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Dive Review of Mafia Island Diving Center/Mafia Island Lodge in
Africa/Mafia Island, Tanzania

Mafia Island Diving Center/Mafia Island Lodge, Oct, 2013,

by Susan K Foster, WY, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports). Report 7419.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I should preface this report by saying that I am 68 yrs old and my husband is 71. Our traveling companion is 84. We are all in decent physical condition and were all able to haul ourselves up the ladder to get back on the dhows. This was our Africa diving portion of our 5 week trip on the continent.

Most of the diving is within a Marine Park. Some local controlled fishing is allowed. We wish we had allowed for more days of diving! We dived 5 days of two tank dives (afternoon dives available but we were too tired, also night dives and shore dives available depending upon the conditions) and did a whale shark swim excursion on another day. Highly recommend the excursion.

The visibility varied because of the currents or lack of. Some dives were with no currents and a couple with strong currents. We had some anchored dives and some drift dives. On the one dive outside the marine park, the swells were big but other than making it a hassle to get back on the boat, no one was bothered by it. A couple of folks got sea sick!

The dive boat excursions were dependent upon the tides. Sometimes we went out at 6:30AM and sometimes at 9:30AM or early afternoon. We took box breakfasts on the early days. Tea/coffee and snacks were served between dives.

No toilets on the boat. In to the water with back flips from the edge of the dhow. One day we came back to dock under sail. The wind gods were with us!

The Mafia Island Diving Center is great and the owners are on site and very personable (David and Danielle). Great crew of instructors, dive masters and boat handlers. They provide a dive master for every five divers. They were great at finding the little stuff!

If you are looking for a beach experience after your safari, this is the place to be. The center has good rental equipment. We wore their full length 3mm wetsuits with our Lava Core shirts underneath and were comfortable. A non-diver friend enjoyed the snorkeling trips that go out separately from the dive boats. The dive center has several boats and when we left, they were taking out a group of 16 Russian divers. Not all on the same boat!

The dive center is located on the grounds of the Mafia Island Lodge. Not a four star lodge but adequate and very convenient. The rooms were large and had porches and air-conditioning. We enjoyed the management and the staff who all tried really hard to please everyone. Sometimes there were facility malfunctions but you ARE in Africa. The food was good. We are vegetarians but eat fish and we were very happy.

We were sorry to leave and we hope to go back again. It is a long flight from Wyoming, US, though.


Websites Mafia Island Diving Center   Mafia Island Lodge

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Hawaii, all over the Caribbean, California coast, Turkey, Thailand,
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy Seas calm, surge, currents, no currents
Water Temp 75-80°F / 24-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-75 Ft/ 9-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions If you had a dive computer, you could dive your own profile.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments no rinse buckets on the dhow but places to keep the cameras dry, safe and out of the sun. Big rinse facilities back at the dive shop
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Subscriber's Comments

By Kelly Pricein TX, US at Jan 27, 2014 18:34 EST  
We are trying to decide if our $5,000 is best spent for diving at Mafia (Kinasi Lodge, 1 week all inclusive with 10 dives) or if better saved for another destination at another time (from USA). This would be mid-November 2014 following a safari. We are decent/comfortable divers (<100 dives) but not advanced (Heron Island Australia and various Caribbean). Struggling with the decision and your post was best info we've seen as there is not a lot to go on - anything you could add to the post or advice would be much appreciated. Regards, K
By report author: Susan K Foster in WY, US at Jan 27, 2014 18:44 EST  
folks from Kinasi went diving on Mafia Island Diving boats. Kinasi lodge is more expensive than where we stayed and the boats were right there on the water within walking. People from Kinasi had to be picked up on the beach on the way to the sites. If you are comfortable in the water, you will be comfortable diving in Mafia. The whale sharks still should be moving thru in November. I don't remember our diving package hitting the $5000 mark. The fish are different here than in the Caribbean.
By Kelly Pricein TX, US at Jan 27, 2014 23:52 EST  
Thanks,
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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