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Mafia Island
Mafia Island
Mafia Island
Mafia Island

Mafia is a relatively unknown Island in the Indian Ocean.

It offers golden sandy beaches and emerald seas.

The Island is the perfect place to relax...

...and great for snorkelling or learning to dive.

Mafia Island

Reviews of holidays to Mafia Island

127 holiday reviews from our travellers of holidays which include Mafia Island.

Showing 1-10 of 127
Arrival date

"A Great Green Season Safari"

I visited Tanzania between 1 Feb 2020 and 15 Feb 2020
"Despite some tricky conditions everything worked very well, and we had a diverse and very enjoyable trip. We´vee been very happy with the services of Expert Africa and will gladly book with them again.

Tanzania had an unusually wet season. We did have quite some rain and some very dull lighting conditions but the sun came out often enough to keep us happy. Some areas in Selous and Ruaha were inaccessible but that was no issue for us, we covered a lot of ground, doing mostly full day outings.

We loved the lush green environments, it was nice to see happy animals enjoying the abundance of food. Predators were a bit scarce, and the high grass a problem for visibility sometimes but we had expected that. Birding was really good, we recorded almost 300 species and photographed about 250. Udzungwa was a really cool place to be, loved the hiking there. Snorkeling in Mafia was a revelation - like swimming in an aquarium, really beautiful. We cannot quite join in the chorus of devoted Chole followers though.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

No suggestions - really impressed with the quality of service. Thanks again!" Read full review: 14 nights in Africa; 14 on a Tanzania safari
Overall trip
M & C

"My Dec 2019 trip"

I visited Tanzania between 18 Dec 2019 and 1 Jan 2020
"Excellent trip, and we loved Tanzania - people, location and activities.

Slightly disappointed by the weather (more long periods of rain than we had expected) and the wildlife were also elusive, but overall it was an excellent trip and we would happily return. Lodges were all excellently run, with high standards, as expected." Read full review: 14 nights in Africa; 12 on a Tanzania safari
Overall trip
Mr & Mrs S
E Sussex

"Xmas beach Holiday"

I visited Tanzania and 1 other country between 8 Dec 2019 and 29 Dec 2019
"Kono Kono let the whole trip down

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

None I can think of" Read full review: 21 nights in Africa; 6 on a Tanzania safari
Overall trip
Ms R.
San Giuliano T.

"The trip of our dreams "

I visited Tanzania between 1 Oct 2019 and 11 Oct 2019
"A memorable trip indeed !

We have wonderful memories, in spite of the disappointment in Mafia because of the weather.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

Your organization was perfect. We don't know how you could possibly improve it." Read full review: 10 nights in Africa; 10 on a Tanzania safari
Overall trip
T & S
North Carolina

"September 2019 Safari"

I visited Tanzania and 1 other country between 3 Sep 2019 and 25 Sep 2019
"We knew this was going to be the trip of a lifetime, but nothing could have prepared us for the experience we had. By the 3rd day we had run out of superlatives and by day 8 we were tongue tied when trying to describe how remarkable the wildlife was, how fabulous the food, how gorgeous the accommodations and how well we were treated. Even now, two months later we have difficulty.

We would not hesitate to use the services of Expert Africa again, in fact we would insist on it for trip planning in that part of the world. We would also insist on having Lyndsey Marris as our personal representative. Lyndsey was outstanding from day one, asking all the right questions about our travel experiences, our wishes, making suggestions before I had a chance to even think to ask, and somehow despite her being in London and our being in the United States we never waited more than 24 hours for an email or telephone response. We don’t know how she managed to work around the time difference, but she did. Her recommendations were spot on and she was flexible with changes; nothing seemed beyond her. We met and formed a friendship with a family from greater London while in Ruaha who had also used Expert Africa and had Lyndsey as their agent and they had the same experience and praise for her as we did.

We were provided with daily itineraries including private drivers, reservations at restaurants, all flight arrangements, hotel and safari camp reservations and accurate information about all of them. In over three weeks of travel there was only one hiccup and that was minor and no doubt precipitated by a flight delay causing us to arrive in Nairobi 2 ½ hours late. The driver who was to have met our flight was not there and we were unsure on how to proceed. As it turned out, a very attentive gentleman had been observing our situation and eventually came over and asked what had happened and it turned out he worked for the same company, Southern Cross Safaris, who was to drive us that day and the next. He took over and got us transported to the hotel and put us back onto our activity schedule to see the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and the Giraffe Center. The driver from Southern Cross Safaris was delightful and informative and we met him again the last evening of our trip when we came back to Nairobi to fly home. The only adjustment we would make to our stay in Nairobi would be to give up the convenience of an airport hotel for the apparently unique, lovely experience of staying at Giraffe Manor. We didn’t know Giraffe Manor existed so it wasn’t something we asked Lyndsey about, but we really wish it had somehow come up.

