Tanzania : Mafia Island
Mafia Island, south of Zanzibar and only 45 minutes flight from Dar es Salaam, is an island retreat for adventure divers, game fishermen or simple feet up relaxation. Within the Marine Park the diving and snorkelling here is some of the best on the east African coast and the warm clear protected waters of the bay are perfect for swimming and windsurfing.
Kinasi is a comfortable lodge situated on a hillside overlooking Chole Bay, which is part of a protected marine park. It started as a private home, and retains a lovely, personal feel. The bungalows, which include one suite and one family bungalow with two bedrooms, all have large verandas and en-suite bathrooms, and have been decorated with furnishings and designs combining elements of coastal Tanzania, African, Indian and Arab cultures. There is a lovely, tranquil spa run by two professional therapists from Thailand, which offers massage and other treatments, and also has a huge Turkish bath. The chef makes the most of the local seafood from fresh fish to prawns, crab, lobster, octopus and calamari, and the breads, rolls, pizzas and a variety of yoghurts, preserves and sauces are all homemade from traditional recipes. With mapped walks, picnics and daily trips to sandbars and reefs, a beach, a swimming pool and delicious food, Kinasi is the perfect island destination.
"The diving and snorkelling was fantastic, and nothing was too much trouble. Our last morning was made by a last minute plan to swim with whale-sharks on the other side of the island."
Pamela and Guy, Cambridge
Lua Cheia is a lovely, simple 'Robinson Crusoe' camp set on the north west tip of Mafia Island on a deserted 3km beach. The lodge faces north west taking advantage of the sea breezes during the hot season and the amazing sunsets. The beauty of this camp is its isolation there are no other lodges or tourist facilities for miles, here though there is a local village. The six simple guest tents are quite small but perfectly comfortable, they are ensuite and have a fan. The public areas, the bar and the restaurant are set on a spit of land which separates 2 amazing beaches. They are simple with wooden floors and antique leather and dhow wood furniture. Lua Cheia is a simple camp, in a remote area but if you want to get away from it all and have some peace and quiet then this will be the place for you.