Mafia Island Lodge

Mafia Island Lodge

Set amid tall palms on Chole Bay, this reasonably-priced beach lodge offers you an opportunity to unwind and enjoy superb sea activities such as scuba-diving and snorkelling. It’s not really about wonderful rooms or food, it’s more about its position and the great watersports it offers.

Mafia Island Lodge is a simple, unpretentious lodge with an easy laid-back atmosphere. It’s a lodge we mainly recommend for people who are keen on diving and snorkelling in the Chole Bay, rather than being the best spot for a relaxed beach holiday.

There are 30 rooms in total, so it’s larger than some of the other properties, but this keeps the prices down. We generally prefer not to recommend the standard rooms which we find too basic, but the superior ones and suites are perfectly acceptable. In essence though, don’t come here for the rooms or food or service (though it’s very friendly), but come primarily for the location. Mafia Island Lodge is on the only non-tidal beach on the island with easy access to the underwater delights of the region. You’re not far from some of the best snorkelling and diving to be had off the coast of Tanzania.

Mafia Island Lodge highlights

  • Simple, large beach lodge
  • Only non-tidal beach on Mafia
  • Superb watersports activities
  • Sunset cruises
  • Candle-lit dinner on the beach

Mafia Island Lodge location

Mafia Island Lodge


  • 30 rooms and suites
  • Open all year
  • Watersports centre closed in April and May
  • Children of all ages welcome


  • Beach bar
  • Restaurant
  • Wi-Fi in communal areas
  • Pool table, table tennis
  • Laundry service


(All optional)

  • Diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Deep-sea fishing
  • Sailing
  • Sandbank lunches
  • Whale watching (August/September)
  • Island visits
  • Dhow trips
  • Sunset cruise
  • Village tour

Mafia Island Lodge rooms

There are 10 standard, 14 superior and 3 family rooms plus 3 suites at Mafia Island Lodge.

The individual rooms are set out amongst the coconut palms, each with their own veranda overlooking the beach, ocean and the gardens.

All rooms have either fans or air-conditioning to keep the heat at bay and a combination of twin and double beds are available, each with a mozzie net.

The family rooms have 2 connecting rooms, both en-suite.

Suites are located near the ocean, have fridge and coffee maker, a large bathroom and a private garden.

Twiga the giraffe likes this because…

Mafia Island Lodge is committed to supporting the local community. They support Karibuni Olnus who fund many education and medical programmes, providing schooling, vocational training and healthcare such as dentistry and free access to an ultrasound scanner. They support local small businesses by buying their products for use at the lodge. They have replaced plastic water bottles in guest rooms with reusable ones that are filled from the lodge’s water dispenser. The lodge’s composter produces fertilisers that are used in the vegetable garden. Lodge managers are keen to engage in recycling wherever possible to reduce environmental impact.  

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

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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.