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“A very helpful manager and a great place to see whale sharks!”

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Mafia Beach Bungalows
Ranked #2 of 9 Mafia Island B&B and Inns
Oslo
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A very helpful manager and a great place to see whale sharks!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2013

Me and my girlfriend stayed here for three days after our stay in Zanzibar. Our primary purpose for staying at Mafia Island was Whale shark snorkeling. Blue house mafia and the manager, Mohamed can arrange for any activity on the Island.

Blue House has 5 simple bungalows in a very nice property in Utende, Mafia Island. Located close to Chole Bay, (some of the best coral reef snorkeling I have ever done) Blue house mafia is located inside the Marine Park in Mafia Island, and is a very nice place. We payed 30 USD per night per person for one double bungalow with breakfast and dinner included. Normal BB is 25 USD i Think. Staying anywhere else in Mafia Island is ridiculously expensive, E.G. the lodge next to Blue house cost around 300 USD per night...

The first day we did snorkeling in Chole bay for 20 USD per person, wich was very nice. If you are lucky you can also see Turtles here. During the Autumn you can also see turtles hatch, we did not see this because we went in January 2013... But would maybe come back one day for that.

The second day we went with the blue house people to swim with whale sharks and after a 20 min boat ride we found about 8 of them( the whale shark season I think is from december to february or somehting, ( not quite sure) The cost was originally 55 USD per person, but we teamed up with another copuple and got it for 40 USD per person. and it was totally worth it...

Besides from having an awesome experience with the entire stay I just have to mention the great kindness and hospitality of Mohamed the manager of Blue House mafia. My girlfriend had lost her Iphone in the taxi on the way to the airport in Zanzibar, and we though for sure it was lost. We told this to Mohamed when we arrived and he efficiently contacted the hostel where we ordered the taxi and got the hold of the taxi driver, who turned out had the Iphone and was willing to give it back. The only problem was that we were in Mafia and he was in Paje, Zanzibar. Mohamed arranged through his friends in Tropical Airlines for the taxi driver to drive all the way from Paje to ZAnzibar Airport and deliver it to Mohameds friends here, which would then in turn bring the Iphone to Dar es salaam the next day! The only thing the Taxi driver wanted was 35 USD for driving back and forth from the Zanzibar airport. Which Mohamed helped us transfer through some kind of cellphone transaction service.

We where totally amazed by how this man helped us out with this problem, and also of how he fixed everything in one day. When we got back to Dar we only needed to ask for the Iphone in the tropical Airlines office and there it was. Mohamed also took the same flight as us back to Dar and he and his family drove us all the way to our hostel, and he wanted nothing in return for all the help he had given us.

Also: if you want to go to Blue house mafia you should contact Mohamed on email or phone and he can help you get to Mafia cheaper. We got tickets for USD 90 through Mohamed with Tropical Airlines from Dar to Mafia. I think the original price is 120 USD.

I recommend all budget travelers to stay at Blue house mafia if they want to have a good and cheap experience and see the whale sharks/corals/turtles in Mafia.

For good deals contact Mohamed at: bluehousemafia@yahoo.com or phone: +255 755 828 825

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank JonasTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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51 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 December 2012

My husband and I stayed here for 3 nights with our 2 sons, 7 and 9. We occupied 2 separate bungalows because there is only one double bed in each (we knew this ahead of time and it was just fine). The location is on a mangrove beach, but just to the left of the property there is a sand beach that is available for use. I feel those that have rated their experience low are not being realistic, when you book and stay in a budget location one must only compare it with other budget locations. If I were rating this versus a 5 star, then yes, I would rank it higher, but realistically it was exactly what we had assumed we were paying for an probably even better.

We arrived on Mafia Island and were picked up in a nice van from Ali, would tended to us the entire stay. On the way to Blue House Mafia, we stopped at the Marine Park. It is written everywhere, but I will say it again...when you arrive you will have to stop at the Marine Park (15 min from airport) and pay $20 US per person, per day. Make sure to budget this into your stay. Then, just down from there it was about a 3 min drive from the Marine Park entrance.

