Dar es salaam Julius Nyerere airport transfers

Dar es salaam airport transfer to Mafia Island | Shuttle Transfer | Private Transport | Taxi Service to Mafia Island | Group Transfers 

Travel traditionally starts from the airport or railway station. If you don’t know how to get to the center of Dar es salaam or neaby city, we recommend renting a car with a personal driver. Thanks to the service tripinsighttanzania.com not only quickly get to the hotel, but also learn interesting information about the city.

Book your Dar es Salaam airport transfer with confidence. We offer Free Cancellation policy up to 24 hours before pickup. The Dar es Salaam airport transfer service includes meet and greet and flight monitoring. It is the most comfortable, stress-free travel option. 

We specialise in private Dar es Salaam airport transfers with professional drivers and quality vehicles since 2010. Book your Dar es Salaam transfer with our simple and easy to use booking system and avoid long taxi queues at the airport. Your driver will wait at the meeting point, holding a sign with your name and drive you to your destination in safety and comfort.

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Mafia Island is one of the five sleepy, tropical islands which are clustered together in the Indian Ocean, known as the Mafia Archipelago. They are a 30-60-minute flight from Dar es Salaam and, compared with Zanzibar, are relatively little known – yet if you are seeking an undisturbed beach holiday, they are well worth considering.

On arriving at Mafia’s tiny airport it is clear that the pace of life is slow here. Recently paved roads lead through the otherwise sandy-laned, one-street capital of Kilindoni, then give way to friendly farming and fishing villages. On the coast you’ll find mangrove forests, a few short stretches of golden beach and a brilliant turquoise sea. Sleepy dhows float between the islands.

All five islands of the archipelago – Mafia, Jibondo, Juani, Chole and Bwejuu – have lush vegetation and wildlife, with coconut palms, baobabs, cashews, mangos and papaya trees in the interior. These forests are home to bushbabies, wild pigs, blue duikers, genets, vervet monkeys and Pteropus fruit bats, or flying foxes. On the coast, mangrove forests and tidal flats attract endless sea birds. It’s worth noting that due to the tide, seaweed can wash up on shore and so the beaches are not as pristine as some parts of the Indian Ocean.

It is the ocean here that is the great attraction. In 1995, the Mafia Island Marine Park was formed to protect the archipelago’s reefs. Within Chole Bay, the shallow reefs are perfect for snorkelling or learning to dive. Outside the bay, its entrance is guarded by a long coral wall, attracting more experienced divers. Here are more than 50 kinds of coral, including giant table corals, huge stands of blue-tipped staghorn corals, and more than 400 species of fish.

This is one of Tanzania’s best areas for diving. You’ll always see something exciting, from rainbow-coloured clownfish to octopus, rays and the odd gigantic grouper or large potato cod. Sharks and dolphins are found in the deeper waters, and at night turtles haul themselves onto remote beaches to nest. Note that due to local winds and currents, dive sites outside the bay are often only safely accessible from about mid-September to the end of February.

When you drive across Mafia to transfer to any of the lodges on the east coast, or to Chole Island, you will go through the Marine Park entrance gate on the main road, and you will have to pay daily fees in advance, depending on the size of your party and the length of your stay. Unfortunately, Expert Africa cannot pay these fees in advance, and none of the local lodges do so on your behalf, so do be prepared. Happily they take credit cards. The current fee is $23.60 or the equivalent in Tanzanian shillings. You will need to show your receipt and ticket every time you pass through the gate on this trans-island road.

Very close neighbours (see the map), Kinasi Lodge and Pole Pole each have small sections of beach in front of them, with protecting mangroves around.

Kinasi Lodge has 14 rooms spaced around a landscaped hillside studded with palm trees. Kinasi is furnished with antiques and chairs made specifically for the lodge. There are board games to play, a library, an antique billiard table and a sociable, active atmosphere.

Pole Pole is a sleepy little lodge with just seven well-appointed wooden bungalows overlooking Chole Bay. It’s a place to relax, eat well, snorkel, dive and to lie back and enjoy a massage. Best of all are the free dhow day-trips to remote sand bars – so you feel like you’ve had an active day, even though you’ve just been relaxing.

Also nearby is Shamba Kilole – a pleasant, low-key, owner-run lodge with a great atmosphere and good diving opportunities.

On the mainland side of Mafia, Butiama Beach is a very consistent and enjoyable beach lodge, with good food and offering the opportunity to snorkel, dive or swim with whale sharks.

