Due to the protection of the Mafia Island Marine Park, aquatic life around the island is abundant and the coral gardens are clean and pristine. The park is located between the western Rufiji River delta on the Tanzanian mainland and the open Indian Ocean to the east. The combined influences from river and sea have created a rich and exceptional diversity, unique both below the water and on dry land.
Monkeys and birds are common on the island and the vegetarian Mafia bat is found here and nowhere else in East Africa.
Mafia is home to over 50 types of coral , a multitude of oceanic fish in all shapes, colours and sizes, tidal banks and mangrove forests. It is a meeting place for no less than 5 turtle species and even the endangered dugong can on occasion be spotted in the park waters.
The island’s mangrove fringed beaches are not among the best, but it’s surrounding water is a true paradise for game-fishing and scuba-diving.
Photos by David Sutton