A romantic and rustic getaway on the unspoilt island of Mafia that lives up to its Swahili name


Facilities & services

  • Seven bungalow suites
  • Swimming pool
  • Affiliated PADI dive centre
  • Restaurant


  • Dhow sailing
  • Diving and snorkelling
  • Boat excursions
  • Village visits and 4x4 tours

Pole Pole, which translated from Swahili means ‘slowly slowly’, is a wonderfully peaceful, private and unpretentious resort, perfect both for those looking for relaxation after a safari as well as for the ocean-lovers who just can’t get enough of diving, sailing and exploring.

Its seven bungalow suites are subtly blended into Mafia Island’s unspoilt tropical landscape, each with private verandas overlooking Chole Bay’s stunning waters and islets at the heart of the protected marine park. Furnished with carved and antique pieces, each unit is self-contained with a spacious and comfortable bathroom. Two of the bungalows have two bedrooms, ideal for families.

The centre of the small resort is set around a beautiful hidden garden, large swimming pool and spa, surrounded by swaying palms. Pole Pole’s cuisine reflects diverse culinary and cultural influences of the region, combining an Italian touch with local flavours and ingredients. Fresh fish and seafood daily, homemade pasta and ice cream, Swahili dinners and tropical fruits and vegetables are enjoyed by our guests in the intimate atmosphere of the restaurant.

A variety of activities and excursions can be organised from Pole Pole to suit all moods. The Marine Park offers exquisite sites for snorkelling and scuba diving and the island is one of the best places in the world to dive with whale sharks. Pole Pole’s affiliated dive centre, Mafia Island Diving, offers diving courses in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, with a highly experienced team of both local and expatriate instructors and dive masters, it is likely one of the best-staffed PADI-affiliated dive centres in Tanzania. Other excursions include exploring the island on foot and in a 4×4, exploring the island’s fascinating past and visiting local villages.

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