MAFIA ISLAND DIVING HOLIDAYS
Diving Holidays In Mafia Island
Mafia Island is the largest of a small archipelago of the coast of southern Tanzania in the Indian Ocean. Mafia Island is only around 50 km long and 15 km wide, surrounded my a beautiful marine environment. Almost half the coast line is fringing barrier reef which forming a protected marine park.
The main attraction of a diving holiday to Mafia island is its feeling of remoteness combined with stunning beaches and incredible marine life. Life on Mafia seems to have stood still whilst the rest of the world races making it feel like you are in the early 20th century.
One advantage that Mafia has over it'e better known sister islands of Zanzibar and Pemba Island is that the main dive sites, especially around Chole Bay, are accessible all year around.
Best Diving Season
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The Diving On Mafia Island
Mafia Island and its reefs are renown as an excellent diving destination with an unparalleled variety hard and soft corals and diversity of tropical fish. There are a good range of dive sites with shallow reefs of immense beauty and richness, bommies, channels, walls and caves, drift and night dives. You can occassionally see manta and whael sharks here but you need to be lucky. Although there are better world class dive destination in terms of visibility and pelagics a diving holiday to Mafia Island is very special with each dive making you feel like you are discovering new dive sites each time.
SOME DIVE SITES ON MAFIA ISLAND
Belami Reef: A shallow dive to 17m, there are many isolated coral heads and a profusion of small tropical fish. You can access here by a boat trip leaving from Utende or on a liveaboard.
Kinasi Pass Wall: This is an excellent site with walls and drop offs down to 22m. The marine life is impressive with large numbers of grouper, stingray and game fish. Reef sharks and tiger sharks can be seen as well as a profusion of smaller fish. Access is possible by a boat from Utende of from a liveaboard
Sefo Reef: Situated far out to sea in the Mafia Channel this site is the haunt of many large game fish . The
reef is in pristine condition but the site is not dived much due to it’s accessibility. However for those with time this is a great dive experience.
You can get here by live aboard or a long boat trip from Ras Kisimani on the East coast.
Kaule Reef: Corals Good for night dives due to the profusion of lobster that is found here, this is a shallow dive to 18m. Turtles are often seen and there is a good variety of coral. Acess is possible through a live aboard or a boat trip from Ras Kisimani.
CHOLE BAY: Probably the most outstanding part of Mafia Island Marine Park’s marine environment is the wonderful Chole Bay.It is a vast circular bay over 50 sq km in size with a depth varying from 1 to 28 metres, and a tremendous variety of coral, fish and other marine species. An important feature of Chole Bay is that the water is continuously exchanged as fresh ocean water flushes in through Kinasi Pass every flood tide. This may one reason why the extensive coral reef areas in Chole Bay largely survived the calamitous coral bleaching that obliterated corals in most other parts of the Indian Ocean in 1998. This happened when sea temperatures in the Indian Ocean became unusually high as a consequence of the “Ël Nino” in 1997-98. As a result, Chole Bay’s coral reefs remained largely intact and even the damaged areas are regenerating well.