Mafia’s Whalesharks

$TBC per person
8 days


Ask anyone in the know, and they'll tell you that some of the most stunning natural sights you'll ever witness in Africa can be experienced on a Tanzania and Kenya safari.

In particular, Tanzania is a natural paradise, both inland at some of the most wildlife-rich reserves you'll ever see, and in the clear, crystalline ocean waters off the country's coast, teeming with resplendent life and colour. It's almost impossible to overstate the breathtaking beauty on offer across African landscapes that have stood unchanged for hundreds of thousands of years.

There's a sense of deep natural history here: a primal connection to the earth and the ocean that's hard to find anywhere else on the planet. Imagine swimming alongside majestic giants that live to 150 years or more. Inhale the scent of a nearby campfire, listening to the howls of distant wild dogs and the sounds of the bush coming alive at night.

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There aren't many destinations in Africa that can rival Tanzania’s diversity of wildlife and landscapes. From the classic Savannah destinations of the Serengeti, Ruaha and Nyerere, to the coral reefs of Pemba and Mafia Island. a Tanzanian safari delivers one exhilarating experience after another. This Tour can been precisely planned around the perfect time to swim with the Whale sharks as they visit the Mafia Archipelago in search of food. Curated to offer the best times to experience the underwater fauna, we give you the best chance to return home, with not only unforgettable experiences, but some incredible imagery too. The waters surrounding Mafia Island offer an extraordinary variety of marine diversity, with over 400 species of fish, 5 species of marine turtle and 48 species of coral. The crystal clear waters offer the perfect place to experience some unforgettable diving in Tanzania.

What's included

Departure Location
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Return Location
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Price includes
  • 3 to 4 Days photographing whalesharks
  • Accommodation on a sharing basis
  • Airport transfers
  • All domestic fights
  • All park and conservation fees
  • Assistance with photographic and post processing on a casual basis
  • Overweight on domestic flight for uw camera gear
  • Two dives a day (possible third)
Price does not include
  • All park and conservation fees
  • Any additional meals other than stated
  • Dive Insurance
  • Extra activities not mentioned
  • International Flights (if not part of Tour)
  • Items of personal nature
  • Staff/Guide gratuities
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel visas

A Unique Tanzanian Safari

Join Saltwater Safaris on a unique Tanzanian and Kenyan Safari adventure. You’ll get to experience the best of both worlds. From Mafia Island off the coast of Tanzania, to the phenomenal wildlife on offer in Nyerere. This really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Mafia Island, Tanzania

Why ‘Mafia’ Island? The name itself conjures up intrigue, but it’s not what you think. ‘Morifiyeh’, is an Arabic word which simply means group, or when it comes to islands – archipelago. Happily, it has greatly escaped the invasion of mass tourism, unlike its sister island, Zanzibar. This is what makes this island even more appealing, less people, means quieter dive sites, and a more rewarding diving and underwater photography experience.

Our primary goal here is to track the migrating Whale sharks, who tend to congregate in the balmy waters around the archipelago between October and March, reaching its peak in December. We hope to be able to swim with these gentle giants and capture unique imagery that’s only available in a few places around the world.

Between Whale shark swims, we will also explore the incredible reefs of Chole Bay, a Marine Reserve, harbouring some 400 species of fish, and offering up some amazing wide angle and macro photo opportunities. Not only are there reef dives, but also a bit of muck diving for those little critters we all seek.

Enjoy All The Islands have To Offer

There will be plenty of time to explore all the islands have to offer. Both under water and the lush, tropical island itself. During our stay on the island, as part of the Tanzania and Kenya safari experience, we’ll stay at one of the most exclusive eco-lodges. Located on the shores of Chole Bay, the tantalising cuisine,tranquil atmosphere and comfortable furnishings make it a guest-favourite – especially after a day in the water.

Our accommodation offers the perfect base for our diving expeditions and is conveniently close to our dive shop. We’ll be diving with one of Tanzania’s leading diving companies, who will ensure we are taken to the ideal spots for great diving and photography. With at least 2 dives scheduled each day, although these are all tide dependent, you’ll have the best opportunities for spectacular under water photography, while enjoying everything the Islands have to offer.


  • Day 1
  • Day 2 - 7
  • Day 8
Day 1

Dar es Salaam to Mafia Island

Arrival in Dar es Salaam. Depending on time of arrival, we'll meet at domestic departures prior to our flight to Mafia Island at 15h30. Or, if arrival is much earlier in the day, we'll transfer to our hotel, where a day room will be organised for a shower and change before catching our flight to Mafia Island.

It's a short 30 minute flight to Mafia Island. We will then be transferred to our accommodation on the island, and get settled in.

Day 2 - 7

Diving around Mafia Island

Between shore/boat diving in Chole Bay, swimming with Whale sharks, and picking our own excursions, we will have plenty of time to explore the waters around Mafia Island. From wide angle to macro photo opportunities, it is all available within a quick boat ride from the dive center.

Day 8

Mafia, Mafia to Dar es Salaam

The morning will be spent on Mafia Island as there are only afternoon flights out of Mafia Island a day, which departs at 17h30.

For those spending the night in Dar es Salam, we'll spend the evening relaxing at our hotel located alongside the warm Indian Ocean on the Swahili coast in Dar es Salaam. 

For those flying out, you will be transferred to Terminal 3 for International departures.


More about this tour

hotography Tours

This trip has been designed with photography in mind, no matter your level of experience, your equipment, or your level of computer knowledge. We've catered for all levels on this trip, with dive boats and game drive vehicles.

Although there will be no formal “training or classes”, I'm a professional photographer and I'll be on hand to discuss , go through your images, and assist where required. Whether it's on the boat, or you need help with camera preparation, and after our shoot with an informal chat around your images. We can also assist with your Lightroom or other editing software questions during these discussions

However, we do appreciate that some guests prefer to see with their eyes, and not through the lens of a camera. Whether you travel with or without a camera this trip has something for everyone. Be it the shot of a lifetime or coming eye to eye with a predator at a hide, you'll leave this trip with fantastic images and memories to last a lifetime.

If you have any questions regarding our yours, please get in touch!


Nov/Dec 2023

underwater safaris


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Mafia's Whalesharks

$TBC per person
8 days

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