Reasons to Visit
Zanzibar, an island located just off Dar es Salaam, is blessed with a coastline of picture perfect beaches. There are miles of white sand leading into shallow turquoise water lined with offshore reefs and dotted with small fishing villages sheltering under
At high tide all the dhows sail in to the various beaches and harbours on Zanzibar and lively bartering for the day’s catch ensues. Cruising around the islands on a traditional dhow boat is one of the best ways to experience Zanzibar.
Mafia is the site of Tanzania’s first marine national park, covering 800 square kilometres and with over 460 species of fish and fantastic corals. There are a wide variety of dive and snorkel spots in the Archipelago with something to offer for all abilities.
There are some very busy beaches, backed by large resorts which we don’t use. We have driven all round the island and found quiet beaches with small boutique hotels and simple lodges. We’ll drive you across the island to these and you can relax in peace.
Flanked by the sea, Stone Town is exotic and steeped in Swahili history. Laden dhows sail in to the port, crumbling buildings cast shadows over labyrinthine streets and the smell of spices fills the air. Much of Stone Town was built in the 19th Century and remains unchanged to this day.
The most commonly found turtle in Zanzibar is the green turtle, followed by the hawksbill. Both nest in Zanzibar and Pemba is one of the best places to see them. There are several projects being run to help protect these endangered animals and their nesting sites.
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Africa and The Indian Ocean
Arguably the most beautiful archipelago in the Indian Ocean, the Mafia Islands are a haven for both fauna and flora. It is just forty minutes by air from Dar es Salaam.
The Mafia Islands lie quietly in the Indian Ocean, just forty minutes flight from Dar es Salaam.
Virtually unknown, the names of Bwejuu, Mbarakum, Juani, Jibondo and Mafia mean little to most people. Yet these islands make up the most beautiful archipelago in the Indian Ocean, tiny jewels resting in an azure sea.
Covered in rich rainforest, thick grasslands and giant baobab trees, the islands are dotted with tiny villages. Here passion-fruit, paw-paw and mango trees are tended by women in brightly coloured kangas. Sunbirds flit through the trees, five species of endemic butterflies can be found and bushbabies call at night. On the coast, sandy beaches are flanked by mangroves. Whimbrels and curlews step in the water, whilst fishermen sit on the white sand, mending nets or making coconut coir rope. Strings of drying octopus blow in the breeze and dhows sail from island to island, carrying children to school at sunrise and back home at sunset.
All that said, it is in the turquoise waters that you’ll find the islands’ biggest attractions. Unspoiled barrier reefs surround the islands, rich in soft corals, sea anemones and sponges, and attracting a dazzling array of fish. Potato groupers, hump-headed parrotfish and giant batfish are just some of those you might see while snorkelling, while turtles, rays and dolphins are never far away. At dusk, the flying foxes take off from the trees. Dipping quickly to the water, they make for the cashew and mango trees, where they rustle and crunch their way through the night. From sunrise to sunset Mafia is magical and as yet little visited.
15 days from £2,860pp
114 miles away
118 miles away
142 miles away
182 miles away
Include a visit to the Mafia Archipelago on your tailor-made trip around Zanzibar Archipelago by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in Zanzibar ArchipelagoWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout Zanzibar Archipelago
Other countries in Africa:BotswanaKenyaMadagascarMalawiMauritiusMozambiqueNamibiaRwandaSouth AfricaTanzaniaThe SeychellesUgandaZambiaZimbabwe
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