Mafia Island is off the coast of southern Tanzania and the coral reefs, lagoons and beaches of the Mafia Archipelago are part of Mafia Island Marine Park, which is Tanzania’s first marine park. The diving is phenomenal due to the protected coral reefs resulting from the marine park status.
Almost all of the best diving is at depths of less than 30m and the reefs offer a beautiful and varied display of marine life. Exposed fringing reefs, rock walls, soft coral and algae-dominated reefs can be found and there are over 48 genera of coral and 400 species of fish so far identified. The docile dugong (manatee or sea cow), is still thought to exist between Mafia and the Rufiji River Delta and the small islands around the archipelago remain a popular breeding ground for giant and green turtles.
Smallholders grow plots of cassava, rice, pigeon pea, pineapples, pawpaws and beans; it is typical to also find cashew, coconut and mango trees on each household's land. Large areas of the island are planted to coconuts, mostly by pre-World War II German settlers and descendents of Arab and Shirazi pioneers.
Chloe Bay is a huge circular bay on the east coast of Mafia Island and on the northernmost point of the island is the lighthouse, which you can climb for panoramic views of the island. The journey to the lighthouse covers the changing landscape of the island.