Butiama Beach

West coast of Mafia Island
Accommodation Type
Beach lodge
Accommodation Level
Price Guide

Butiama Beach

Kick back and relax in this simple beach lodge overlooking the Indian Ocean. Butiama Beach is one of the most reasonably-priced lodges on Mafia, and in our view it’s a really good option, especially for families.
This welcoming beachfront retreat is the perfect place to unwind after a safari. We love its friendly, chilled-out feeling, and the managers are very good.

It’s the only lodge on the western side of the island, so if you’re coming to the island for its marine life you’re on the wrong side, however it has a dive/watersports centre on the Chole Bay side which is just about a 30 minute drive away (they offer a daily shuttle there).  For those feeling energetic there are lots of activities to do such as kayaking (there are 4 sea kayaks at the lodge), snorkelling and diving amidst the coral which is teaming with marine life.

Butiama has a beach, a good long one, but as with all Mafia Island lodges (except Mafia Island Lodge) swimming from the beach is not really possible at low tide. However Butiama has a good swimming pool, so that gets over that little problem.

So take your shoes off, head along the sandy pathways to your charming cottage, and relax.

Times to Go

The Kaskazi trade winds affect this side of the island around January to February, and the long rains are from April to May (when the lodge closes). The rest of the year is mostly dry and warm/hot.

Whale sharks can usually be spotted in the west coast shallows from October to March, with November to January tending to be the very best times to see them.

Butiama Beach highlights

  • Relaxing beach setting
  • Diving nearby in Marine Park
  • Kayaking
  • Sunset cruises

Butiama Beach location

Butiama Beach


  • 13 bungalows
  • Open June to March
  • Children of all ages welcome.


  • Swimming pool
  • Restaurant and beach bar
  • WIFI in reception area
  • Spa with massages
  • Daily shuttle to east coast dive centre


  • Beach walks to local village
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkelling (optional)
  • Dive centre trips (optional)
  • Whale watching (optional)
  • Sunset cruises (optional)

Butiama Beach rooms

There are 13 spacious bungalows – doubles, twins and two-bedroom family bungalows- all with en-suite bathrooms and sea views from the large verandas where you can relax on sofas and hammocks.

Rooms are atmospheric with colourful interiors, local fabrics and reclaimed dhow wood beds draped with mozzy nets.

They look pretty, fresh and seasidey!

Twiga the giraffe likes this because…

“This lodge offers boat trips to see and snorkel with the whales sharks that seasonally visit this area (October to March). Whilst we like Butiama, we have had reports of them not always acting responsibly around the whale sharks. Please be aware that engines should be cut near them, they should not be chased, and you should not touch them.”

And don’t forget … for every booking we get, Tanzania Specialists plants trees in deforested areas of Africa through The Travel Forest, and we back The Tribes Foundation’s conservation and social projects.

Tanzania Specialists

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to Tanzania.
Tell us what you want, and we will tailor make your perfect trip.

Call: 01473 890499


Amanda Marks

Managing Director
Self confessed Africa-lover, but keen on all new travel experiences, Amanda is passionate about getting to know different cultures.


Tracy Edwards

Travel Consultant
Tracy was been born and spent her youth in South Africa, the draw of the animals, the people and wilds of Africa have always run through her veins.


Sinead Bailey

Travel Consultant
Sinead caught the travel bug following a year out after university. She has worked in the travel industry ever since, and visited many countries including South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia.


Christine MacDougall

Travel Consultant
The African dust is firmly planted in Chris’s heart. Born in Tanzania she spent much of her childhood in and around Ruaha. Travel and safari was part of life and through into adulthood fun and travel has never left her.