Part of the virtually unknown Mafia archipelago that lies south of Zanzibar, Chole is a tiny tropical island located in the largest marine park in East Africa off the Tanzanian coast.
The communal areas of Chole Mjini are set in tropical gardens, which border the ruins of the old Chole Town. Six of the rooms are tree-houses, built using local techniques by expert craftsmen and set on platforms high up in giant Baobab trees, which provides panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. The seventh room is a ground house, which is slightly larger and caters for families with small children. With only seven tree houses, carefully placed and designed, privacy is assured. Open to the elements, each thatched platform is reached via sandy paths that lead through the natural vegetation.
Mafia Island Marine Park's waters hold some of the most extraordinary and unaffected reefs in the world, with some of the finest unbleached coral varieties in the Indian Ocean, and more than 400 species exploiting the myriad niches. Activities at Chole Mjini are diverse, and guests can do as much or as little as they wish. Because the Indian Ocean is only metres away, diving, snorkelling, swimming and dhow sailing are always popular. There is also a refurbished traditional dhow that is used for full day excursions to the sand banks, for snorkelling trips or sunset cruises.
The waters around Chole Island are home to a wide array of marine life, and whale sharks are commonly sighted, as are potato cod, giant grouper and white-tipped reef sharks. Other experiences include visiting the local village with a guide, exploring the local paths (a late-afternoon walk is often rewarded with a sighting of the local fruit bat colony in flight) or just lazing around in the sun.