Reviews of Kinasi Lodge
Wildlife sightings and reviews
11 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Kinasi Lodge and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
The place offers several activities which might have been exciting if the torrential rains had not spoiled almost everything. We went snorkelling once but could hardly see any fish on the reef because of the weather conditions. We must say we were asked whether we wanted to cancel our boat trip but we didn't, to our disappointment later. The Young instructor with us was really good and tried hard to make the most of our outing.
Unfortunately we were confined to our room most of the time, but it's nobody's fault." See all these reviews: 10n in Tanzania
"Kinasi Lodge review"
The rooms and other buildings were all lovely as was the setting, however the service was rather poor and it should be noted that the location loses the afternoon sun quite early. The staff were polite and charming but it appeared to us that they had not been employed for long or properly trained as they seemed unsure of what they were doing. Service was at their own pace and the same request sometimes did not generate the same result!. Service within the rooms was pretty good although they did not always notice that there was laundry to be done. They also left the lights on in the evening on a number of occasions so the mosquitoes came in!
The restaurant was a huge disappoinment. We understand that on an island, fish would be served quite a lot but having tuna for 4 days both lunch and dinner was stretching anyone's desire for tuna. They kindly arranged for a meat dish for our son who eats very little fish but this wasn't always available or brought with the other main courses, when it was it was very basic beef or chicken. We were excited about breakfast but found the cooked breakast utterly tasteless and although there were pancakes with a wonderful choc sauce the pancakes were cold. Such a pity as they are quick to make and could have been made alongside the freshly made omellettes. It seems that menus started repeating themselves after six days.
We were also under the impression from brochures etc. that there was a pool side grill and pizza oven - which was what made us feel that our sons would be happy dining there with this as a back up. It was not used once in the 6 days we were there and looked as if it hadn't been used in the last six months, we had no explanation as to why not.
Having said this the setting was lovely, the fruit was fantastic and there was Marmite and peanut butter for breakfast which kept our sons going.
The Spa was run wonderfully by Tom and Nam and they gave the most fabulous massages which they tailored to your particular needs.
The dive centre was also run very efficiently and both my husband and son enjoyed their dives. Lars and his team were very friendly and supportive - we were very impressed with the time and care Lars took with a nervous lady on her first dive. Unfortunately the weather was unseasonably windy which made snorkelling difficult and cold in such large waves but what we saw was wonderful - a large range of coral and masses of beautiful fishes." See all these reviews: 14n in Tanzania
"Not quite what we hoped"
The staff were lovely and tried hard but communication was a bit hit or miss and I didn't feel the management was totally in control. We were unlucky with the weather and my favourite shirt and some other items were attacked by a bird or little animal in the room which did put a bit of a downer on things and it didn't start well with a wrangle at the gates over whether we had paid the entrance fees.
To be fair, the room was good as are the communal areas and a big plus was the spa where I had some of the best massages ever." See all these reviews: 9n in Tanzania
"Kinasi Lodge review"
Service good and discreet, restaurant staff somewhat slow and dozy and did run out of food for guests on a couple of meals (did cook more but a long wait). Food ok but more instiutionalised, bar prices good.
Didn't try any activities from here but seemed plenty on offer." See all these reviews: 14n in Tanzania
"An unspoilt corner of East Africa"
The lodge, which nestles on a beautifully landscaped bank, instantly gives you a sense of peaceful seclusion. The southern African couple who run the lodge were extremely welcoming and friendly.
A real delight was a special seafood supper under the stars beside the sea - just for the two of us. The centrepiece of the meal was a large crayfish, bigger than most lobsters we see!
The coral reefs are spectacular with a diverse range of tropical sea life. We went to a different part of the reef everyday, motoring out and sailing leisurely back in the dhow.
This is a very special place, almost unique in the experience it offers visitors. One can only hope that it doesn't sucumb to the lure of mass tourism, which has occured in other parts of the East African coast." See all these reviews: 6n in Tanzania; 6n in Zanzibar
"Kinasi Lodge review"
Having the only pool on the island made it possible for them to do their dive training and Audie then made time to take them out for a second dive despite there being other, experienced divers staying who might have been more interesting.
The pool was also a bonus because the beach is extremely tidal. During our visit the monsoon winds meant it wasn't practical to go for sand bar picnics and you can't actually get to the sea at low tide. If you stayed for only a few days you could find that you missed out on any day when the beach / sea combination worked well. As we were told when we arrived, more of an activities resort than one for full on sun worship. However there was no pressure to participate if you didn't want to.