I would suggest to anyone going on Safari to stay in multiple camps in diverse geographic areas. Lyndsey gave us a perfect itinerary in the perfect order: Nairobi, Selous, Ruaha, Mara River, Grumeti and finally Mafia Island and a flight home from Nairobi. Each of the areas had its own flora and fauna and special emphasis. Selous is private, no traffic or competition to view the animals, you can go off road, but the animals are very spread out due to its size. You have the opportunity to see the rare wild dog, but fewer cats. Ruaha, on the other hand, is a national park; you cannot go off road, there are many more vehicles, but it is definitely the place for cats. Mara River is all about the wildebeest crossing. It is also a national park. Grumeti is a private paradise in the Serengeti that gives you the absolute best of the best. Mafia Island is an exquisite respite from the “always on alert” feeling of safari.

If you looked on a map you might wonder why we worked from south to north just to fly much further south at the end, but Lyndsey explained her thinking, we took her advice - she was exactly correct. The wildlife built up as did the camps as we went along. Not once did we feel we were taking a back step in the quality of anything. And going on safari is quite tiring despite the fact you are being driven everywhere, so a restful beach idyll at the end is perfect.

We will definitely return to Africa. We would repeat this trip in a heartbeat. In fact this trip was so fantastic it will be difficult to resist literally going back to the same camps, but Africa is huge with so much variety, we will most likely expand our horizons. Where ever it is, Expert Africa will help plan our trip." Read full review: 22 nights in Africa; 18 on a Tanzania safari
Overall trip
Mr and Mrs G

"Beautiful Intro to Kenya & Tanzania"

I visited Kenya and 2 other countries between 15 Aug 2019 and 5 Sep 2019
"Glorious trip to Kenya and Tanzania, our first visit to those countries. Having travelled in Africa extensively before, the punctuality and efficiency of collections etc was impressive. We thoroughly enjoyed the insight into local culture and the safari opportunities were stunning. All guides very kind and friendly, always keen to please.

Our limited constructive feedback as follows: All camps provided toiletries and washing powder, so no need to bring. Camps advertising laundry services still did not wash underwear (male or female), nor handkerchiefs. Drive to Il Ngwesi from Wilson airport was interesting, but ended up as quite an odyssey as driver did not know the way through Lewa Conservancy to the camp. As no signs available, this ended up as an additional 2 hours of desperately trying to find the camp before dark. All good in the end, but maybe check drivers know their destination before setting off." Read full review: 21 nights in Africa; 13 on a Kenya safari
Overall trip
Mr & Mrs D

"My Aug 2019 trip"

I visited Tanzania between 2 Aug 2019 and 17 Aug 2019
"It was excellent. Our thanks go to Claire Scott who really listened to what we wanted and selected excellent locations for us." Read full review: 15 nights in Africa; 13 on a Tanzania safari
Overall trip
Mrs C

"Fantastic trip"

I visited Tanzania between 21 Jul 2019 and 4 Aug 2019
"We had a wonderful time with spectacular scenery, fantastic wildlife sightings and great places to stay.

Our guide Baraza, was brilliant, extremely knowledgeable, professional and hard-working throughout our 10 days on safari." Read full review: 14 nights in Africa; 14 on a Tanzania safari
Overall trip
Mrs E.

"Zanzibar Mafia July 2019"

I visited Tanzania and 1 other country between 16 Jul 2019 and 29 Jul 2019
"this holiday had the perfect combination of a variety of very different contrasting destinations, time to chill out in exquisite lodges, the bustle of a culturally and historically fascinating city, the thrill of travelling to a tiny island group at Mafia - the fun of snorkelling and diving - monkeys, butterflies, coral reef and fish - perfect

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

no I think you were absolutely excellent and you made our holiday very enjoyable and relaxing" Read full review: 13 nights in Africa; 5 on a Tanzania safari
Overall trip
Mr Geoff

"Tanzania travels"

I visited Tanzania between 10 Jun 2019 and 24 Jun 2019
"I went to three bases in 13 days and it felt like I’d been away a month
It was brilliant from start to finish
Expert Africa organised everything and it worked like clockwork

It was early season just after the rains and lodges were quiet
The wildlife sightings were great as was the scuba diving in the Indian Ocean" Read full review: 14 nights in Africa; 12 on a Tanzania safari
Overall trip
Showing 1-10 of 127
127 reviews of Mafia Island by travellers since August 2007
Overall rating by our travellers
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Where to stay in Mafia Island

Our suggestions for beach lodges in Mafia Island

Pole Pole

Pole Pole

Pole Pole is a small, quiet beach lodge on Mafia. It's comfortable, almost luxurious, and has a great range of activities.

94% (99 reviews)
Chole Mjini Lodge

Chole Mjini Lodge

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.

94% (28 reviews)
Kinasi Lodge

Kinasi Lodge

Kinasi is a small, personal beach lodge on Mafia Island that has the features of a larger hotel, including a large pool and spa.

82% (11 reviews)
Butiama Beach

Butiama Beach

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.

94% (10 reviews)
Shamba Kilole

Shamba Kilole

Shamba Kilole is a charming Italian-owned eco-lodge on the coast of Mafia Island, with simple rooms and friendly owner-managers.

No reviews yet
Thanda Island

Thanda Island

Thanda Island is a high-end private island destination that caters to just one group of travellers at a time.

No reviews yet

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