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Why Mafia is your one stop shop in  Tanzania

I may be biased, but I think Mafia Island is the best place in Tanzania. For me, it’s got everything you would want; beaches, sunshine, wildlife, and a little dose of Tanzanian-city living. Don’t believe me? Below, I explain why, and how Mafia Island can compete with these other destinations, and why Mafia should be your one-shop-stop for all things Tanzania.

Dar Es Salaam

You’ll probably fly into Tanzania’s capital before you catch your small 12-seater plane over to Mafia Island. The city is what you’d expect from an African capital; busy streets, a culinary exploration, and a lively nightlife – all of which you can find, in a smaller (dare I say it, more manageable) dose, in Kilindoni, Mafia Island’s biggest town. Whether you want to explore the traditional markets, let your hair down at a local nightclub, or try some Tanzanian street food, you can get your fill in Kilindoni.


One of Tanzania’s main attractions is the wildlife of the Serengeti and Ngorogoro that Toto made so famous. Whether it’s the wildebeest migration that has tickled your fancy, or the deadly waters of flamingo-filled Lake Natron, you have to hand it to Tanzania, the flora and fauna is pretty spectacular. However, for all you animal-lovers out there, Mafia has some impressive sights too. Spend your sunrise bird-watching, and if you’re lucky enough, catch a glimpse of an african fish eagle, or a purple-breasted roller. Or if you’re not an early bird, enjoy the afternoon sun whilt butterfly catching, and discovering some of Mafia’s endemic species. If this still is not enough, may we remind you of the marine life you are bound to see. The big five is one thing, but swimming with whale sharks, the world’s largest fish, is fairly mind-blowing too.


Ok, so this one is easy. Zanzibar’s main appeals are the beautiful beaches, world-renowned scuba diving and partying East-African style. Mafia Island can meet your beaches, diving and partying and raise you on location, why go to Zanzibar when you can be doing all this in a marine-protected area?! This means you’ll get to enjoy healthier reefs, a less-built up coastline, and all-together, happier fish (and maybe people?).


Hmm… this one we’re stumped on. So, there’s not much that can compete with Africa’s tallest mountain, the island all together is rather flat, and the chances of seeing snow are slim. However, I can offer you a cool Kilimanjaro beer! Completion may not get you the oohs and aahs that you were hoping for, but it is still an enjoyable experience!

By Anita Lateano - Tanzania Field Communications Officer

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