• The history and background of Chole
    The history and background of Chole

Chole's History and Background

Chole is a 2.26km square island based on a fossil coral reef exposed at the end of the last ice age about 12,000 years ago. It has a long history in the heart of the Mafia Island Marine Park. Click the links below to learn more about the island itself, the tourist lodge and whale shark encounters in Mafia Bay.

Chole Island, close to the cradle of mankind

Close to the cradle of mankind, very early humans probably came into the Rufiji river delta, attracted by the abundant marine life.


Chole Mjini Treehouse Lodge dating from 1994

In 1992 Anne and Jean de Villiers commissioned the beautiful dhow "Mama Chole" from the traditional boatyard on Chole, which began a relationship that led to the building of the Chole Mjini Treehouse Lodge and the Chole Project.


Kitu Kiblu and Whale shark encounters in the Mafia channel

The channel between Mafia island and Africa is home to a feeding aggregation of whale sharks, the ocean's biggest fish. In the season OCT-FEB their food is on the surface and the whale sharks are easily found. With instruction and guidance we can join their world and swim along side them in awe of their majestic presence.