Which Animals Could You See In Mafia Island?

Which Animals Could You See In Mafia Island?

Posted by Leanne Sturrock on Apr 6, 2017

Often labelled as ‘the Zanzibar of thirty years ago’, Mafia Island could easily be deemed to be any intrepid traveller’s dream destination. Kaleidoscopic coral reefs, immaculate ivory beaches and dazzling aquamarine waters make for the most stunning of locations, but the main draw must be the amazing wildlife species to be found on and around the island. Let’s take a look at some of the incredible marine life to be found around Mafia Island!

Whale Sharks

Perhaps the most famous of Mafia Island’s marine residents, the majestic whale shark is oftentimes considered to be a major draw for tourists to this part of the world – and it’s not hard to see why. Despite being the largest fish species on earth, whale sharks are about the furthest thing from being intimidating: rather, they are gregarious, harmonious, and serene. The opportunity to swim alongside these gentle giants is something many of us would gladly embrace, and by taking part in our Mafia Island Whale Shark Conservation Project, you will be able to do just that.

Humpback Whales

Humpback Whale

At certain points in the year, another mammoth of the marine world can be found in the waters of Mafia Island. Humpback whales have been spotted between the months of August and October, so while this is not an opportunity that can be guaranteed, the site of a whale in the wild like this will surely take your breath away. Humpbacks tend to move towards the waters of Tanzania in the winter months, seeking to build up their fat reserves by feeding on up to a ton of krill per day. Lucky tourists have reported witnessing the whale splashing and playing just off the coast, and even witnessing some incredible shows of ‘acrobatics’ – in reality, the humpbacks are leaping out of the water and tail slapping in an attempt to remove parasites from their bodies, to assert their status to other humpbacks, or just to have a bit of fun!

Marine Turtles

Turtles in Mafia Island

Tanzania plays host to five species of turtle: the Hawksbill, the Green turtle, the Loggerhead, the Leatherback, and the Olive Ridley. The species most often seen around Mafia Island itself is the Hawksbill - in fact, they are quite a common sight for snorkelers and divers! In addition to this, visitors to the nearby Juani Island may be able to catch the hatching of baby turtles (between June and August.)

Which Other Animals Might You See On Mafia Island?

Monkeys in Mafia Island

While we can’t guarantee sightings, did you know that Mafia Island is home to a plethora of unusual and varied species? Monkeys, antelope, wild pigs, bushbabies and even hippos have been spotted in the region, with marine species such as dugongs, reef sharks and dolphins also seen in the area. Notably, the waters around Mafia Island are brimming with an abundance of beautiful fish species, with over 400 species found here. Whether on land or in the sea, your experience at Mafia Island guarantees to be unforgettable.


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