31 Mar, 2015
Mafia Island, a marine playground
With 820 square kilometres of marine park waiting to be explored, it is not surprising that divers talk about Mafia Island only in hyperbole. The marine park features nearly 400 species of fish waiting to be discovered in warm waters amongst colourful and pristine corals. The joy of Mafia is that much of this sensational sea life is accessible to the novice snorkeller too. Including the possibility of snorkelling alongside eight metre long whale sharks. The world’s biggest fish is a placid and laid back character who wallows gently on the surface while scooping up gillfulls of plankton. Other regular visitors are humpback whales and a well-timed visit almost guarantees sightings of these spectacular creatures.
Mafia Island is for the traveller who has chosen to come to East Africa because it is East Africa and not simply for another anonymous beach flop. The island is remarkably untouched by commercialism and unaffected by tourism. Consequently it offers a rare opportunity to enjoy an island culture going about their daily business as they would have centuries ago. The natural beauty is abundant and exotic with magnificent mangrove and coastal forests, a busy birdlife and excellent sightings of large colonies of flying foxes (a species of massive fruit bats found only in Mafia, Seychelles and Comoros).
For the authentic and discerning traveller, graceful hospitality awaits at the Pole Pole Resort. Lying adjacent to the marine park, seven bungalows spread across lush forested and tropical gardens make Pole Pole the ideal base for your stay in Mafia. Quiet, private and peaceful, your stay feels handcrafted. Gentle suggestions and realistic propositions of the next day’s possibilities are discussed over an evening drink. Diving, snorkelling, a village walk or you may simply choose to spend the day at the heavenly breezy spa smoothing away any remnants of tension.
Each bungalow is decorated in tasteful Swahili island style and offers glorious ever-changing views over Chole Bay. A veranda, a day bed, and a good book complete this perfect picture. Meal times are as flexible as the venues. You may find yourself eating on the beach, on a sandbank or even on board a dhow. That the owner is Italian quickly becomes apparent in the quality of the food – think crab gnocchi, tuna kebabs and desserts in celebration of the local fruits.
Bespoke and unique.
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