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Butiama Beach

Zanzibar & the Coast

Rating: Mid-range    

Butiama Beach overview

The lodge is on the west coast of Mafia Island not far from Kilindoni, the capital. It is a great place to rest before or after a safari, offering a variety of both water and land-based activities.

Guest bungalows have furniture made from reclaimed dhow wood and are decorated with brightly coloured kikois. En-suite bathrooms have hot and cold water and a range of toiletries including colourful, hand-made soaps. All have a private veranda where you can sit back, gaze out to sea and listen to the breeze in the palm trees. Beds have mosquito nets and rooms are cooled by fans. There are larger bungalows for families. 

You can enjoy some lovely food here. Breakfast is a choice of muffins, pancakes, cereals, fruit, yoghurt as well as bacon and eggs. There is a selection of snacks and light lunches and at dinner time you will be treated to a 3-course meal. You are welcome to quench your thirst with a drink at the beach time at any time.

The water is clear and at high tide you can go swimming. Snorkelling and kayaking along the shore and into the mangroves are popular activities, and the lodge arranges dive trips from the Big Blue Dive Centre, about a 25 minute drive away, to view corals, turtles and various species of fish, including the world's largest, the whaleshark. You can take a relaxing dhow cruise during the day or at sunset. On land you can watch the animals and birds and walk to local villages. The lodge can arrange 4x4 vehicle excursions to other part of Mafia Island, and picnics on secluded beaches and sandbanks. With all these activities, you will never be short of things to do, though you may opt to take things easy and laze by the pool.   

There is a shop on site where you can stock up on locally-made souvenirs and gifts for family and friends back at home. 


Open: Butiama Beach is open from the beginning of June to the end of March. Location: The hotel is on the west side of Mafia island, about 10 minutes drive from the airport. The capital, Kilindoni, is about 1km from the lodge.

Rooms: There are 13 bungalows accommodating a maximum of 32 guests. They are made up of double, twin and family rooms. Local kikois are used as furnishings and the rooms are bight and colourful and beds are fitted with mosquito nets and there are fans. Bottled water is provided. Each has an en-suite bathroom with a supply of toiletries, and a veranda with seats and a hammock. Rooms are set back about 50 metres from the sea and are set beneath the shade of coconut trees.

Activities: You can go swimming at high tide. Beach towels and kikois are supplied in each room. Kayaks are available at no extra charge, and guided snorkelling tours can be arranged. In summer (November to March) you may have the chance to go snorkelling with whale sharks. You can take dhow cruises to other part of the island, deserted sandbanks and nearby islands, and enjoy sunset cruises. Humpback whales can often be seen between July and September, depending on weather conditions. Daily transfers are arranged to the Big Blu Mafia Island Dive Centre, about a 25 minute drive away, for diving trips. Kilindoni village and its markets are about a 20 minute walk from the lodge. You can walk inland, spotting birds and monkeys and discovering ponds, caves and ruins, and take a guided trip to the lighthouse on the north point of the island.

Facilities: The main area includes a beach bar, Chiringuito, a small library with several board games, a dartboard and a pool table. There is a separate restaurant, Peku Peku, open-sided to admit the breeze. Spa treatments are available in the massage banda. The swimming pool is located close to the beach. There is a gift shop at reception. The lodge offers a free laundry service. Cameras can be charged in the manager’s house.

Dining: Meals are taken at individual tables.

Children: Children of all ages are welcome. The swimming pool is unsupervised and children aged under 14 years should be in the charge of an adult. 

Health: This is a malarial area.

Communication: There is a good mobile signal and Wi-Fi internet access is available outside reception free of charge.

Map for Butiama Beach

Lodge IconLodge Yacht IconVessel Tented Camp IconCamp Hotel IconHotel National Park IconNational Park Historic site IconHistoric site Place of Interest IconPlace of Interest UNESCO world heritage site IconUNESCO heritage site

Tracy Edwards
Christine MacDougall
Dave Lock
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customer rating

88% from
5 reviews











client reviews


"Our hottest destination of the trip and whilst it all looked lovely, the accommodation didn't have air conditioning. Even with 2 fans our nights were uncomfortable. The food was more than disappointing. Very limited lunchtime menu. And the fish appeared to be frozen and was often overcooked."

Gill Family
"Idyllic and stunning tropical location (white sands, palm trees...) and a restful way to bring our holiday to an end, but lacked atmosphere and felt too much like a package holiday, with staff going through the motions. That said, we are not beach lovers or sun seekers."
Dr Henry Lewis (28/07/2019)
"gorgeous, unspoiled, tranquil."
Liz & Dave Milway
"It was a joy to walk around barefoot here. The fishing village, a very short distance away down the beach made a picturesque, if humbling, contrast to the serenity and luxury of the resort. The resort staff were friendly and helpful. We enjoyed the trip to the lighthouse, the snorkelling and picnic on the sandbar, the sunset dhow cruise and a massage. We were treated to delicious meals, taking full advantage of the seafood offered, and at our final dinner there, the most enormous prawns we'd ever experienced. As a special treat, even ladies' underwear was laundered at this site!"

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