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Discover Mafia Archipelago
Fishing, Diving or Island Hopping Cruises
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The following Mafia yacht charter cruise can be either a Fishing, Diving or general Island Hopping Cruise, depending on your main interests and we try to keep every cruise as flexible as possible to match our guests needs as much as possible!
We have a range of different yachts from our 40ft Power Catamaran upto our 75ft Luxury Catamaran
Mafia Archipelago Yacht Charter
For those that would prefer to be either the only vessel in an anchorage or to leave the only footsteps on a beach, the southern half of Tanzania with its numerous Islands and picture perfect secluded bays offers a cruising experience that was possibly last experienced by the early Caribbean sailing pioneers.
The Mafia and Songa Songa region offers over 30 different islands to explore!
From Dar es Salaam to Kilondoni on Mafia Island there are more than 18 islands and reefs that can be explored; these are for the most isolated little islands that can offer absolute privacy – no crowds, no fuss and above all, no paparazzi.
Mafia Island was once part of the early Zanzibar Sultanate, however after what is regarded as the shortest war in history – a mere 42 minutes where after the then Sultan of Zanzibar decided after a broadside from British warships that perhaps discretion was the better part of valour – the islands fell under control of the British and Mafia was eventually ceded to Germany in a land swap deal dating back to the late 1800’s.
Unlike Zanzibar, Mafia has never felt the pressure of tourist development and whilst there are a few lodges scattered around the islands, Mafia Archipealgo tends to breathe to its own rhythm.
One of the more obvious benefits of this is in the great fishing. For those that like to fish, this part of Tanzania is the place to be, while the diving offers a diversity that is quite superb and is certainly worth the effort.
From Kilondoni down to Kilwa there are a further 16 islands and reefs begging to be explored.
Exotic names such as Okuza, Songa Songa, Jewe and South Fangove conjure visions of palm fringed beaches washed by crystal clear warm waters that fade from a pale turquoise in the shallows to an almost purple blue in the deep channels with an infinite number of shades in between.
Fish are plentiful and each year the area is graced by majestic Humpback whales and the mystical whale sharks that come to calf in the Mafia channel.
You have heard of paradise – now you know where to find it…….
East Africa has two distinctive weather patterns, from December to March the wind blows from the north. Known officially as the north monsoon it is better known by the locals as the Kaskazi. From April/May to November the wind switches around to the south, and is known as the Kisuni. Depending on what time of the year it is, our southern archipelago cruise will start either in Dar es Salaam (Kaskazi) or from Kilwa (Kisuni) to best take advantage of whichever seasonal wind is blowing.
From Dar es Salaam to Mafia can be a five hour sail, however it would just simply be wrong not to stop off at some or all of the islands en route. In this case the trip could conceivably take two to three days. As mentioned, Mafia can best be described as rustic. There are no marinas, no malls, in fact there is not much of anything apart from stunningly beautiful beaches that at worst might have a local fishing dhow parked on them.
The main town is Kilondoni and there is a rudimentary harbour and an airfield that looks as if it might have been used as a film set in some or other Ernest Hemingway adaptation. There is however the ubiquitous market and it’s always a heap of fun to wander through it bargaining with the locals over fresh fruit and vegetables. Mafia is a sizeable island and one can easily spend two to three days sailing from one anchorage to another.
From Mafia to Kilwa the islands are sparsely populated by itinerant fishermen. There is a small lodge on South Fangove and some sort of permanent structure on Songa Songa. Apart from those the rest of the islands give you the impression of being the first to visit them.
Kilwa has a fascinating history all of its own, once it was the most powerful Sultanate in East Africa, to the extent that it minted its own coinage. The town, described by a Portuguese explorer as ‘the most beautiful city’ he had ever seen acted as the gateway out of Africa for gold and ivory that emanated from the African interior. In 1505 the Portuguese under the command of Francisco de Almeida besieged and then took control of the town. By 1512 they had pretty much destroyed around 600 years of culture and in that year were forced to abandon the city after being attacked by Arab mercenaries.
Kilwa then fell under control of the Zanzibar Sultanate where it continued to decline. Today it is a world heritage site and visitors to the ruins are welcome. These ruins offer a visitor a poignant glimpse into a time that has long past, the like of which will never be seen again.
Adjacent to Kilwa is the Selous game park, a vast area the size of Switzerland and home to all of the big five in Africa. Kilwa therefore makes an ideal place for to embark or disembark for those who want to consider combining a sailing cruise with a game safari – the only place in the world where this is possible.
There are so many options available to visitors that it is not possible to list them all here. Remember, unlike lodges and hotels yachts can go wherever there is navigable water, thus the view from your room will be of wherever we happen to be anchored.
Do something different this year – discover East Africa….
Dar es Salaam to Mafia via the out islands approx. 130nm
Circumnavigation of Mafia Island approx. 100nm
Mafia Island to Kilwa via the southern archipelago approx. 125nm
- Full use of main motor yacht
3.4 Metre RIB with outboard
Cabins for up to 6 guests (double or split with dividing board to make 2 single)
All linen and bathroom towels (please bring your own beach towels)
Skipper and crew
Full board accommodation - Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Teas, coffees, local soft drinks, snacks and picnics
All onboard equipment and facilities at no extra cost - activities are FREE
Fishing and use of onboard gear and tackle(you are welcome to bring any extra gear you want to) Lost gear will be charged for!
10 Full sets of Snorkeling equipment,
Two Sea Kayaks
Two Stand up Paddle Boards
Two Inflatable towing donuts
Use of on board motorised tenders with outboard
Island visits and excursions
Fuel for tenders and main engines
Water, gas and consumable
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