Pole Pole, Mafia

luxury lodge on mafia island

Exclusive yet unpretentious, with a peaceful and private atmosphere, Pole Pole is perfect for relaxing after a safari, or for ocean-lovers who just can’t get enough of diving, sailing, fishing and exploring tropical islands..

Romantic without the clichés, Pole Pole is a perfect honeymoon hideaway on Mafia Island.

Property Type
luxury beach lodge
7 bungalows
kids welcome
dive centre offsite

A stylish, intimate beach lodge that's well off the beaten track

Fantastic scuba-diving and snorkeling possibilities

Gorgeous private balconies with day beds, immersed in nature (watch the nightly arrival of the giant fruit bats from nearby Chole Island, as you enjoy your sundowners!)

Not the greatest swimming beach - but you can always take a dip in the lodge's swimming pool... or better yet, head off by dhow to one of the pristine sandbanks in the bay

Mafia isn't the easiest place to get to - but then again, that's half the fun!

The mandatory Marine park fees of $24 per person per day adds to your bill

7 Bungalow Suites are subtly blended into the surrounding tropical landscape of Pole Pole. Their private verandas overlook Chole Bay’s infinite palette of blues, at the heart of the Mafia Island Marine Park, with breathtaking views of surrounding islands.

Twin and double bungalows are furnished with carved and antique pieces. The large private verandas are provided with handcrafted wooden furniture. Each unit is self-contained with a spacious and comfortable bathroom.

Two bungalows are ‘family’ type, with two rooms separated by the bathroom and a small corridor for privacy.

Set apart in the sunniest stretch of Pole Pole Mafia, and surrounded by gently swaying palm trees, the swimming pool is shaped by a series of circles and is set in a beautiful locally-sourced coconut wood deck. Its design is reminiscent of a traditional Arabic sailing dhow, with weathered parts of old sailing boats integrated into its features.

It is partially shaded by a dramatic dhow sail, rigged up on old masts, and a bar area and shaded seating area are also incorporated into the surrounding garden for your comfort and convenience.

The pool is set in Pole Pole’s Alasiri Garden, an idyllic location to bask in the golden afternoon light… ‘Alasiri’ in Kiswahili means ‘afternoon’, but another delightful fact is that ‘siri’ means ‘secret’, and this makes the name doubly appropriate for this peaceful, hidden-away corner!

Pole Pole’s cuisine, highly praised by its widely international clientele, reflects diverse culinary and cultural influences, combining an Italian touch of class with local flavours and ingredients. Fresh fish and seafood daily, homemade pasta and ice cream, Swahili dinners, and tropical fruits and vegetables are enjoyed by our guests in the intimate atmosphere of the restaurant.


A selection of alcoholic beverages, wines, beers, juices and cold drinks are always available at the bar. The bar remains open until all guests have retired. Bottled water, served every day in jugs in the bungalows and available at the bar/restaurant, is drinkable and safe.

Pole Pole organizes a variety of activities and excursions: by boat, by 4×4 car, and by foot. The Marine Park offers exquisite sites for scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, and the occasion of visiting the local villages.

Boat excursions and picnics in isolated islets, sandbanks or islands are arranged daily in accordance with the tidal patterns.

In addition to the wonders of its reefs, which make it a world-class diving destination, Mafia Island hosts the rare pleasure of swimming with whale sharks.

Pole Pole’s affiliated dive center, Mafia Island Sea Point, offers diving courses in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Swahili.

With a highly experienced team of both local and expatriate instructors and dive masters, it is probably one of the best-staffed PADI-affiliated dive centers in Tanzania.

The garden’s lazy tranquility is perfectly complemented by the soothing luxury of the Alasiri Spa, which is set in the surrounds of the pool area, and offers a variety of massages that are guaranteed to ease you into holiday-mode…

Mafia Island is approximately 30 miles off the Tanzanian coast, about 30 minutes by air from Dar es Salaam and 45 minutes from the Selous Game Reserve or Zanzibar Island. Mafia is reachable by light aircraft only.

The resort is a 20-minute drive from Kilindoni, the main village and airstrip. The transfer to and from the airport is included in the accommodation cost.

Map & Location