Scuba Diving in Mafia Island

Scuba Diving in Mafia Island


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Day Trip
Safari Type
Beach Holiday
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Scuba Diving


Much of Mafia Island is a protected Marine Park and among the world’s famous places for scuba diving. The diversity of marine life is excellent from invertebrates and celaphods to more than 460 species of tropical fish as well as a good healthy spread of hard and corals. On a dive you might expect to see nudibranchs, seahorses, leaf fish, groupers, Napoleons, frogfish, guitarfish and sometime elusive dugong. Whale sharks arrive in Mafia’s waters on their annual migration and can often be seen feeding on plankton upwellings in large numbers .The water temperature of the Indian Ocean is around 27 degrees celcius almost all year round.

There are many different diving centres that offer scuba diving courses and excursions for beginners up to experienced divers. As most of the scuba diving is tide dependent, departure times, types of dives and conditions vary on a day-to-day basis. 

Check in advance before booking your dates for diving. If you are a keen muck diver you will want to coordinate your visit during low-tide. If you want the big stuff and reefs then you’ll want high-tide.

Diving Sites in Mafia Island

Chole Reef: Here, you’ll get to spot many butterflyfish, angelfish, nudibranchs and damselfish.

Milimani ReefExtremely picturesque with unusual coral formations through which the diver navigates. Spectacular layered coral peaks. This is followed by vast Porites formations that are dome-like, with many lionfish, glass fish and moray eels. From here it slopes away to 21 m with a wide variety of soft and hard corals. This site is good in all conditions as it is only slightly affected by currents; an excellent second dive.

Kinasi Pass – The Kinasi Pass dive, rightfully famous as a stunning drift dive. The Pass has two walls, commencing with a deep 20-26 m shelving reef, then a shallower one at 6-15 m. The diver floats along a wall with small caverns and overhangs, with great shoals of juvenile and adult reef fish, barracuda and carangidae that sometimes block out the light, a vast array of corals, parrotfish, large groupers and pelagics coming and going with the tide. A fantastic dive.

Kinasi WallThis is a sheltered bank reef, moderately deep and steeply sloping from 8 to 21 metres. It runs south-east: north-west for approximately 800 m and is an excellent dive on a slack tide or with a slight incoming current. It is in superb condition and composed of many species of hard and soft corals and supports a great variety of shoaling and solitary fish and giant clams, seafans, large groupers, and Napolean wrasse; there are abundant reef and pelagic fish, and turtles (especially the hawksbill) are often seen. One of our most popular dive sites.

Coral Garden: A very large area of beautiful coral outcrops or “bommies”, lying in a wedge behind the Kinasi and Chole walls. The coral is very densely packed and continuous behind Kinasi wall; elsewhere the coral is separated by seagrass and sand patches. This is an excellent site for photography with a very high diversity of fish, colourful corals and anemones and the shallow water makes visibility excellent. This is a shallow water dive, often undertaken as the last phase of one of the wall dives. Excellent for snorkelers behind Kinasi Wall at low tide.

Msumbiji: This site consists of a small primary reef with a variety of soft and hard corals on slopes and sheer walls down to 15 m. Away from the central formation are spires of coral that provide archways and overhangs for the diver to explore. Beautiful anemones of fluorescent red colour and rays (especially blue spotted) are common. This site is a good introductory dive but has unpredictable visibility conditions

Pinnacle: The Pinnacle is a 12 m spire of ancient coral rock (7o57’005S/39o47’850E) lying in the inner Kinasi Pass, close to the last rock island. Maximum depth is 24m at the base of the spire. This is a spectacular dive for the unusual structure and the mixture of reef and pelagic fish in the channel. Home to a very large potato cod and a very large resident moray in a hole on the “whale-back” of rock that slopes off the western side of the stack and many giant batfish.

  • Soulder
  • Jena Reef
  • Jena Wall
  • Jena Pass
  • Dindini South
  • Dindini North
  • Juani North
  • Juani South
  • Kitutia Reef
  • Mange Reef
94% of travelers recommend this experience
Not sure? You can cancel this reservation up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.

Important information

You will not be allowed to dive if you don’t have with you the following: your PADI certification/card and also a copy of your travel insurance (which must include diving)

FAQs about
Scuba Diving in Mafia Island

When to go diving on Mafia Island?

Mafia Island offers good diving all year round apart from April and May when the dive shops are shut for the rain season (you might also want to avoid June which is a little on and off in terms of weather). November, December, January and February are great seasons for diving but also the busiest months on the island (alongside August).

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