Scuba diving

Mafia Island - A Place Full of Secret Dive Spots

While Zanzibar has become a popular tourist resort, Mafia Island remains quite unknown. Located in a magnificent part of the Tanzanian Zanzibar Archipelago, this true paradise in the Indian Ocean, offers the best diving spots in all east Africa. From 20m+ deep walls to pristine coral reefs with a high bio-diversity of species, this area has it all. The most famous dive is without doubt Chole Bay. This vast circular bay offers safe dives for all level divers all year round. Surrounded by plenty of other world-class dive sites, Chole Bay is not the only site within the Marine Park's environment. There are many secret dive spots, only the locals can take you to. If you want to find out more, read on.
21. 11. 2014 Photos: 20

Almost all Mafia's best diving is at depths of less than 30m so it is a sport diver's paradise. The reefs of the archipelago offer a staggeringly beautiful and varied display of marine life. The excellent condition and high diversity of the reefs stimulated the creation of Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania's first marine park. Examples of most kinds of tropical marine habitat occur here, including exposed fringing reefs, rock walls, and soft coral and algae-dominated reefs. The diversity of animal and plant life is hard to match, with over 48 genera of coral and 400 species of fish so far identified.

One of the longest standing dive operators and the only PADI 5 star dive resort on the Island is Mafia Island Diving. Situated within the marine park, on the western side of the island they offer personalised land and water based tours to immerse divers in the natural beauty, fascinating history and culture of Mafia and its surrounding islands.  Just a minutes walk from the dive centre, one has the opportunity to explore a macro paradise. Sandy bottoms, a wide range of bommies and a soft coral reef, the shore has a variety of topographies which are home to several of the weirdest and rarest marine creatures in the Indian Ocean. Mafia Island Diving is the only dive centre whom offer these dive sites and boast the only divers who have spent their time exploring the different areas, looking under every rock and discovering the fantastic life to be shared; several dive sites of the area were discovered by the divers from the resort and thus are solely dived by Mafia Island Diving only. Due to their well-kept secret, it is not uncommon to be the only boat on a particular site, and to truly experience the underwater beauty in peace and solitude. And that's a big plus for those who don't like overcrowded spots.

beautiful view, isn't it?

waterfront view of the resort

directors Danielle and David at work

Mafia’s most spectacular dive sites are situated within the sheltered cove of Chole Bay, at depths ranging from 5 to 30 meters, making it ideal for novices and experienced divers alike. The bay provides a natural shield from monsoon winds which, from June to September and in December and January, usually prevent divers from venturing past the reef in most Tanzanian and Zanzibar destinations – but the conveniently situated islets in the Mafia archipelago guarantee all-year-round diving. The bay is emptied out and refilled again on a six-hourly tidal basis, which enriches and refreshes the aquatic environment. All dives are planned as drift dives in accordance with the current, and all boat dives in the bay leave for 2 double tank trips. 

What's more, the dive center has marine biologist on staff that are available for tours that are of a personalized nature; guys at Mafia Island Diving like to keep no more than 4 divers to one guide. They also offer night dives and the staff speaks English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Swahili and Catalan so don't you worry, there is gonna be no language barrier! Check Mafia's website for more on the dive sites, courses, trips and special packages they currently offer.


Phone: (+255) 688 218 569 

Photos: © mafiadiving


21. 11. 2014

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