Zanzibar Islands : The Zanzibar archipelago is a group of islands off the coast of mainland Tanzania.

Bawe Island

Bawe Island is a hidden gem that is located just 10 miles offshore from Stone Town, the vibrant capital of Zanzibar. For those looking for a private getaway, this little, historically significant tropical paradise offers total seclusion and seclusion. When the island moored the first telegraph wires linking Zanzibar to Aden, South Africa, and the Seychelles in 1870, it gained significance.

Reached after a thirty-minute boat voyage, Bawe Island welcomes guests to walk across its powder-soft white sands and lose themselves in the tranquilly of the Indian Ocean. Bawe, which was once an important hub for international communications, is now a haven of serenity and easy elegance. The white sand around the island’s hotel, which is tucked away in a little cove on the beach, adds to the feeling of privacy.

Activities to do at Bawe Island

Snorkelling Trip to Bawe Island: Take off on an amazing snorkelling journey at Zanzibar’s second-largest coral reef barrier. Discover the colourful underwater environment, swim with schools of fish, and see sea lions and colourful starfish. Your trip starts with an air-conditioned passenger minibus ride to the coastlines departing from Stone Town. After arriving, a motorised boat will transport you to Bawe Island Reef, where a snorkelling expert will give you safety instructions. Dive into the deep seas, which are home to stunning coral reefs and a wealth of marine life. Go to shallower areas to get a closer look at the marine life and appreciate the special beauty of Bawe Island’s underwater treasures.

Chapwani Island

A mile offshore, hidden away as a narrow strip of sandbanks and forest, Chapwani Island beckons with its traditional bungalows and beachfront home. This tranquil haven is just a short 15-minute shuttle boat trip from town and provides the ideal combination of Stone Town sightseeing and a relaxing beach vacation.

As the site of the British Seamen’s Cemetery, Chapwani Island offers more than just a charming getaway. Stories about the sinking of the HMS Pegasus and conflicts with the Omani Sultan Kingdom are written on gravestones. The 450 metres of the island’s fine white sand beach are perfect for leisurely strolls along the immaculate shoreline.

Activities to do at Chapwani Island

Swim: Take a leisurely dip in the cool waters of Chapwani Island, which are ideal for warm tropical sunbathing.

Snorkel: Explore the diverse marine life beneath the glistening waves as you snorkel to learn about the lively underwater environment.

Dive: Discover the riches concealed in the Indian Ocean’s underwater domains by plunging into its depths.

See a Range of Bird Species: Chapwani Island is a birdwatcher’s paradise, providing chances to see a range of bird species in their native environment.

The perfect place for a short getaway is Chapwani Island, where you can easily go from discovering Stone Town’s cultural attractions to unwinding on the beach.

Mafia Island

Tanzania’s Mafia Archipelago, which includes Mafia Island, is hidden away in the Indian Ocean and offers a serene sanctuary to travellers looking for peace. Bright coral reefs brimming with a variety of marine life, including whale sharks and sea turtles, may be found along the southern coastline and in the surrounding waters, which are protected by the vast Mafia Island Marine Park.

Offering a haven for nature lovers, scuba divers, and daring souls, Mafia Island entices travellers seeking an unknown experience. Slightly less developed than Dar es Salaam, this island provides an escape from the bustle with less people and a plethora of natural treasures. Mafia Island, with its dirt roads and sparse tourist population, has an unspoiled appeal that brings back memories of Zanzibar from decades ago. The laid-back vibe and amiable residents add to its allure. With its white sand beaches, turquoise oceans, and a lush green interior that is broken up by unpaved, primitive roads, the island is a true tropical paradise.

Zanzibar Islands
Mafia Island

The Arabic word “morfiyeh,” which means “group” or “archipelago,” and the Swahili phrase “mahali pa afya,” which means “a healthy dwelling-place,” are the origins of the name “Mafia.”

For marine biodiversity, Mafia Island and its smaller islets are globally significant. With an extent of 822 square kilometres, the Mafia Island Marine Park is the largest marine protected area in the Indian Ocean. The island’s beaches, which are surrounded by mangroves, may be smaller than those in Zanzibar, but their beauty is still unmatched.

For those who love the sea, Mafia Island serves as a sanctuary. It’s a unique location for tourists and couples looking to unwind after a Tanzania safari, with humpback whales, turtles, and the majestic whale shark gracing the waters. The island is one of the top scuba diving locations in Africa because of its protected underwater reefs. Year-round diving is possible in the concave waters of Chole Bay, while experienced divers can visit places outside the bay from October to February.

Mafia Island welcomes you to experience the peace of a genuinely pristine paradise as well as the unspoiled beauty of its beaches and abundant marine life.

The best time to visit Mafia Island

Mafia has two distinct rainy seasons, which characterise its tropical climate. The long rains occur from March to May, whereas the short rains occur from November to December. Avoid travelling during the wet seasons when there is less underwater visibility if diving is your first priority. During the extended periods of rain, certain lodges close. Plan your vacation between August and October (slightly cooler) or between late December and mid-March (hotter and more humid) if you want sunny, dry weather. Although June and July are typically dry and cool, windy days might influence the sea state. Whale shark season runs from September to March.

If diving is your thing, choose your month wisely. While diving in Chole Bay is possible all year round, deeper passages are only accessible from August through November. The finest visibility is from October to February, though vision is rarely less than 15 metres year-round. Aim for late May through the beginning of the brief rainy season in November for the greatest beach conditions. Since the best time to see whale sharks is from September to early March—when the island receives the most of its rain—it is actually only from mid-March to mid-May that should be totally avoided.

Accommodations in Mafia Island

Mafia is known for its expensive and intimate lodging options. For the height of seclusion, magnificent private island lodges are also offered.

If you decide to stay at Utende, which is a part of the Mafia Island Marine Park, you will have to pay a $20 daily conservation charge.

Eco Shamba Kilole Lodge

Six cottages with a view of the sea and a garden and trees surround the tranquil retreat. Swimming pool, wine cellar, restaurant with conference room, dive school, and private jogging park are all available. Every apartment is decorated differently, honouring Swahili customs and heritage. Ideal for bird watchers, honeymooners, and lovers of the sea. With just six rooms and an organic restaurant, the former is the first certified eco-lodge in the Mafia. The latter has colonial-style, five-star accommodations with views of Chole Bay. In addition, there is a PADI dive centre, two restaurants, and a spa.

Kinasi Lodge

When you stay at Kinasi Lodge, located inside East Africa’s best marine park, everything is practically at your doorstep when it comes to Mafia, an unmatched beach and adventure destination. There are stunning reefs for diving and snorkelling, a protected bay for swimming and sailing, ancient ruins and traditional villages to visit, sandbanks and islets to enjoy alone, picnics with our excursion dhow, and road safaris to other parts of the island, unspoiled by development. We provide free use of bicycles, kayaks, and guided tours for our visitors.

Ibizza Inn

In Kilindoni, the reasonably priced Ibizza Inn offers tidy en suite rooms, air conditioning, mosquito nets and a bustling rooftop bar.

book a safari