Logistic info: 5 hrs excursion
From October through to February each year, Mafia Island becomes a particularly magical place. Whale sharks, the gentle giants of the sea, venture close to the shore to feast on the plankton pushed out with the silt from the Rufiji River into the warm waters of the Indian ocean.
Chole Mjini offers fabulous dhow trips to swim with Mafias gentle sea giants. The dhows (traditional Swahili) are stocked with refreshments ensuring you are kept-re-hydrated throughout the trip. Breakfast is at 6.30 am together with an educational briefing and then you set sail on the dhow in search of the whale sharks. When approaching the sharks the engines are switched off. The approach is disturbance free so as not to chase them away. Guests can then jump into the water and snorkel with them .
Whale sharks are most often seen in tropical/sub tropical regions. They are solitary and travel alone but aggregate in a few locations around the world, where they can be seen in larger numbers, such as in the waters of Galapagos, the Yucatan, Ningaloo, Bahrain and a few other sites. Mafia Island is one of these special locations with one of the longest lasting aggregations and thus one of the best places to watch these animals.