Mafia Island

Cape to Cairo

Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia Islands are part of a coral reef barrier along the Tanzania Coast.  The resorts here are becoming recognized as among the top in the world.  .  The crystal clear water, beautiful beaches and luxurious vegitation form a paradise that provides a wonderful combination of Swahili culture, superb diving and wonderful cuisine.  A visit to any of these islands is easily added to one of our Tanzania or Kenya safaris.

Zanzibar is immediately accessible from the mainland by ferry or by scheduled flights.  Pemba is most easily reached by ferry from Zanzibar, and Mafia is best reached by charter flight from Dar Es Salaam.

Zanzibar Map Zanzibar  was the famed center of the Arab spice trade and a center for the fascinating Swahili culture which blends African, Arab, and Indian influences. Zanzibar continues to be a major producer of spice, particularly cloves.  
Stone Town is noted for its preservation of the unique architecture that evolved along the East African coast and offers several comfortable old hotels in this style.

The Jozani Forest features a variety of wildlife and exotic plants, most notably the red colobus monkey.

Red colubus monkey
Colubus Monkey
Beaches at Pingwe and Ras Nungwi provide white sand and crystal clear water and excellent scuba diving opportunities.


Interior of the Tembo Hotel Tembo Hotel - old  Swahili style in Stone Town.

The Tembo is beautifully situated on the waterfront, with great views of the beach and islands beyond.

The original hotel was a conversion of the beautiful old Tembo House and was a simple affair with only a handful of rooms and a very intimate atmosphere.  A new wing was added around 1994, which increased the facilities greatly, including a nice swimming pool.

Tembo hotel, outlook and room verandas
Emerson and Green - Set in the heart of Stone Town, this truly magnificent mansion has been wonderfully restored by two Americans.  Originally built as the Hurumzi House by Tharia Thopan. Due to his close ties to the Sultan of the time, Thopan was permitted to build his house as the second highest in Stone Town; second only to the Sultan's own ceremonial palace, The House of Wonders.

 Atmosphere is of principal import as the furnishings are all original Zanzibari antiques of varied origins and styles that, together, create the impressions of Arabian Nights and sultan princesses escaping in the dead of the night for romance. 

The ten guestrooms each represent Zanzibari traditions in a distinct way. All rooms except for the Kipembe room are equipped with large stone bathtubs providing unusual bathing pleasure where a bubble bath and a bottle of wine are a frequent request.  The sultan-sized rooms on the first and second floors have 20 foot ceilings, carved doors, original stucco décor and hand painted glass lamps and window panes. All guest rooms have large Zanzibari beds complete with netting.


Zanzibar Beach Resorts
Mnemba Island Lodge  is one of the most exclusive resorts in the world.  It offers a full range of water activities including one of the best diving venues in the world.
Mnemba Island resort - exclusive Indian Ocean getaway.

The Karafuu Hotel is our recommendation for a full - service beach resort on the East Coast of Zanzibar.  With European management, spacious rooms, and restrained styling, Karfuu provides elegant comfort on a beautiful beach.

Officially opened in December 1995, Karafuu is has recently been rated as a five star hotel and it is considered one of the best of the island. 

The hotel is built on seven hectares of pleasant tropical garden.  Accommodation is in cottages, 26 of which facing the sea under a  beautiful palm-grove or on a small hill. All are built under "makuti" thatch, furnished with traditional Zanzibar furniture and comprising: entrance through private garden, ample bedroom, dressing room, bathroom in Carrara marble,  view veranda,independent air conditioning.
The hotel has its own dive shop.  Other activities include tennis, snorkelling, water  skiing, surf biking, banana rodeo, canoeing, boat excursions, deep-sea fishing, cycling, tennis table, volley ball, bowls.

International animation at night with ballet, cabaret,  groups of local dancers or acrobats, disco and piano bar. 


Mafia Island
The Mafia Archipelago  forms part of the coral reef protecting the coast of Tanzania.  The Mafia Marine Park was created with the support of the WWF to protect this unique ecology.

The huge Rufiji river delta influences this ecosystem by supplying nutritional substances at the base of a complex food-chain.  The island is the meeting place of large oceanic fish and the the vast variety of fish common to the Indian Ocean coral reefs. There are over 400 species of fish in the park. 

