The Mafia Island Marine Park




The Mafia Island Marine Park is a protected area surrounding Mafia Island, located off the coast of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean. Established in 1995, the marine park covers approximately 822 square kilometers (317 square miles) and is known for its pristine coral reefs, diverse marine life, and crystal-clear waters.

Visitors to the Mafia Island Marine Park can enjoy a range of activities such as snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and boat trips to explore the underwater wonders. The park is home to an abundance of marine species, including colorful corals, tropical fish, sea turtles, dolphins, whale sharks, and more.

Diving enthusiasts will find a variety of dive sites to explore, from shallow coral gardens to deep walls and underwater pinnacles teeming with marine life. The marine park also offers opportunities for conservation education, as it plays a crucial role in protecting the fragile marine ecosystem and promoting sustainable tourism practices.

Whether you’re a seasoned diver or simply looking to relax on pristine beaches and witness the beauty of marine life, the Mafia Island Marine Park promises an unforgettable experience in Tanzania’s underwater paradise.

How to get there?

By car

To reach Mafia Island Marine Park by car, travelers first journey to Kilwa Masoko or Nyamisati Beach from major cities like Dar es Salaam. From Kilwa Masoko, a charming coastal town, visitors embark on a captivating 2-3 hour dhow or motorboat ride to the idyllic shores of Mafia Island. The scenic route takes travelers across the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean, offering glimpses of marine life and coastal villages along the way. Alternatively, from Nyamisati Beach, a 4-5 hour drive from Dar es Salaam, visitors can hop on a ferry or speedboat for a memorable journey to this marine paradise. Upon arrival at Mafia Island, the captivating marine park awaits, with its vibrant coral reefs, pristine beaches, and diverse marine life ready to enchant visitors in an unforgettable aquatic adventure.

By air

Reaching the captivating Mafia Island Marine Park by air offers travelers a swift and scenic journey from Dar es Salaam. Regular flights from Dar es Salaam Airport whisk visitors away on a short 30-45 minute flight to Mafia Island Airport, nestled on the island’s picturesque shores. The aerial route provides breathtaking views of the turquoise waters and coral reefs below, hinting at the underwater wonders that await. Upon landing, visitors are greeted with the island’s serene beauty, surrounded by swaying palms, pristine beaches, and the inviting waters of the marine park. It’s a seamless and convenient way to begin an adventure filled with snorkeling, diving, and exploration of this marine paradise.

Things to see

Explore popular animals that easy found on this woldclass destinations

When to visit Mafia Island Marine Park?

Dry season

Visiting the Mafia Island Marine Park during the dry season, from June to October, offers an ideal opportunity to explore the crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life of this pristine marine sanctuary. The weather is sunny and pleasant, with calm seas perfect for snorkeling and diving adventures. Underwater visibility is excellent, revealing the colorful coral reefs teeming with tropical fish, sea turtles, and other fascinating marine creatures. Visitors can embark on boat trips to secluded coves and snorkel in the warm waters, or simply relax on the white sandy beaches and soak in the tranquility of this tropical paradise. The dry season is also a great time for birdwatching, as migratory bird species flock to the island, adding to the natural beauty and charm of Mafia Island Marine Park.

Heavy rain season

Exploring the Mafia Island Marine Park during the heavy rain season, from November to May, reveals a different but equally enchanting side of this aquatic wonderland. The rains breathe life into the surrounding landscape, transforming the island into a lush paradise of vibrant greenery and blooming flowers. While the occasional downpour may interrupt outdoor activities, the showers are often short-lived, leaving behind a fresh, rejuvenated atmosphere. The marine life thrives during this time, with coral reefs shimmering with new growth and underwater visibility still offering glimpses of colorful fish and other marine creatures. Visitors can take advantage of quieter beaches, enjoy the soothing sound of rain on the leaves, and witness the island’s natural beauty in full bloom. It’s a magical time to immerse oneself in the rhythm of nature and experience the peaceful allure of Mafia Island Marine Park amidst the tropical rain showers.

Short rain season

Visiting the Mafia Island Marine Park during the short rain season, which occurs between the heavy rains of November to May, offers a delightful blend of sunny days and refreshing showers. The landscape comes alive with lush greenery and blooming flowers, creating a picturesque backdrop for exploration. While brief rain showers may punctuate the days, they add to the island’s charm, bringing a sense of renewal to the surroundings. Snorkeling and diving during this time can be particularly rewarding, as the rains nourish the coral reefs and attract a diverse array of marine life. Visitors can enjoy the best of both worlds – sunny skies for beach relaxation and vibrant underwater adventures amidst the rejuvenated marine ecosystem. It’s a magical season to witness the island’s natural beauty in transition, as it emerges verdant and vibrant from the short, refreshing rains.
















Places to stay

Popular experience in Mafia Island Marine Park

Tours & Safaris

Popular experience in Mafia Island Marine Park

Frequently Asked Questions

Popular experience in Mafia Island Marine Park

Mafia Island Marine Park is a protected area surrounding Mafia Island off the coast of Tanzania. It is known for its rich marine biodiversity, pristine coral reefs, and diverse marine life.
Visitors can reach Mafia Island by taking a flight from Dar es Salaam to Mafia Island Airport or by boat from Kilwa Masoko or Nyamisati Beach.
Popular activities include snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, boat trips, dolphin watching, kayaking, fishing, birdwatching, hiking, and cultural tours.
The dry season, from June to October, offers ideal weather conditions for underwater activities with clear visibility. However, the marine park is beautiful year-round, each season offering unique experiences.
Visitors can encounter a wide variety of marine species, including colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, sea turtles, rays, dolphins, and sometimes whale sharks.
Yes, there are several lodges, resorts, and guesthouses on Mafia Island offering a range of accommodations from budget to luxury.
Yes, Chole Island with its historical ruins and the underwater archaeological site of Kua Ruins are popular attractions that can be visited during a trip to Mafia Island Marine Park.
Yes, as a protected area, there are guidelines for responsible tourism and conservation. Visitors are encouraged to respect the marine environment, not disturb wildlife, and follow designated routes for snorkeling and diving.
The climate is tropical, with a dry season from June to October and a wet season from November to May. The dry season offers sunny days with clear skies, while the wet season brings occasional showers and lush green landscapes.
Yes, there are tour operators and dive centers on Mafia Island that offer guided tours, diving excursions, snorkeling trips, and other activities to explore the marine park.

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