Mafia Island is more expensive compared to its neighbouring island, Zanzibar. This is mostly due to it being so cut off and also having a protected Marine Park (you have to pay a daily fee to enter the park). However, because of this, the island offers a quieter and less touristy experience and also has some thriving corals to enjoy. Here’s a Mafia Island budget to help you work out how much to bring for a visit.

For full details on visiting the island, check out my Mafia Island guide.

Marine Park Fees

You need to pay $23.50 a day to be in the Marine Park. Note that you have to pay this even if you are only staying in the Marine Park and not doing any activities. To avoid the fees you can stay in Killindoni.

If you are heading to Mafia Island to swim with whale sharks and choose to stay in Kilindoni then you won’t need to budget for fees. I would recommend having at least 1 day in the Marine Park though (doing the snorkelling, Chole Island and BBQ sandbank combined tour) and more if you want to dive.

Travel to Mafia

There are 2 options for getting to Mafia Island: flight or ferry.

Return flights from Dar es Salaam: $280
Return ferry from Dar es Salaam (including bus): $24

Tuk-tuks are the most common form of transport on the island. Most activities include transport though and your hotel will pick you up and drop you off from the airport for free. A return tuk-tuk to the market is $5 from Kilindoni and $20 from Utende.

Accommodation

Example accommodation options based on 1 person in a room per night:

Extreme budget – camping at Afro Beach Bungalows: $10
Budget – Ibizza Inn: $30
Comfortable – Bustani: $60
Luxury – Chole Mnjini: $160 plus daily Marine Park fees

Restaurant

Local meal from the market – $2
Lunch in a lodge – $8
3 course dinner in a lodge – $15
Soda (market – lodge) – $0.5 – $1.5
Beer (market – lodge) – $1 – $2.5

Activities

Whale Shark Tour – $60
Marine Park Tour (Snorkelling, Chole Island, Blue Lagoon and Sandbank lunch) – $60
Afro Beach sunset and BBQ – $20

For a full list of activities and prices check out my things to do on Mafia Island.

1 week budget: backpacker

Flight: $240
Accommodation for 6 nights: $180
2 x Whale Shark tour: $110 ($10 discount if you do additional tours)
Marine Park tour (with Marine Park fees): $83.50
Sunset cruise & BBQ at Afro Beach Bungalow: $20
Food (mix of lodge and market – $12 a day): $72
Drink : $20
Tuk-tuks: $20

Total: $745.50 (this would be considerably less if you were happy to take the ferry instead of the plane. 2 people sharing a room would also reduce the price

1 week budget: ‘comfortable’ traveller

Flight: $240
Accommodation on Mafia for 5 nights: $360
Accommodation at Chole Mnjini treehouse for 1 night: $160
3 x Whale Shark tour: $160 ($10 discount if you do additional tours)
2 x Marine Park tours (with Marine Park fees): $167
Sunset cruise & BBQ at Afro Beach Bungalow: $20
Food (eating at lodges – $25 a day): $150
Drinks: $50
Taxis: $40

Total: $1,297 (this would be considerably less if you were happy to take the ferry instead of the plane. 2 people sharing a room would also reduce the price

Visiting Tanzania?

You might also find my other blogs on Tanzania helpful:

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