Mafia Island

Butiama Beach

Price Guide: From £90.00 per person Half Board

Opened in 2010, Maura and Moez, who we have known for a long time, lovingly developed this small hotel after many years of managing another hotel on Mafia. This is the ultimate place to totally relax, also knowing that should you wish, interesting excursions can be arranged. Maura & Moez are perfect hosts and guests will feel at home as soon as they arrive.


There are 7 spacious en-suite thatched bungalows, 2 of which are Family Bungalows with 2 bedrooms. The bungalows are traditionally furnished with fittings made from reclaimed timber sourced from old fishing dhows, and colourfully decorated with hand woven cotton. Each has a large verandah, ceiling fan and beds have mosquito nets. Some spa treatments are offered in the massage area.


There is a beach-side bar and a restaurant set back a little but also has sea views. There is a PADI dive centre (Moez being a highly qualified instructor) and there are a range of water sport equipment available, including kayaks, snorkelling gear and Butiama has its own motor boat and traditional sail boats. Apart from walking along the beach to the local village on one side, and the other way to a creek hosting a wide range of birds and monkeys, there are a very wide range of excursions available including village tours, visit to ancient ruins and 4 wheel drive excursions to othr parts of this unspoiled island. There is no swimming pool, but Butiama is located on one of the best beaches on Mafia.

Chole Mjini

Price Guide: From £115.00 per person Full Board. Excludes Marine Park Fees

Has been developed by Jean & Ann de Villiers who have established the lodge with the prime intention of using money earned to help the local Chole Mjini people. The lodge is truly eco-sensitive, built by local people using local materials. The lodge has helped to establish a school and medical centre on the island.


On the island of Chole Mjini just off Mafia Island and in Mafia Island Marine Park, so US$10.00 per person per day has to be paid on arrival at the Park.


Most of the 7 “rooms” are actually tree-houses, built partially on stilts. Most of the rooms have private bathrooms (with long-drop toilets and ingeniously heated water for the showers)and balconies.


Facilities are limited. This is not really a beach location, but snorkelling in the Marine Park is excellent. Jean is a qualified PADI diver and will assist others to learn. There is a restaurant and bar area, the meals being primarily seafood.

Pole Pole Resort

Price Guide: From £158.00 per person Full Board. Excludes Marine Park Fees

Set in tropical gardens overlooking the beach in the Chole Bay area of Mafia Island. Massimo Lancellotti must take pride in what he has developed over the last few years; an idyllic retreat way off the beaten track. Pole pole is the Swahili for “slowly, slowly” or “take it easy”; this is the perfect place to slow down and take it easy.


There are seven bungalows, two of which can be used as family bungalows with 2 connecting bedrooms sharing a bathroom. They are built on stilts, of local timber and thatched roofs with large bathrooms and ceiling fans and each has a verandah (furnished with Zanzibari bed, chairs, table and armchair) with views over the ocean. The bungalows provide very comfortable, spacious accommodation; furniture is locally made and bedding and linen has been imported from Italy.


There is a PADI dive centre and excursions are arranged to nearby islets as well as to Mafia Island Marine Park (entry fee is payable locally). The restaurant serves inspired meals with an Italian touch as well as Swahili meals; most food is organically produced and purchased on the island helping local farmers and fishermen benefit from tourism. There is a small library and massages and other beauty treatments are available. There are boat excursions with picnic lunch each day to nearby islands and sand banks. Tours of villages and a drive excursion are offered.

Hotel Prices: Unless indicated, the rates given for each hotel are based on standard rooms in low season, and are per person, sharing in a twin or double room. Most beach hotels are on a half board basis as the alternatives for evening meals are not easily accessible.