Mafia Island Marine Park & Kilwa

Area: 882 km²

Mafia Island is only a 30-minute flight south of Dar es Salaam and 20km off the Tanzanian coastline. Chole Bay and Kitutia Reef, two of the eight offshore marine parks are incorporated into the marine park.

The sea around Mafia hosts an outstanding mosaic of tropical marine habitats ranging through coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves and inter-tidal flats. Most of the marine park is less than 20 metres below tide levels.

For the expert and the novice diver or snorkeller, Mafia Island Marine Park offers dramatic underwater viewing with a wide variety of choices only 30 minutes from the hotel. Visibility is 20 to 25 metres from October to February dropping to 5-10 meters from June to September.

Over 2,000 species of fish from 150 families exist in the Western Indian Ocean and new species are being identified. Whether diving or snorkeling, their behavior, colors, relationships to each other and to other marine organisms are an endless source of fascination.

Kilwa

The Ancient city state of Kilwa is only 10 minutes south by plane. 

Amongst the most beautiful of cities, and elegantly built, was the description of Ibn Battuta who arrived at Kilwa in 1331.

Battuta describes the city, its gardens, orchids and the mosque. The palace had many rooms and open courtyards as well as a circular swimming pool. Below the cliff was a gradually descending slope where boats would anchor at the palace.

Flora / Fauna

Coral reefs, sea grass beds, mangroves, inter-tidal flats, coastal forest.

Habitat

Dugong, gold-striped fusilier, cigar wrasse, queen coris, goldbar wrasse, grouper, barracuda, rainbow runner, blackspotted ribbontail ray, bluespotted ribbontail ray, eagle ray, manta ray, yellowfin tuna, kingfish, mackerel, bonito, cobia, reef shark, green turtle, hawksbill turtle, comores lesser flying fox, duiker, bush pig, mongoose, elephant, shrew.