/21 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.


#1 of 10 hotels in Mafia Island
Travelers' Choice
Seven bungalow suites overlook the infinite hues of blue of Chole Bay, the core of Mafia Island Marine Park. Pole Pole is an exclusive eco-resort, renowned for its great cuisine, unpretentious and laid-back atmosphere, warm but discrete hospitality. Balancing luxury and respect for local culture and environment it is the perfect place to relax after a safari and the ideal base for exploring the underwater wanders of Mafia Island. With a touch of style.
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Property amenities
Free internet
Free breakfast
Airport transportation
Public wifi
Outdoor pool
Shallow end in pool
Bar / lounge
Breakfast available
Breakfast in the room
Complimentary instant cofffee
Complimentary tea
Complimentary welcome drink
Outdoor dining area
Snack bar
Poolside bar
Walking tours
Shuttle bus service
Car hire
Taxi service
Gift shop
Mosquito net
Sun umbrellas
24-hour check-in
24-hour front desk
Express check-in / check-out
Private check-in / check-out
Laundry service
Ironing service
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Room features
Private beach
Dining area
Coffee / tea maker
Electric kettle
Walk-in shower
Interconnected rooms available
Private balcony
Room service
Seating area
Wardrobe / closet
Bottled water
Clothes rack
Private bathrooms
Bath / shower
Complimentary toiletries
Hair dryer
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Room types
Ocean view
Bridal suite
Non-smoking rooms
Smoking rooms available
Good to know
Great View
Hidden Gem
350Reviews12Q+A48Room tips
Traveler rating
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Popular mentions
Deepak wrote a review Today
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania186 contributions158 helpful votes
We received a warm welcome by the manager Alex and a quick check in with the welcome coconut water. As a family of 4, we were allocated the family room no 6. The room was quite cosy and comfy with a sea view. Basically it's like an eco friendly room, very clean and natural. As a vegetarian family, we found the vegetarian options quite limited in the menu. However, the director, Mr. Samanter, was quite flexible and organized a special menu for us for a few days...thank you. Highly recommend this place for your stay in mafia. All the staff are very friendly and helpful. Pole pole is beautiful and the layout is amazing for relaxation...all the excursions can be done and arranged from here. Must visit mafia island and Pole pole bungalow.
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Date of stay: October 2021Trip type: Traveled with family
Sara H wrote a review Jan 2021
28 contributions9 helpful votes
Hotel's Favorite
Fantastic place, the bungalows are very comfy and cosy, a lot of spots to chill and enjoy the amazing view on the bay. The service and staff are truly amazing: very helpful, kind and genuine! Very good vibes overall!!
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Date of stay: January 2021Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Response from Patty Ponti, Owner at Pole Pole Bungalows
Responded Feb 4, 2021
Thanks for the positive review Sarah...really happy to hear you enjoyed your experience at Pole Pole. Really wish we will be seeing you again in the near future.
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Honey-Bee12345678910 wrote a review Yesterday
Canton of Zug, Switzerland2 contributions
It was simply fantastical! We traveled as friends - everything was perfectly organized; from our arrival with a very warm welcome from the host Alex until our departure. We enjoyed diving with the local dive center which cooperates perfectly with the resort. The food and the drinks at pole pole are very good. We especially want to thank Alex for her daily support and host - she does her work with a lot of love and passion for her guests and the staff which made us feeling very welcome and comfortable during our stay.
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Date of stay: October 2021Trip type: Traveled with friends
Room Tip: It’s simply about Pole Pole (slowly, slowly)! If you want to relax in a beautiful resort, far...