We were shown our rooms (which were not as small as I thought considering other people's postings) and then left to explore. The rooms each have an attached bathroom (with a toilet, sink and shower), a double bed with mosquito net, and some space to set luggage etc. We only spent time in the room to sleep anyway, so no need for more space. There were hammocks on the beach in the mangroves that were great to sit on in the breezy. We paid full board, and the food was very good if you like seafood. We had calamari twice, octopus once, and fish a few times. All of the seafood was very fresh and had great seasoning. Some times people are worried about how the food will sit with them, I can say we did not get sick at all. We paid for all of our beverages at the end of the stay, and the price was very reasonable.

We booked excursions through Ali right at the resort. Don't expect to be on fancy speed boats or anything as the island is just developing its tourist industry, but this is what we liked about it. If we wanted something different we would have gone to Zanzibar. Mafia Island offers a local experience and the people were super friendly. Our two son's played soccer (football) with the local village kids each night. If you have kids, I would recommend bringing a soccer ball and then leaving it behind for the local kids. Another family was there at the same time as us and this is what they did, it was a huge hit.

The best part of the trip was the whale sharks, and honestly this is why we went to Mafia instead of Zanzibar. We went out snorkeling on day one (it was very good and the diving is very good here as well, good coral and fish), on day two we went out to find Whale Sharks and there were none, it was only the second year of the season that people were shut out, so of course we had to try again on day three. It was fabulous. There were 3 whale sharks, two smaller and one huge that we were able to swim with for about an hour. Unbelievable! Day 4 we tried fishing, and did not get any. I would suggest if you are going to try fishing to book through a dive center that maybe has a better set up as the local guys can't go out quite as far in the smaller boat. However, for us we were happy to book through Ali at Blue House because we knew the fees were going to the local community rather than the resort owners from out of town.

If you are looking for something other than budget accommodation, it is available on the island and is nicer and bigger, for quite a bit higher prices. Honestly as far as location...there isn't much difference. Overall we had a great experience, the Beach House was clean, the staff was friendly, the local people were welcoming, and we were very pleased.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank LLBinUAE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hamburg, Germany
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 October 2012

We spent only one night at the blue house mafia.
And I will break it down to a simple thing. If yoexude fine with a low budget accommodation this is a perfect place to go. The accommodation is low budget but absolutely okay. There is not a lot of space around the bed which is a bit uncomfortable but it is clean.
The people working there are super nice and welcoming.
And the food we had there was awesome. There is no menus to choose from but they served fresh, grilled fish which was so good.
Only problem is that you might get jealous of the other places around :-)

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Peer S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mafia Beach Bungalows

Property: Mafia Beach Bungalows
Address: Utende Beach, Chole Bay, Mafia Island, Tanzania (Formerly Blue House Mafia)
Region: Tanzania > Pwani Region > Mafia Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Mafia Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mafia Beach Bungalows is a low cost budget accommodation situated in Chole Bay in the Marine Park.We offer Diving,snorkeling,Game fishing,swimming with whale sharks and local tours.We can provide a complete diving holiday package including all your scuba diving and snorkeling needs. Local sites are suitable for all levels of experience from beginner to advanced; you can dive inside the Bay as well as outside. Soft and hard corals, sponges and anemones abound can be seen on the untouched reef, and whether you are a total novice, snorkeler or keen diver, you will be amazed.....Mafia Waters offer some of the best deep sea fishing and holder of many world records.General informationThe Mafia archipelago consists of one large island (394 km²) and several smaller ones. Some of these are inhabited, such as Chole Island (2 km²), with a population of 800. Chole Bay, Mafia's protected deep-water anchorage and original harbor, is studded with islands, sandbanks and beaches. The main town is Kilindoni. The stretch of water between the deltas of the Rufiji River and the island is called Mafia Channel.. ... more   less 
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