Chole Bay, Mafia's protected deep-water anchorage, is  part of the  marine park. Its horseshoe  shape is studded with lovely beaches. A reef outside the bay runs the length of Mafia Island. The diving here is amongst the most spectacular in the world and includes colourful coral gardens, walls at  various levels and many shelves and coral heads.

Mafia Marine Park, courtesy Polepole Bungalow Resorts

Polepole Bungalow Resort consists of ten bungalows  set in a shady, breezy spot facing a sea of the deepest blue and looking over at the islands of Chole, Juani and Jibondo.

Owned and operated by a young Italian couple,  Massimo and Katia who have spent the last several years designing and building the resort. The ten roomy bungalows with wide verandas looking onto the sea are built entirely out of wood and raised on stilts to ensure the maximum comfort  for the guests. 

Each bungalow covers 60 sq m with personalized fixtures and finishings. The floors are made out of  afrormosia, one of the rarest and valued tropical woods, the furniture from mahogany and the door and window frames from doussi.

Kinasi Lodge  is a small luxury lodge for twenty guests. Built with natural materials and traditional palm thatching, the lodge is situated situated in a coconut and cashew plantation overlooking the Bay and the islands of Chole, Jibondo and Juani. Large rooms are decorated with hand-made furniture, each with an elevated wooden veranda shaded under thatch, private bathroom, armchairs, tables and hammock. Each room is designed for total comfort, privacy, to catch the sea breezes and allow for individual views of the Bay. 

There is all-day mains electricity and hot and cold water supply from three permanent wells on the property.

KINASI is beautifully furnished with antiques and hand-crafted furniture, made for us to our own designs. The dining room is appointed with crockery and hand-blown glassware made specially for us and there are original works of art by East African artists. 

Catering is based upon  local seafood: fresh fish, prawns, crab, lobster, octopus and calamari, with fresh vegetables and fruit flown from the mainland. Our breads, rolls, pizzas and variety of yoghurts, preserves and sauces are all home made, from traditional recipes. Seafood barbecues and Swahili cuisine are established KINASI  customs.

Pemba Island


Pemba Island is remote and relatively unknown. The tiny traditional villages of Pemba have had little impact on the coast and the coral reefs around Pemba are largely in pristine condition. Pemba is surrounded by dramatic and exciting coral reefs stretching as far as the eye can see. The colourful Indian Ocean marine life can therefore breed and interact along the plunging coral walls that so well symbolise Pemba Island. Large pelagic fish swim and hunt amongst the thousands of small, brightly coloured reef fish that play around the plunging drop-offs and in the turquoise waters of the shallows - an underwater naturalist's dream.


 Pemba is now listed as one of the top dives spots win the world and offers superb diving opportunities with unspoilt coral gardens and a vast array of marine life. At present only the West and South coasts have been explored and all the sites mentioned are in these areas. While most diving is from live-aboard boats, it is also possible to make exciting shore dives.
Fundu Lagoon is a superb, award-winning beach lodge is set in a wonderful, accessible only by boat.

The lodge itself is consists of  20 bungalows built from mangrove poles and palm thatch, concealing an interior ofgreat style. Two bars and a restaurant with a modern-eco feel, specifically   designed and hand-crafted to blend with the natural environment of this fertile isle. 

 All with superb sweeping views of the bay, making Fundu Lagoon a perfect honeymoon retreat. Each room has a private balcony and en-suite bathroom, fans and minibar. Furnishings are stylishly simple throughout and made from natural, local materials.

 A fully-equipped PADI diving Centre and a wide range of watersports including snorkeling, windsurfing, waterskiing and canoe safaris into the mangrove swamps.A short walk from your bungalow takes you to the atmospheric Restaurant and Bar sitting beneath a  magnificent sweeping Makuti roof. A number of different levels give ample opportunity to dine alone or in groups, inside or out. 

Cape To Cairo:  African Business and Adventure Travel
2761 Unicorn Ln NW, Washington DC 20015
Tel (202) 244 5954 Fax (202) 244 5993
 (800) 356-4433
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