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Mafia Island ("Chole Shamba") is part of the Tanzanian Zanzibar Archipelago, together with Unguja, Pemba and Latham Island. As one of the six districts of the Pwani Region, Mafia Island is governed from the mainland, not from the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar, of which it has never been considered to be a part. According to the 2002 Tanzania census the population of mafia district was 40801. The economic is based on fishing, subsistence agriculture and the market in kilindoni. The island attracts same tourist, mainly adventure scuba divers, game fisherman and people wanting relaxation.
Mafia Island and its reefs are renowned as an excellent, world-class diving destination. Scientists have confirmed that Mafia has some of the richest reefs in the world, with an unparalleled variety of hard and soft corals and diversity of tropical fish.We have identified fabulous dive sites of immense beauty and richness, bommies, channels, walls and caverns, drift and night dives.
The terrestrial and reef ecosystems are fascinating and over the years we have spent a great deal of time to research these aspects of the islands and ensure that our snorkeling and scuba trips give visitors an unforgettable experience. The diving here is truly World-class with a vast variety of corals and fish; being a breeding ground the Bay is alwayss full of shoals of fish. And to enhance your stay with us we have guided walks and nature trails to enjoy the native trees, animals and birdlife, cultural visits to villages to understand local village life and watch skilled craftsmen at work, sailing in traditional dhows and ngalawas, and fantastic day picnic trips to outer islands, sand banks and beaches.
The Mafia Archipelago hosts antiquities dating back to the Eleventh Century, including ruins at Kisimani Mafia, Kanga, Kua on Juani Island and Chole Island. These include a beautiful, barrel-vaulted mosque of the Fifteenth Century and a number of well-preserved buildings of the latter half of the Eighteenth Century, providing great interest for the methods of construction and the ancient architecture. We make guided excursions to examine these for those interested in history, ancient trade and the promise of new discoveries.
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