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Mafia Island Whale Sharks

Mafia Island Whale Sharks
Mafia Island Tanzania

Mafia Island Whale Sharks & Yacht Cruises

Charter a private yacht to experience Mafia Island Whale Sharks at Mafia Island, Tanzania.

A whale shark encounter at Mafia Island is one of the top wildlife experiences of all time, and you can safely do it with professional guides at Mafia Island, Tanzania.

Our Mafia Island Whale Sharks Cruise is an island hopping yacht charter adventure exploring Mafia Island Archipelago, and combining professionally guided whale shark encounters with the Mafia Island Marine Foundation and Whale Shark Research Centre.

Whale Sharks can be found at Mafia Island all year-round and feed in the shallow waters on the western side of Mafia Island. The most reliable time to encounter Whale Sharks at Mafia Island is between October and March and no previous experience is necessary, as swimming or snorkelling with them is safe and easy.

This Mafia Island Whale Sharks yacht charter will be a very relaxed affair. There is no set route or itinerary on the cruise, only a general plan, as we prefer to keeps things flexible to make the best of conditions at the time, and our guest’s interests.

You will spend the days enjoying whale shark encounters, swimming, snorkelling on various reefs, exploring various islands and beaches, fishing, kayaking or scuba diving if you wish, or just relaxing, reading and sleeping. The choice is yours.

Mafia Island Whale Sharks Charter Period

October to April each year

Mafia Island Whale Sharks

Mafia Island Tanzania 

Yacht Charter

7 Nights / 8 Days

  • Guided Mafia Island Whale Sharks Excursions

  • Catamaran Yacht

  • Skipper

  • Chef/Crew

  • Bed linens & towels

  • Breakfast, lunch & dinner 

  • Juices & soft drinks

  • Coffee, tea, water 

  • Water Sports Gear,

  • Snorkelling​ and water sports

  • Stand Up Paddle boarding

  • Fuel For Main Yacht and Tender

Mafia Island Whale Sharks
Mafia Island Whale Sharks

Mafia Island Whale Sharks Cruise

All our yachts have their home base in Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar and Mafia is about 100 N Miles South of Zanzibar.  
All charters to Mafia are for a minimum of 5 nights per charter.

Option 1: Sail to Mafia Island

  • Depart on board yacht from Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar and cruise down to Mafia Island.​​

  • It is a 24-hour cruise from Zanzibar to Mafia time due to the distance and enroute we normally stop at Latham Island (half way) to do some fishing, to break up the cruise, before we head on south to Mafia. 

  • From Dar es Salaam the cruise, time is a little shorter.

  • The return sail is approx. 24 hour cruise time to return to Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar..

  • Therefore, on a 7 night / 8-day cruise; you will be spend 2 days getting to and from Mafia.

Option 2:  Fly to Mafia Island

  • The yacht departs Dar e Salaam or Zanzibar and heads down to Mafia Island a day or two before your arrival.

  • You fly from Stone Town or Dar es Salaam to Mafia Island.

  • We recommend you spend one night at a lodge on Mafia Island and then the next day you board the yacht to begin your cruise.

  • At the end of the charter, you fly back to Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar and the yacht returns to home base.

  • This option avoids you spending the 24 hours cruising time between the two islands, each way.

  • With this option, there is however, a delivery fee on top of the charter day’s costs, to move the yachts between Zanzibar and Mafia.

  • For guests with less time available or who do not want to do the 24 cruise down to Mafia Island, this is the best option.

Mafia Island Whale Sharks | Mafia Island Tanzania
7 Nights/8 Days

Day 1

Board yacht at Zanzibar or Dar es Salaam and depart for Mafia Island.  We cruise south along the coast towards the Mafia Archipelago. It is about a 24-hour cruise to Mafia Island.

Relax on board and enjoy the journey. Try catching fish for dinner.

The Alternative arrangement is that you fly to Mafia by light aircraft. This does cost extra, but avoids the cruise down to Mafia. Overnight at a lodge on Mafia Island
Day 2 

Sailing continues towards the Mafia Archipelago or if you flew in the day before the yacht will be ready and waiting for you.

Spend the rest of the day relaxing, swimming, snorkelling and enjoying the islands of Mafia.

Day 3, 4, 5, 6

In the morning, you will do a Whale Shark Encounter Excursion.

The rest of the day will be spent exploring the islands, snorkelling, fishing, diving if you wish or just relaxing.

You can go ashore and enjoy drinks and dinners at some of the island beach lodge bars or explore the island. Excursions can be booked on arrival while you are there.

We may depending on conditions, time and guests interest head further south to the Songa Songa Islands just south of the Mafia main island and head down to Fangove and Songa island, to explore these islands and reefs, before we head back to Dar es Salaam

Day 7

Set sail for Zanzibar or Dar es Salaam

The alternative is that the yacht returns to Mafia Island and the guests fly back to Dar es Salaam by light aircraft while the yacht returns home.

Day 8

Disembark back at Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar

This is a guide only, as it all depends on the conditions at the time and the wishes of the guests and charter plans.

Mafia Island Whale Sharks
Mafia Island Whale Sharks
Mafia Island Whale Sharks
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