Whale Shark Monitoring on Mafia Island
Who: Couples, Honeymoons, Families, Groups and Solo Travellers

10 Days

From £2,829pp

Whale Shark Monitoring on Mafia Island

Emily C, Eleanor and Jacqui are here to help give you the inside track.

Sink into blissfully remote island life on this 10-day diving holiday to Mafia Island, where you'll help marine biologists and conservationists monitor and track whale sharks that customarily cruise these waters.

Itinerary at a Glance:

  • See why Mafia Island Marine Park is said to have some of the best dive sites in the Indian Ocean, as you cruise over voluminous reefs that play host to more than 460 fish species
  • Slice through the azure water on a traditional dhow as the sun sinks beneath the horizon and your day comes to an end
  • While away the days with languid beach barbeques, occasional sea swims and explorations of the intertidal pools along the deserted sandbank
  • Learn about whale shark biology and conservation efforts, before embarking on an expedition to collect pivotal data and photograph their distinct spot patterns

Why Book with Original Diving?

Just a few of the extra touches that come as standard on an Original Diving holiday...
100% Carbon Off-setting
UK Departure Assistance
Fast Track UK Check-in
Fast Track UK Security
UK Airport Lounge Access
Pre-booked Airline Seats
See More

When To Travel













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All of the holidays we create are completely tailor-made to you

This sample itinerary is intended to give you a flavour of what we can do

Day 1: Fly away to Tanzania

It's an early start today as you begin your journey to Tanzania by flying from London to Dar Es Salaam, via Amsterdam. You'll arrive late in the evening of the same day and a driver will be waiting to take you directly from the airport to your hotel. Hopefully you'll be able to fall right to sleep and avoid any jetlag, ready for the real adventure to begin tomorrow!

Day 2: Onward to Mafia Island

Mafia Island is only a short hop from Dar Es Salaam, so enjoy a leisurely morning before heading back to the airport to catch your 30-minute flight. Once you land, a driver will collect and transfer you to your lodge, which sits inside the marine park and is surrounded by verdant vegetation. Situated just metres from the sea, a refreshing ocean breeze will cool you as you relax on the patio of your room or walk the trails of the property.

Days 3-6: Mafia Island Marine Park Diving

Over the next four days, you'll head out for two dives a day (more if you'd like) at some of the most stunning sites in the Indian Ocean. With over 460 species of fish and 50 types of corals, ranging from giant table corals and sea fans to blue-tipped staghorn corals, you'll be surrounded by aquarium-like scenes and an abundance of sea life.

Day 7: Whale Shark Monitoring Expedition

Get ready for the experience of a lifetime! You'd be hard-pressed to find an experience more surreal than floating along next to the biggest (and friendliest) sharks in the world. Before the tour, you'll be briefed on how to behave with the whale sharks in the water so as not to distress them, while still maintaining the perfect proximity for capturing overhead photos of them. You'll be tasked with taking these shots so as to collect crucial data and compile a visual record of the various individuals in the area. Whale sharks can be differentiated by their spot patterns, as each one is unique, like a fingerprint.

Days 8-9: Days at Leisure or Adventure

Spend the next two days at leisure, either relaxing at your resort or exploring the surface-side beauty of the surrounding area. Perhaps set out to nearby Chole Island, where you'll discover ruins overtaken by nature, as well as Arabic and Germanic influences dating back to the 12th century. A stroll across the island will take you through local villages and varied vegetation (including baobab trees), where Flying Foxes (fruit bats) hang lazily in the canopy. You'll also get the chance to see where the traditional Swahili dhows are hand-crafted. For a more nautical day, depart on the boat to Marimbani Sandbank, which surrounds one of the archipelago's most stunning reefs - Kitutia Reef. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins playing in the surf along the way and dip into the water with your snorkel gear to swim alongside massive rays, turtles and reef fish. At the sandbank, do some more snorkelling, explore the intertidal flats or simply relax on the sand and enjoy a beach barbeque, before heading home for a sundowner and a good night's sleep.

Day 10: Bid Farewell to Lovely Mafia

All too quickly, your holiday has come to an end. After a relaxed morning, you'll be transferred to Mafia Island Airport for your 30-minute flight back to Dar Es Salaam. Here you'll have a short layover before boarding your flight home, again via Amsterdam.

All of the holidays we create are completely tailor-made to you

This sample itinerary is intended to give you a flavour of what we can do

A Rough Idea of Price

While all of our holidays are completely tailor-made and prices will vary based on things like time of year and level of accommodation, we want to give you as good an idea of how much this itinerary will cost. The below prices are based on two people sharing.

This Itinerary

If you would like to book the exact itinerary mentioned above, with economy flights, during mid-season and staying in our preferred room category at our preferred hotels.



Bare Necessities

If you would like to pare back the above itinerary by travelling at non-peak times, staying in a standard room and removing some or all of the guided activities.



Bells & Whistles

If you are looking for something extra special and would like to add business or first class flights, stay in top room categories at some of the most luxurious hotels we work with, and add more activities and guiding.



Emily C, Eleanor and Jacqui are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

Image of Jacqui Brooks
Call us on 1-800-652-1972