Greetings to you from Mafia Island 2011
Another season is over and we await the rains, which are predicted to be poor and full of the menace of drought for Tanzania. The events in Japan, Australia, Pakistan and now the political earthquakes in North Africa and the Middle East have certainly filled to overflow the first quarter of 2011. What next we wonder….the world changes so rapidly now and much of this is due to the internet and ease of visual communication.
it is with great sadness we mention the passing of Manuel Alba who was instrumental in improving our web presence and marketing. Manu died in Buenos Aires on 20th December after a year’s struggle with Lymphoma, at just 24 years of age.
Manu was kind and gentle and generous and we miss his presence and contact.
In the new season Hermine Holm and Lars Kaiheden will take over at Kinasi. A mature and loving couple they are exactly what Kinasi needs and guests will warm to their personalities and good humour. Managing a lodge is multi-faceted and definitely not easy, involving long hours and constant supervision but they have already been with us since mid-February so they have already adapted. Lars is a paramedic and Dive Instructor so he will head up Blue World.
We have acquired our own vehicle for airport transfers in Mafia and Dar es Salaam so guests are assured of a good quality vehicle in sound condition.
DIVING and SNORKELLING
The reefs are in extremely good shape this year and the diving and snorkeling has been fabulous. Recently two of the most highly regarded photo journalists have dived with us in Mafia and were awestruck by the experience, variety and abundance of life. Like many very experienced divers they were most intrigued by the unusual and rare and we will be placing in our photo gallery on the web many of these new pictures.
Whale shark watching is now firmly established as one of the prime attractions in Mafia, but this is only reliable from September through March. Still it is one of the most exciting and moving experiences you will ever have in viewing nature.
Lua Cheia (Full Moon) is a castaway beach camp at Ras Bweni in the north of Mafia. Where Chole Bay lacks beaches Bweni has a surfeit of miles of magnificent, solated beach visited only by local fishermen. We have a stretch of headland, and bay that runs for over two kilometers from Bweni village in the north to Kanga Bay in the south. Activities include picnic excursions to Barakuni Ilsnad, snorkeling (the reef is just offshore in front of the camp), beach-combing (there are millions of shells washed-up), visiting the local village and farmers to see how they manage their traditional lives, walks in the coral rag forest, fishing; in the new season we will be offering diving as well as the north of Mafia offers stunning wall dives. There is much exploring to do.
Lua Cheia is not a “luxury beach resort” but is absolutely the place for those who would like there beach holiday to be as close to “natural and unspoilt” as possible. We have had visitors throughout 2010 and it is very pleasing to hear our guests make remarks like “It’s perfect, don’t change a thing” and “It is just what we were looking for”. With all the beach, boating, picnicking and swimming it is a perfect place for children too.
There are only six tented en-suite rooms and these are right on the beach facing the north-east. Sunsets over the Rufiji Delta and Selous are amazing. At Lua Cheia we have installed solar power for lights and fans over the beds and for some bar fridges, solar hot water, a solar pump for the water supply and gas freezers and stoves. It is pure joy not facing huge power bills at the end of each month, apart from the pleasure of being a bit “greener”.
While I write we are putting the finishing touches to the new reception at Lua Cheia and will soon begin on our new access road which passes through a small forested area and avoids passing through the main village of Bweni, to avoid any chance of an accident with the children in the village. And it’s much prettier and we have resident Sykes monkeys as well as much birdlife.
We have purchased a good LandRover to do the transfers from Kilindoni to Bweni, which is a very interesting drive. The roads in Mafia are now being well maintained, as the District Council has a grader.
The opening of Lua Cheia offers the magnificent beaches of the north combined with the wonders of Chole Bay; and you get to see the whole island and experience our “Island Life”……everything one could expect in an island holiday. We hope we
Best wishes from all of us in the Kinasi and Lua Cheia family…. we will be back in June, ready to take care of our guests; in the meantime, lots of maintenance and upgrading !