The accommodation was lovely, the family bungalow being one of the ones that looks over the sea. The food was good, generally soup and salads at lunch and predominantly fish in the evening. They offered to adjust the menu for the boys if necessary but frankly by the time they had finished breakfast they didn't need any thing else!
Mafai has the advantage that being on a lagoon it is possible to dive even when it is windy, whereas in July diving off Zanzibar can be a bit hit and miss.
A lovely way to finished an excellently organised fortnight in Tanzania." See all these reviews: 14n in Tanzania
"Kinasi Lodge review"
The rooms were great and the service very attentive. Cocktails were fantastic - try the Kinasi Puntang!
We went on a nature/bird walk one morning which was very informative and well worth doing. There is a spa providing good massages." See all these reviews: 6n in Tanzania
"Kinasi Lodge review"
The Thai spa centre was excellent and we enjoyed very good massages, although the ladies' English was not good and we had to be clear what strength of massage we wanted!.
The local staff and Caesare and Anna were friendly and the meals were all excellent. One small point was that, because we were only one of 6 people there, we felt some pressure/guilt in the evenings to sign up to an activity for the next day, whereas we didn't usually want to do this. Generally we were treated really well and appreciated the effort Cesare and Anna went to to make our honeymoon special.
Our biggest concern centred around the water sports facility. The two South African's that were running this were rude, ignorant, difficult to get along with and uncommunicative. This was to guests but also, and in particular, to their staff. If you didn't dive one of them in particular didn't want to know. We took our business to the watersports centre at Mafia Island Lodge who were a lot more willing to help and be friendly.
Also in connection with watersports we noted that although windsurfers were available we had to tell them that they weren't all set up and there was nobody watching you windsurf so you could have got into trouble with nobody to help. Our decision, and the few number of guests, made us feel like there was an atmosphere and discomfort (with only the dive centre staff)" See all these reviews: 14n in Tanzania
It is a shame to hear that they did not find the service of the water sports team at all welcoming. We passed these comments on to Kinasi’s owner. He felt that it was indication of a ‘personality clash.’
Audie and Jacques are certainly strong characters; some find them abrasive or offensive. These travellers’ aren’t the first to comment on their approach; we doubt they will be the last.
Audie has been at Kinasi Lodge for many years now, and Kinasi’s owner is aware that he sometimes clashes with guests. This is not ideal, but it is how it is – and it is unlikely to change. We do have full confidence that he and his team are highly experienced and professional when it comes to diving.
If travellers are unhappy with the dive centre’s service at Kinasi, then we recommend that they do what these travellers did: use a nearby centre as an alternative for their diving and fishing.
That said, Kinasi have most certainly noted these comments. We have already heard that Kinasi has acquired a recent (female) recruit to the water sports team, and hope that she will settle in and become permanent, and that this will result in a softer approach from at least some of the activities’ team.
"Kinasi Lodge review"
Managment couple was very helpful and professionally friendly, but (after Anne and Jean) felt a tad impersonal. The staff was generally fine, apart from the two diving instructors (2 white males) who, in a Hollywood film, would be great as the "twin bored thugs" act, but at a holiday resort just made us back off from the idea we had of giving scuba diving a first.
The guy that will stay in our memory is the local Mafian guide, Kirubi I think his name was, who took us around the village "next door", knowing everyone, and shaking hands with everyone (including the kids), being loved by everyone, and giving us an amazing insight into the village life, and Mafia life on the whole. He had the charm and warm friendliness the place so desperately needed!
Faciclities were nice, apart from a shower in our room which was reduced to a trickle. We reported it to managment who instantly had a look at it, but couldn't fix it.
Food was generally competent – plus for alternatives for me!" See all these reviews: 14n in Tanzania
We’re sorry that the look of the diving instructors put these travellers off trying out a first scuba dive. Despite their appearances, diving instructors like Odi are very serious and professional about their diving – see the positive review below.
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Other lodges in Mafia Island
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
Pole Pole is a small, quiet beach lodge on Mafia. It's comfortable, almost luxurious, and has a great range of activities.
Chole Mjini is one of Tanzania's most environmentally aware lodges. With tree-houses, superb diving and a fantastic location on the rural island of Chole, this is ideal if you want to get back to nature.
Situated just west of Kilondoni, the main town on Mafia, Butiama Beach is a simple beach lodge with friendly managers and a laid back vibe.
Shamba Kilole is a charming Italian-owned eco-lodge on the coast of Mafia Island, with simple rooms and friendly owner-managers.
Thanda Island is a high-end private island destination that caters to just one group of travellers at a time.