• Beaches, Tanzania

About Pole Pole, Mafia Island

About Pole Pole, Mafia Island

Pole Pole is a unique beach eco-lodge situated on the unspoilt island of Mafia. Pole Pole blends into both the natural environment and the culture of the area, offering guests a tranquil getaway in which to fully relax and unwind. The accommodation comprises of seven luxurious bungalows which are nestled among the palm trees, overlooking the sparkling blue ocean and white sands of the beach. Experience a different rhythm of life here; Pole Pole means ‘Slowly Slowly’ in Swahili, and this summarizes the culture and lifestyle! Listen to the soft whistle of the ocean breeze and enjoy the laid back ambience and welcoming hospitality at this secluded beach paradise.

Lodge Details


A laid back eco-lodge with seven luxury bungalows which are stylishly furnished, all with sea views and private verandas.


Pole Pole is located on Mafia Island, a quiet tropical island which is part of the Mafia Archipelago; a group of five neighbouring islands in the Indian Ocean. The islands are ideal for relaxing on unspoilt beaches and discovering marine life. You can get to Pole Pole by taking a short flight from Dar es Salaam, then a short transfer across the island to Pole Pole’s tranquil beachside setting.

Accommodation & Facilities

There are seven lavish stilted bungalows which overlook the immaculate Chole Bay. The bungalows have a rustic exterior, but inside they are spacious and stylishly furnished with traditional carved and antique objects d’art, writing desk, table and chairs and a large Zanzibar bed. Dark wooden floors contrast with light walls, and bright soft furnishings made using Tanzanian fabrics bring an African feel to the rooms. Curl up in the luxury Italian bed linen after a day’s activities, or relax on your private veranda on the Zanzibar day-bed which awaits you, and look out to the unspoiled beauty of Chole Bay. There are mosquito nets provided and ceiling fans to ensure you are kept cool in the tropical temperatures, as well as a large en-suite with twin basins and mirrors.

Facilities here include the Alasiri Spa in which you can enjoy a treatment using essential oils whilst overlooking the bay or manicures by a local therapist. There is a library from which you can borrow books and magazines on a variety of subjects, and palm-fringed swimming pool set within the luscious gardens. There is also an open plan dining and lounge area rustic bar, which is constricted using just rope and wood!


Dining at Pole Pole is a relaxed affair. The cuisine is inspired by a variety of cultures. Swahili dinners are available on request, and are served once a week. Take a seat in the rustic open plan dining-bar area and enjoy your meals whilst admiring the gorgeous surroundings.  Pick from fruit or cooked meals at breakfast, and enjoy a leisurely light lunch of salads and cold meats. Dinner is four delicious courses; enjoy salads, pasta and fresh seafood.


There are many ways to spend your time at Pole Pole. Mafia Island is one of several tropical islands which make up the Mafia Archipelago, and so day trips to the neighbouring - and equally as beautiful - islands are a great way to spend your time here. The area is great for diving so why not head out to Mafia Island Marine Park to explore the coral reefs and discover the wonderful marine life such as angel fish, butterflyfish and parrotfish. A trip to Kilidoni harbour offers you the exciting opportunity to spot and even swim with whale sharks, or head to Maweni to swim out to the coral rocks. Visit the ruins of Arab buildings at Chole Island and appreciate the luscious plant life that covers it, or go to Juani Island which is split in two by a channel which links the inland bay with the sea, and you can take a dip in the natural swimming pool. There is also the island of Jibondo, where you can learn more about the fishermen of the village and watch while they mend their nets and dry out octopus. You could take a sailing trip, or a 4x4 drive to Ras Mkumbi lighthouse or Chuwia beach which allows you to experience unspoilt plant and wildlife; you may choose to enjoy a spot of lunch in this beautiful secluded spot.

For guests who are interested in birdlife, there is a birdwatching walk through woodlands close to the lodge. If you fancy a little relaxation, then you can indulge in a massage or perhaps lounge by the pool with a good book.

Child Policy

Children over 10 welcome, however there are no specific facilities designed for children.

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