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

Mafia Island Diving/Mafia Island Lodge: "gorgeous reefs but watch out for the current!", Nov, 2015,

by Beverly Sobelman, WA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 8649 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The sea life around Mafia Island is world-class - everything from seahorses to whale sharks (although the latter are found on the opposite side of the island from most of the dive sites). Gorgeous, healthy coral, huge schools of small fish, giant grouper and Napoleon wrasse, turtles, etc. The bigger pelagic critters are mainly outside of the protected Chole Bay, so access will be subject to the whims of the weather - the one day we went outside the bay, conditions were rough, rainy, and cold. Currents were mild to very strong - all 10 dives we did were drift dives. Vis was not as good as I'd hoped, probably due to storms they'd had prior to our arrival.

Mafia Island Diving is a solid, well-intentioned operation that could use some maturing. Their boats are hand-crafted wooden crafts with both motors and sails - charming and roomy but lacking much in the way of creaure comforts. Do bring a dry bag as there is no dry area on board. We encoutered some equipment issues - a leaky BCD here, an under-filled tank there, swapped weight pouches another time - so I'd recommend bringing your own gear and checking everything before each dive. There's a 15kg weight limit to get to the island, but we were able to bring everything but our fins.

The divemasters were all good although one of them was not especially communicative and they were not always great about keeping tabs on everyone. Our group were all advanced divers except one who completed her open water cert with them. I imagine that advanced divers will have a somewhat better experience with this outfit than would beginners.

Lastly, the Mafia Island Lodge is rustic but generally well-appointed and comfortable. The food was fine, sometimes excellent, but vegetarians may find themselves short on protein sources. Rooms are air-conditioned, electricity is available 24/7, and there was plenty of hot water for post-dive showers.
Websites Mafia Island Lodge

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Hawaii, Australia, Puerto Rico, Dominica, Honduras, Costa Rica
Closest Airport Dar es Salaam Getting There charter flight to Mafia Island

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 26-28°C / 79-82°F Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 10-15 M / 33-49 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions All dives limited to 60 min.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments No rinsing stations provided for camera gear.
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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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