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Monday
Feb122018

Two Months on  Mafia

 

When I travel to new places, I try and go with no expectations. Nowadays it’s so easy to research a destination, and arrive knowing the ins and outs before even setting foot off the plane. With Mafia, however, it was a slightly different story... – even if I had wanted to find out about the place, information was limited. It seemed as though the majority of people opt to visit the better-known Zanzibar for their helping of East African sun, which meant Mafia has remained under the radar for a while. This definitely fuelled my curiosity, and I was eager to discover the island.

What I did come knowing was that the reefs of Chole Bay were one of Tanzania’s hidden secrets, and I was looking forward to diving, getting underwater, and seeing what they had to offer. From seahorse, to guitar sharks, octopus to giant reef rays I wasn’t disappointed. Even the boat ride to and from the dive sites were a delight, and I’ve fallen in love with the traditional dhow sailing boats we take to get to the sites.

My first night here was one to remember. I was woken by the sound of coconuts falling from the nearby palms. It gave me a strange mix of comfort and adrenaline. It was as if the island was announcing my arrival with a coconut-fanfare. I liked it.

Another nice surprise I had was how connected Mafia is to the other islands in the archipelago. There are five islands in total, each with their own unique features, and it’s been great to explore a few of these on our day trips.

It’s been a trip of simple pleasures. A first sip of a cold coca-cola in a glass bottle. Sighting a village weaver. Listening to the rain at night. It’s not been all sunshine and rainbows though, it is hot. That’s one thing I’m happy to be going home to – a bit of cool air.

By Stuart Ross - Tanzania Marine Conservation Intern

Frontier runs conservationdevelopmentteaching and adventure travel projects in over 50 countries worldwide - so join us and explore the world!

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