Secluded and seductive Mafia – a green wedge of land surrounded by turquoise waters, pristine islets and glinting white sandbanks – remained off the beaten track for years, undiscovered by all except deep-sea fishing aficionados and a trickle of visitors. That’s changing fast – the island’s tourist accommodation has grown from one hotel to over half a dozen in just a few years. For now, though, Mafia remains free of the mass tourism that threatens to overwhelm Zanzibar.
Among Mafia’s attractions are its tranquil pace, stuning underwater life, upmarket lodges, a strong traditional culture and a long and fascinating history. Whale sharks visit mafia between November and February.