The spice island or the Zanzibar archipelago is composed of various small islands but the well-known ones are Pemba Island, Unguja Island and the home of several small islets known as Mafia Island or “Chole Shamba”. It is the part of Pwani Region and is administered by the mainland. The place is considered to be a source of great attraction for those tourists who love to dive, swim, snorkel and also for those who come in search of tranquillity and relaxation along the waterside. So if you want a leisure time at the place which is very less crowded by the people and represents the picture of true Swahili coast, just head towards these islands by taking cheap flights to Dar es Salam .The area offers you charted planes to reach Mafia Island which also owns the airport, Mafia Island Airport located in Killindoni town.
The Mafia Island covers the land area of about 394 square kilometres with various small islets where people reside. The main one is Chobe Island which is spreaded over an area of about 2 square kilometres and provides shelter to almost 800 people. It serves as the actual harbour and main abyssal water anchorage of Mafia and the extension of water between the Rufiji River and deltas is known as Mafia Channel. The word Mafia is originated from the Arabic language morfiyeh which means ‘archipelago’ or ‘group’ and also from Swahili language word mahali pa afya which means “a healthy dwelling-place”. An agglomeration of tourists visit the Marine wildlife centre on the island and also the first multi-user park of Tanzania situated on Mafia Island.
There are many interesting activities, the island offers such as the world-class snorkelling and scuba diving. It has been confirmed by many scientists that Mafia is an oasis of the richest reefs of the world, featuring the unique variety of soft and hard corals and abundance of colourful breeds of fish. The island provides you the fantastic dive sites between Mafia and Kilwa with channels, bommies and reefs of ultimate beauty. If you visit Mafia in the months between November and March you will be mesmerized to view the whale sharks in the island of Mafia and Pemba. These soft but gigantic creatures accept the divers in the depth of oceans without any hostile behaviour and this whale watch tour will undoubtedly be the best experience of your lives.
You can also enjoy kayaking in some of the ideal spots such as La Lua Cheia and Kinasi which is an unmatchable fun for couples as they are double craft so the partners can paddle together for a thrilling adventure. Besides the tourists have other options as well such as sailing, fishing, tour of remote islands like Chole and Juani, picnic and boat excursions and several other land activities such as cycling, a calm walk, guided adventures, bird watching ad also the road excursions. You can also visit the Pemba located in the close vicinity which is also gaining fame as the best diving spot and a haven of very unique and large number of marine life. So this time when you plan your holiday trip, don’t think for any other resort other than the mesmerizing Mafia Island.