Pole Pole Lodge


Mafia Island

Accommodation Type

Beach Lodge

Accommodation Level
DeluxeSomething special. Indulge yourself with a high-quality experience.
Price Guide

Pole Pole Lodge

Small, laid back with wonderful friendly staff who welcome you from the get-go! It’s a great base from which to explore both the ocean and the island itself. There’s plenty to do, or simply relax and enjoy!.

Surrounded by tall palms swaying in the sea breeze, Pole Pole is everything you might expect from a beach lodge on a beautiful tropical island. It oozes simple barefoot beach chic. We’ve stayed here various times and it remains one of our favourites on Mafia, and we love Mafia because it’s so much quieter than Zanzibar.

In case you were wondering, Pole Pole is Swahili for ‘slowly slowly’ and that’s the vibe here; it’s peaceful and quiet so you can enjoy the sunshine and sea.  But, whether you want a peaceful and relaxing break or days packed with activities, Pole Pole can offer both from its location on Chole Bay.

Your private bungalow, of which there are only 7, is simply furnished in keeping with the beach atmosphere. There are lovely touches of local artworks and fabrics and your own private veranda looking down towards the beach.

The open plan main areas continue the laid-back beach theme with wicker furniture, plenty of scatter cushions and the use of plain and colourful African fabrics. The bar is rustic, made from wood and rope, it’s a lovely setting for a sundowner if ever there was one. Grab a cocktail, and sit and watch the sun go down over the water – island simplicity at its best.

The mangrove-lined beach here is quite small, and secluded at high tide, but goes out a long way at low tide (Mafia is definitely not the Caribbean!), meaning you can’t always swim in the sea by the lodge. However, you could take a dhow out to a sandspit nearby, and of course there is always the swimming pool.

If you don’t just want to chill out here, there is a dive centre next door, and this Chole Bay area offers some of the best diving in Tanzania.

Times to Go

Pole Pole is closed during April and May as it’s the rainy season.

Pole Pole Lodge highlights

  • Small, intimate beach lodge
  • Chole Bay location on Mafia Island
  • Simple yet stylish with a laid-back atmosphere
  • Nearby PADI dive centre
  • Excellent base for snorkelling and diving

Pole Pole Lodge location

Pole Pole Lodge


  • 7 bungalows
  • Open June to end March
  • Children aged 10+ are welcome.


  • Swimming pool
  • WIFI
  • Spa treatments
  • Library
  • Laundry
  • Mobile signal
  • Safe at reception


  • Guided walks
  • Snorkelling trips
  • Dhow excursion
  • Island trips (optional)
  • Guided village walk (optional)
  • Diving (optional)
  • Snorkelling with whale sharks (optional)
  • Turtle hatching (optional)
  • Fishing (optional)

Pole Pole Lodge rooms

Pole Pole has 7 thatched bungalows built on a slight hill overlooking the sea.

From the outside they look simple and rustic, once inside they have a stylish feel about them.

Wooden floors and furniture contrast with the white walls.

Bright wall hangings and soft furnishings add a touch of colour and an African feel.

The en-suite bathrooms are to the rear of the bungalow with twin basins and a shower.

The spacious veranda out front has a day bed complete with mozzie net and is shaded by the protruding thatch roof.

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.