Pole Pole enjoys a relaxed atmosphere and an idyllic beachside setting. Tastefully blending into its natural landscape, it offers comfortable accommodation in thatched bungalows and makes an excellent base for exploring the clear waters of Mafia Island Marine Park; home to a diverse range of marine life.
Butiama, Mafia Archipelago, Zanzibar Archipelago
Butiama is charming small hotel situated on the west coast of Mafia, under ten minutes transfer from the airstrip. The owner, Maura, has lived on Mafia for ten years and knows the island extremely well and this is reflected in the array of activities on offer - including trips to see the whale sharks which pass by around November to February.
The rooms at Butiama are bright and crisp, each beautifully decorated with fresh colours and tasteful design. They include a large, netted bed with en suite bathroom and decking area to relax and sip a coffee with a view of the sea. Just set back from the beach is the bar, circular in shape with lots of small baraza's making it a very sociable place, and the restaurant offers some great dishes including fresh catch-of-the-day. There is also a swimming pool where you can cool down if the tide is out.
The other bonus with Butiama is that it is located outside of the Marine Park zone, meaning that you only have to pay the park entrance fees for the days that you use it, unlike the hotels in the east of the island where it is compulsory. The hotel has a dive centre, located within the Marine Park, and can arrange transfers for US$10 per person return (current prices - subject to change). Here you can arrange snorkelling and diving trips, and in season visits to the whale sharks.
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Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.