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Lynn P wrote a review Oct 7
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg72 contributions309 helpful votes
I'm not sure what to begin with: the lush and relaxing garden, the amazing and welcoming staff, the delicious food or Alessandra, the fabulous manager. Everything was amazing and made our stay at Pole Pole an unforgettable stay! We had chosen Mafia Island because we are divers and because we prefer less busy places. Pole Pole seemed like the perfect place for us to go doving and to enjoy some relaxing downtime and it definitely did not disappoint. We've spent 9 nights at the lodge and ultimately we wish we had spent even more nights there. The resort is a barefoot resort as all the pathways are sand, surrounded by beautifully maintained palm tree gardens and mangroves. Both of which are full of life: from squirrels to bird and sometimes even a monkey, there's always something happening above your head. The bungalows are very spacious and comfortable, offering everything one may need. We spent quite a bit of time on our veranda, reading, talking or even napping on our daybed. Of course the bungalow was kept very clean and well maintained. Pure peacefulness! As you may know already, Pole Pole's packages include one daily excursion which are organised with the neighboring dive center (Mafia Island Diving which deserves its own review). The excursions range from trips to Chole Island to snorkel and sandbank trips, from island tours to sundowners on a boat. It's a very wide range and everyone will find something to their liking. We very much appreciated the fact that one choses the excursion only the night before - pole pole / no stress! The food at the resort is fabulous! Breakfast is à la carte while lunch and dinner are served as 4 course meals for which one can chose between 2 starters and 3 main courses. There's always something for everyone's liking! But here I'd also like to bring in the only suggestions we have: 1. The food is too much. We ended up ordering a max of 3 dishes and were still more than full. We would have rather paid a little less for a 3 course meal instead. 2. The desserts are much too repetitive. There's only 3 desserts (ice cream, profiteroles, fruit salad) and while they're all delicious it becomes old too quick, considering one has two deserts per day. A little more variery would be fantastic. The staff has been amazing and every single one of them was extremely kind and helpful. They always stayed in the background to give the guests their privacy, yet they were right there when we needed something. To us, the heart and soul of Pole Pole is the manager Alessandra. She always is on top of things, always asked if everything was to our liking and immediately intervened when needed. Alessandra is not only a great manager but also a beautiful soul, full of knowledge and experience. We loved listening to her stories and learned a whole lot from her. If Alessandra lets you take a look into her world, please take the time to listen to her. We greatly miss her already! We had a wonderful time at Pole Pole and Mafia island and will be back soon. We can't wait!
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Date of stay: September 2021Trip type: Traveled as a couple
duddy j wrote a review Sep 2021
New Egypt, New Jersey35 contributions17 helpful votes
There is always a certian theme that sets a place apart from the rest. Pole Pole is an amazing, gorgeous, and top notch resort, but it is ALEX the manger that pulls it all together. An amazing woman with great experience and knowlege of the industry. She knows guest services and nothing is left to chance. Your welcome briefing lays it out quite well. Super relaxed, no set timetable - but behind the scenes is a well organized system and attentive staff that leave nothing to chance. At the briefing you are handed a phone with speed dial numbers for room service, food, beverage and anything you could possible want without moving a muscle. The accomodations reminded us of being in luxury bungalows in the French Polynesia. While we added this to the end of our 14 day safari so we could get covid tested to return to the US... WOW we are so happy we ended up here. Great way to relax, unwind and get some scuba diving and snorkeling in (IN AFRICA!) who thought that was possible? Rooms will wow you as will the decks with VERY comfortable furniture, even a day bed for a great afternoon snooze...... the sea is visable from all bungalows and there is a wonderful breze to keep temps in check. Meals - you pick options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The dinner is always 4 course and we even asked for 1/2 portions on the second course as there was so much food. As part of your package you also get a free excursion daily which we took advantage of - one being a snorkel & beach BBQ, and another we did was a sunset sail in a traditional dow. If you are a diver or snorkler refs here are in amazing conditions as they are part of a marine reserve and protected. They are not heavily visited so fish life is abundant (many unique varieties). Fish are not shy so getting great uderwater photos was quite easy. All along the way Alex was there to ensure everythig met our expectations. It seemed just as something entered your mind that you may like to have or a questions about ... someone read your mind and the question was answered before it asked. We encourage all to spend some time speakig with Alex (what a life well lived) Lastly the grounds are immaculatly kept and entire staff is so friendly. This is a top nothch destination operated by a top notch Manager. THANKS ALEX for taking such good care of us. Our diversion to Mafia turned out to be a true highlight of our African adventure. Joe & Michlle
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Date of stay: September 2021
Sleep Quality
Response from Patty Ponti, Owner at Pole Pole Bungalows
Responded 3 weeks ago
Alex and all her staff are the ones thanking you for having appreciated Pole Pole and all their efforts. They are really motivated giving more every time, they are lucky enough to meet guests like you who can appreciate the small details and are enthusiastic enough to forgive the small mistakes. It has been a pleasure hosting you. Hope to see you again.Keep in touch.
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pole pole bungalows hotel mafia island
TanzaniaPwani RegionMafia Island
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Frequently Asked Questions about Pole Pole Bungalows
Which popular attractions are close to Pole Pole Bungalows?
Nearby attractions include Chole Bay (4.8 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at Pole Pole Bungalows?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
Which room amenities are available at Pole Pole Bungalows?
Top room amenities include a bidet, a desk, and a dining area.
What food & drink options are available at Pole Pole Bungalows?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Pole Pole Bungalows?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Pole Pole Bungalows have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Pole Pole Bungalows offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Pole Pole Bungalows have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the ocean view available here.