No question about it, this is an awesome place to base yourself on your trip to Mafia Island. All aspects of our stay here were fantastic and we will have fond memories to last a lifetime. Located near the village of Utende in the south of the island, within the marine reserve, it is a great spot for diving, snorkeling, and exploring – not to mention relaxing. The village makes for interesting walking or jogging on the sandy, palm-lined trails – very scenic, and very friendly locals.
The property is fairly large, most of it undeveloped, with 6 well-spaced luxury huts on a well-manicured grassy rise above the beach and mangrove forest. It is really a beautiful location, however don’t expect an extensive, pristine, white sand beach. The coastline here is mainly mangrove, interspersed with a few small beaches. Great walking and exploring on the coastline.
Our hut was fabulous! Roomy, light and airy, nicely decorated, quality fittings, and very comfortable – it is probably the nicest lodging we stayed in in Tanzania. Our unit had two sets of big double doors which opened up to the veranda overlooking the ocean and mangrove forest. Facilities include a swimming pool and bar area, free Wifi internet, and a small souvenir shop. The property even has its own ~400m running trail.
We were very warmly received by the owners Marco and Francesca who made us feel very much at home. They organized all of our activities while we were there – snorkeling, picnics, turtle hatching, and exploring the Kua ruins – all very professional. By the way, the snorkeling in Chole Bay is some of the best we’ve ever experienced. All of the staff were very friendly and helpful and made our stay a real pleasure. We were the only guests at the time so felt like we had celebrity VIP status – we were very well taken care of! The food at the lodge was outstanding, mainly Italian-seafood themed dinners, all made with good quality, fresh ingredients. This was the best food we’ve ever experienced in Tanzania.
We had a most excellent few days at the Shamba Kilole and would absolutely love to come back. This place is highly recommended for anyone making a trip to Mafia Island.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The relaxing lodge has 6 bungalows facing the sea all surrounded by trees and garden. Swimming pool, private jogging park, dive school, restaurant with conference room, wine cellar, terrace top. All rooms are in different style following Swahili tradition and history. Ideal for sea lovers, honeymooners, bird watchers. ... more less