Mafia, Tanzania… what a magic island!
Our trip to Mafia Island has begun how we had imagined it. During these months we have learned what means travelling among Tanzania. So, bag on back and let’s go!
One of the smallest daladala ever took us to Nyamisati, a harbour full of people ready to depart. When we arrived there, it was 8 p.m., so much time before our boat at 3 a.m. There are two different ways to reach Mafia: by plain in half an hour or by boat in four hours. Guess which one we have chosen. Of course the wildest and the cheaper option to live a real Tanzanian experience.
After our waiting, in the middle of the night the harbour was still awake. The boat wasn’t the one we are used to see, it was made by wood and quite big to host around 50 people. Obviously we were more, sitting on the floor surrounded by bags and several stuff, trying to sleep.
When the first light of the sun has come, we were almost arrived. Getting closer to the cost the ocean has changed its colour, from dark it has become clear and we were tired and excited at the same time.
We didn’t know that our adventure was just at the beginning. In fact, when we arrived the level of the sea was too low for the boat docking, so we took our things and we moved in a very small lifeboat. But it was not finished because the second boat couldn’t arrive to the beach too: the only way was to put our legs into the sea and walking until the shore. We will remember our tired and smiling faces for ever!
Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t the best one to enjoy our holidays on the beach but we have found the way to have a funny time all together. The temporal of the firsts days had worried us when swimming in the Indian Ocean and take the sun on the beach seemed just a dream. For this reason, we decided to rent a car to discover the island. Just one road, without asphalt went to the north: after one hour we were surrounded by the real jungle. From the window we could see little villages in the middle of the nature and little houses made by mud with straw roof. Sometimes you could see also a small solar panel on the top of the roof. It seemed strange but interesting at the same time and made us smile thinking about our lifestyle.
Mafia is not a touristic island like Zanzibar, it is still a wild place and we were the only tourists on it.
The street is not a real one; it seems like a red path that cut the jungle in two part. Due to the mud, the car sank in the mud and the only possibility to move it was push the car out from it. Maybe you can imagine us: a group of seven people without shoes laughing under the rain while we tried to take it out from the puddle. It could be the begin of a horror movie or an unreal scene of a comic one. How you can easily imagine, after this episode our clothes were not the same.
Finally, we arrived in the most extreme north of the island where there was a red and white lighthouse, next to the reef. It was abandoned and an old man open it just for us. The view from the top left us breathless, we could see the narrow path and the strong green of the jungle on one side, while the unlimited ocean on the other. It sounds poetic and it was so. After this adventure we deserved have a bath in a wonderful white beach and the weather welcomed us with a warm sun. Some men were selling fishes under the palms while we finally swimming into a pacific sea.
After the sunlight, the island became dark. You could see just a few lights on the street to oriented yourself. Five days runs among different kind of beaches, walking into the jungle to watch monkeys and grilling fishes bought under a sky full of stars.