Many young couples have a tropical honeymoon vacation, and some take an African Safari Honeymoon to Tanzania or Kenya, and then urgently seek a peaceful quiet escape for the last few days, and this is where an Indian Ocean Island in the Mafia Archipelago off Tanzania called Chole comes in.
There are few better places to finally end up in than Chole Mijini Lodge which is the epitome of a romantic honeymoon getaway. This is never more true if you are very conscious of the damage that new holiday developments can do to the local environment or population, because Chole Mijini Lodge has developed with the best principles of echo tourism and benefiting local communities.
Chole Mijini Lodge is on a tiny fertile island called Chole, some twenty minutes sail from Mafia. It has been set up as a partnership with the owners Jean and Anne de Villiers and the people of Chole Village. In fact $10 per night per guest goes to resource community development projects, and this is working extremely well.
This has so far resulted in the Community having, and more importantly being able to afford to run a primary school, a kindergarten, an adult learning centre with computers and English classes, and a clinic and a market.
Chole Mijini Lodge is very close to the village, and is unfenced, being situated amidst the ruins of an old town that was heavily involved in the slave trade two centuries ago.
There are six tree houses high up on stilts, and a large suite on the ground. The tree houses are quite superbly designed and extremely unusual, with the whole effect being one of a tropical garden amidst the ruins, and it is spectacularly effective.
The tree houses all have a view over the mangroves to the sea, and contain a bathroom at ground level with a long drop composting loo, which although it sounds pretty basic, does work very well. If Chole is to be part of your honeymoon, and you don’t like the sound of this, then book the ground level suite which boasts the only flush toilet on the island!
There are hot showers for all the accommodations, and there is a dhow where you can spend a night away from the lodge.
Mijini Lodge has a very comfortable main lounge with lots of large colorful cushions to lie about on, with loads of books and games.
This really is an escape and a romantic getaway destination.
It is also fair to point out that Mijini Lodge has no electricity supply, and it is full board, with dining at a large family style dining table, and only water is included in the full board rate, although alcoholic drinks can be purchased. You will find the the food simple imaginative and superb, with different dishes to tempt even the most jaded palate!
The service is excellent throughout the lodge, always there, and very discreet. If you are worried about security, there are guards around all the time especially at night so so feel safe at all times.
In terms of what you do at Mijini Lodge, there are sailing trips, forest walks, and general exploration of the historical ruins, and general history of the area, snorkeling, and diving. There is everything from shallow lagoons to deep dives, and a fully set up PADI center.
Tanzania, and the Mafia Archipelago makes everyone think of white sand beaches, and they are easily accessible by dhow, if not quite on the doorstep. Some of the beaches you will be taken to are so remote, utterly untouched and beautiful.
What you absolutely must do is to take the unique opportunity to see how the local village lives, and to experience it. Majini gives you a unique opportunity to do this, and gives you an insight into everyday African life.
Without wishing to be negative, the biggest drawback to Chole Mijini Lodge is the heat normally an advantage during the day, but at night when the breeze drops, the lack of a fan, and the ever present malaria mosquitoes means that the bed enclosed by nets becomes an oven. Now this is also the case at many safari camps in Africa, but is something to be aware of here.
Notwithstanding Chole Mijini Lodge is a completely unique spot to end an African safari honeymoon, but not for people who need all the luxuries of the 21st century. If it is for you, then the experience you will have will make this a romantic honeymoon getaway you will never forget.
It isn’t really a base for a complete Tanzania vacation, but a great place for two or three days, hidden so to speak, amongst the islands in the Mafia Archipelago.