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This rustic, eco-lodge, set on a tiny tropical island off the coast of Tanzania’s Mafia Island, offers a truly unique ‘Robinson Crusoe’ experience

Cost Per Night
Perfect For

Families, Couples & Honeymooners

Situated amongst ancient ruins and lush forest, Chole Mjini Treehouse Lodge is one of Tanzania’s most original lodges. The lodge comprises of six quirky tree houses set on high platforms in baobab trees, plus a ground floor suite.

With no electricity, running water, WiFi or TV, this hideaway is perfect for adventurous travelers who want to immerse themselves into the tropical environment and enjoy a barefoot luxury experience.

To reach this remote retreat, located within Mafia Island Marine Park, you’ll take a 20 minute flight from Dar Es Salaam to Mafia Island, followed by a scenic drive and a short dhow transfer to the mangrove-lined shores of Chole Island.

There are numerous tide-dependent activities and excursions to enjoy during your stay at Chole Mjini, including diving, snorkeling, swimming and sailing trips. The lodge has a refurbished traditional sailing dhow and offer a complementary dhow trip each day – this could be a breakfast picnic on a sandbank or a sunset sailing cruise.

Snorkeling trips can also be arranged, and divers can explore the spectacular reefs and dive sites with a PADI dive center in nearby Chole Bay. At certain times of year there are opportunities for humpback whale watching excursions, as well as swimming with whale sharks and trips to see turtle hatchings.

The lodge also offers guided stand up paddling or paddle boarding tours around the island, where you can discover creeks and mangroves. You can also explore the Kua Ruins, the old mosque, the boat yard, the Chole village where you learn about daily life in a traditional Swahili village and visit the Fruit Bat sanctuary, or some of The Chole Mjini Trust Fund projects, such as the Learning Centre and Kindergarten.

Please note: Entry to Mafia Island Marine Park costs US$23.60 per person per day and you’ll need to pay this upon entering the park. 

Call us on +44 117 313 3300 to start planning your holiday, we’re looking forward to hearing from you


The lodge

Accessed via wooden stairs, the six thatched-roof tree houses (Moja, Mbili, Tatu, Nne, Tano and Saba) are set on platforms high up in giant baobab trees. Each tree house is unique, however they all feature a wide, wrap-around verandah which offer spectacular views through the trees. The tree houses all have a king-size bed, while some have extra double or single beds, and each has its own open-air shower and long-drop toilet located in its private garden. In addition to the tree houses, there’s the Ground House Sita which features a large double bed, two smaller beds and a day bed on the spacious porch making it ideal for families. Grand House Sita also has an en-suite bathroom with a shower, large bathtub and the only flushing toilet on the island.

Chole Mjini’s spacious communal area is set in the lush garden, amongst the old ruins of the island. Covered by a thatched roof with open sides the lounge area is scattered with comfortable cushions. Above the lounge, built into the rafters of the roof, is the Hanashi Bar where guests congregate for drinks before enjoying a delicious three-course dinner which is served in a different setting each night.


Facilities include a thatched-roof lounge, bar and dining area. The lodge also has a number of dhows for excursions. WiFi is available in the Red Herring Bar.


At breakfast you can expect fresh bread, fruit, and homemade yoghurt, whilst lunch and dinner typically includes freshly caught seafood and locally grown produce, cooked in traditional Swahili style.

Why Wayfairer

Chole Mjini is dedicated to strengthening the surrounding community (for every booking at Chole Mjini, U$10 per person per night goes directly toward funding community projects) and visitors can take a guided walk to the nearby village to see how much the lodge has contributed to local life, including building a local dispensary, a primary school and an adult education centre.

Chole Mjini is also committed to environmentally responsible tourism. Designed to blend in with its natural surroundings and have minimal impact on the environment, the lodge was built using local and sustainable materials, by local craftsmen. The lodge operates with solar generated electricity and each guest is issued with a solar-powered lantern; there are composting long-drop toilets, and showers are heated by a small but effective paraffin burner that you light yourself.

Featured Holidays

Call us on +44 117 313 3300 to start planning your holiday, we’re looking forward to hearing from you


Accommodation on Mafia Island

Find below a collection of our favourite accommodation options on Mafia and its surrounding islands.

Talk to the team

Find out more and tailor your perfect trip with the help of
our specialist team on +44 117 313 3300