Fodor's Expert Review Chole Mjini

Mafia Island, Tanzania Fodor's Choice

Climbing up the winding steps rotating around the trunk of a baobab tree, the tree houses of Chole Mjini will satisfy anyone with an island castaway fantasy. The lodge is as unique as the people who visit it, with open-air tree houses set among the overgrown ruins of an ancient trading station and open-air showers built around local vegetation with a unique kerosene-heating method to get the shower going. Coffee arrives every morning on a pulley system in your own baobab tree house. Dinner service is rotated between the lodge and inside the ruins, which are decorated by the roots of strangler fig trees. Head to the Red Herring Bar to watch the sunset (and get Wi-Fi). For rooms with the best views, choose Sita, Tano, and Nne.


  • sleeping in one of East Africa's unique settings
  • dinner by candlelight in an ancient ruin
  • the best place to see whale sharks in an ethical manner


  • no toilets in the tree house, so you have to walk down stairs to get to the bathroom at night
  • no swimming beach
  • open tree house means there will be a few night critters


Near the beach


Phones: 255-787-712--427


7 treehouses
Rate Includes: All-Inclusive, Closed mid Mar.-mid June

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