The remarkable Chole Mjini Lodge has been set up as a partnership with adjacent villagers. It has a few beautifully-built tree-houses on stilts in baobab trees, plus one imaginatively-designed room on the ground. Chole Mjini is a great place to experience village life, and also offers great diving, snorkelling and complementary dhow trips to sand bars. The whale shark encounters they offer are the most interesting and responsible on Mafia – a highly rewarding and memorable experience.

  • Although local dhows run to the mainland, flying is the only practical way to get to Mafia. Scheduled and charter flights run regularly from Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar Island, and you should expect to pay around $250 to $350 return. 
  • If you’re going diving, then pick your month carefully. Chole Bay can be dived year-round, but the deeper channels are only viable from August to November. October to February has the best visibility, although it’s rarely below 15m (49ft) at any time of year. 
  • For the best beach conditions, aim for late May to the start of the short rainy season in November. 
  • September to early March is prime whale shark season, so it’s only mid-March to mid-May that should be avoided completely when the island receives most of its rain.

Get out Dar Es Salaam by bus

You will need to go to a bus station to reach Nyamisati Port, which is about a 4-hour drive south of Dar Es Salaam. I recommend the one in Bagala. This is where there are the most departures to Nyamisati, the village you have to reach to go to Mafia Island.

📍 View on map 

You can easily find a bus that will fill up quite quickly. The journey costs 5500 TSH.

Take a good look at how much the locals pay. Most of the travel guides I read before I left said 10,000 TSH ($4), which is not fair. This is the Mzungu (tourist) rate, although between us it remains very ridiculous. But hey. If you’re within $2, you know the rate now. 


How to get to Mafia Island?

Where to stay in Nyamisati?

Nyamisati is a very small village. There really aren’t many options for accommodation. You can easily camp, or wait under the large shelter of the main square with all the locals and spend the night there.

In fact, the ferry to Mafia Island only leaves in the mornings so you will have to spend a night there unless you find a private boat, which is always possible. 


Nyamisati village, the step before getting to Mafia Island

The only place to sleep is right in front of the port, at Shabaan’s. He owns a house with a few rooms at 15,000 shillings a night. He will gladly help you if you have any questions, he is a very nice guy. Do not hesitate to ask me for his contact details to make sure he receives you when the bus arrives. 


How to get to Mafia Island?

Take the ferry to Mafia Island

The old very rudimentary boat with wooden benches has been replaced. Today, it’s a brand new ferry with comfortable seating, air conditioning and even a place to eat. I advise you to take a place upstairs, this is the best place. You will find the ticket office in Nyamisati’s main square. The crossing now takes place every morning around 9am, it lasts 4h and costs 16,000 TSH. 


Spending time with locals on the ferry to Mafia Island

Arrival at Mafia Island

There you go! You arrived in Mafia for the modest sum of $ 10 with a local experience, Tanzanian style. All you have to do is take a boda-boda (motorcycle taxi) to get to your final destination. Count 1,000 TSH for 2 km. 


How to get to Mafia Island in Tanzania

Flights depart from Dar Es Salaam International Airport with the airlines:

● Auric Air
● Coastal Air

The flight takes about 30 minutes and prices range from $ 100 to $150. At least in high season with a minimum of passengers. They are very small planes and Mafia airport is tiny.

Off season

Prices can be more expensive because you use the plane only for yourself. This is what I once found when I saw only one family land there. Otherwise, in 22 days in Mafia, I always saw the airport completely empty with no activity.

Dar es salaam airport transfer to Mafia Island FAQ

Mafia’s secluded sandbars, migrating awhale sharks, nesting turtles and laid-back vibe make this island simply magic

Located on the Swahili coast, Dar es Salaam is an important economic centre and is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. The town was founded by Majid bin Said, the first Sultan of Zanzibar, in 1865 or 1866. It was the main administrative and commercial center of German East Africa, Tanganyika, and Tanzania.

In general, there are over 100 different languages spoken, but we can look at the most spoken and widely used language, which is Swahili, which is a language that the whole population uses or may use next to other tribal languages.

The Tanzanian Shilling is the official currency of Tanzania, but US dollars are also widely accepted in tourist areas. Dollar notes printed before 2009 are usually not accepted. You can exchange money at many authorised dealers, banks and bureaux de change.

A visa is required when traveling to Tanzania from the United States and Canada. Currently, this can be obtained at arrival airports and border crossings and is valid for 90 days. A valid passport is mandatory. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Tanzania.

There are no compulsory vaccinations required for Tanzania, however, we recommend you consult with your local travel clinic for the most up to date recommendations, particularly in regards to malaria prophylactics. Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.

Taxis in Tanzania