Stayed for only a couple of nights to get away from the hustle and bustle of Dar es Salaam. Well worth the short trip from Dar (only 30 minutes flight). Abu greeted us as we exited the tiny arrivals building at Mafia airport. He loaded up our bags and 30 minutes later we arrived at the quiet side of the island: Ras Mbisi Lodge.
A total of 8 bandas were constructed on a former coconut plantation. Black monkeys and the most amazing birds can be spotted from your porch. We were traveling with a family with teenagers. The youngest thought it was too quiet, the oldest loved it. We took a day trip out on the dhow to look for whale sharks. Gentle giant plankton eating fish that are common in Mafia Channel at certain times of the year. Our crew spotted a giant specimen and we jumped in and could swim along using the snorkel gear the Lodge had provided. After all that excitement our captain sailed to a secluded and picture perfect beach where the crew cooked a delicious seafood meal for us. Lobster picnic in the tropics.
My wife enjoyed a massage at the wellness centre, all good. It was a shame we had to leave to go back to work so soon. We will definitely return.
Further positives: staff is fantastic, very friendly and accommodating. Our banda furniture: bed, lounge chairs, writing desk was comfortable. In case you don't know: a banda is a thatched roof, wooden construction, open to the elements ... the gentle rolling of the waves will rock you to sleep at night. Beach is wonderful, you can walk for hours. Perfectly secure too.
We enjoyed full board food service: highly recommended, the food is fantastic. So, if you are in need of some essential R&R and are comfortable living a little closer to nature for while, this is the place for you.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ras Mbisi is a small remote ‘beach meets bush’ lodge on the ‘secret’ island of Mafia, just off the southern coast of Tanzania. Ras Mbisi offers simple, elegant, barefoot luxury for discerning travellers. With white sandy beaches, dazzling aquamarine waters and refreshingly few tourists, Mafia is the way Zanzibar was 30 years ago, the cool laid-back eco-alternative. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ras Mbisi Hotel Mafia Island