Mafia Island Lodge is on the south coast of tiny Mafia Island in the Indian Ocean. This island is the largest of a small archipelago in the Indian Ocean and is a real tropical island paradise.
There are 30 rooms and suites in four categories, including three larger rooms designed for families and three luxury suites with private gardens. They are shaded by tall coconut palms and overlook Chole Bay to one side and the garden on the other. All are self-contained with en-suite bathrooms with 24 hour hot and cold running water. Rooms are cooled by air-conditioning or ceiling fans and have private verandas.
The main lodge has a large open-sided restaurant with a lounge area and a bar. There is an additional beach bar which serves light meals as well as drinks. This is the ideal place to relax with a cocktail, watching the sunset over the ocean, and is also perfect for a romantic candle-lit dinner.
You can enjoy some wonderful snorkelling and diving here, with a PADI dive centre next door to the lodge. There are coral reefs and shoals of colourful fish to be seen, making for a rewarding dive. The lodge has a dhow so you can set sail to other beaches, sandbanks and islands. Deep sea fishing is available and there are opportunities for walking and cycling on dry land. There are some ancient ruins in the island which date back to the 15th century and make an interesting excursion.
Open: Mafia Island Lodge is open all year,. The watersports centre is closed in April and May.
Location: The lodge is on an attractive sandy beach on the south coast of Mafia Island in Chole Bay. It is a 20 minute drive from the island main town, Kilindoni, also the site of the airstrip.
Rooms: There are 30 rooms in total. These are made up of 10 standard rooms, 14 superior rooms, 3 family rooms and 3 luxury suites. Family rooms have 2 en-suite bedrooms and can accommodate a maximum of 5 people each. They are cooled by fans and see breezes. The suites are the closest to the water and come with their own garden, have air conditioning, a fridge and coffee maker. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, mosquito nets and private verandas.
Activities: You can go snorkelling and diving. There is a PADI dive centre next to the hotel which arranges excursions. Other water-based activities include dhow cruises and deep sea fishing. There are nature trails and trips to places of interest, including 15th century ruins, can be organised.
Facilities: The communal area houses the lounge, dining area and bar. This is a large building constructed of wood and thatch with a high ceiling from which you have fine views of the gardens. Breakfast is a buffet-style meal while lunch and dinner and set menus. Food is continental with a high proportion of seafood. The beach bar serves snacks and light meals. The lodge provides sunbeds and sunshades on the beach. There is a gift shop and a laundry service. A safe is available at reception.
Dining: Food is a blend of Swahili, Italian and Indian influences. Meals are taken at individual tables in the main restaurant and at the beach bar.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is a good mobile signal. There is Wi-Fi internet access in the reception, lounge and restaurant. You can buy a local sim card from the lodge to obtain Wi-Fi in your room.
Mafia Island Lodge helps fund Karibuni Onlus which provides much-needed medical and educational facilities and vocational training and English language courses for islanders. They support local enterprises and small businesses by buying their products for use at the lodge, such as natural, handmade soaps and baobab powder.
At the lodge they no longer use plastic bottles in guest rooms, in favour of reusable ones that can be filled from the lodge's water dispenser. The lodge's composter provides fertilser for the vegetable garden.