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With a name that translates as ‘Slowly Slowly’, there can be no doubt that Pole Pole Bungalow Resort aims to deliver a very relaxing accommodation experience. Set on Tanzania’s Mafia Island (a local word for archipelago), Pole Pole Bungalow Resort offers five bungalow suites with twin or double beds as well as two additional suites which can sleep four guests. Combining barefoot luxury with great cuisine and a long list of activities, Pole Pole makes the perfect retreat for travellers looking to wind down after their East Africa safari.

Located 160 kilometres from Zanzibar Island, Mafia Island has remained largely untouched by development and mass tourism. Its green forests are home to monkeys and antelope while its blue waters are protected by a Marine Reserve, ensuring an excellent underwater experience for snorkellers and scuba divers. There are also interesting ruins and colonial-era buildings to explore, sunset boat cruises to enjoy and of course miles and miles of unspoilt white-sand beaches. Serious divers will want to visit Mafia Island between October and March when migrating whale sharks can be encountered.

Committed to the environment and proud of its low-impact design, Pole Pole Bungalow Resort also gives back to the local community and you can visit a local village for an insight into island life. Recommended for repeat travellers and those looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination, Pole Pole appeals to adventurous couples, families and travellers who want an Indian Ocean holiday experience but without the potential crowds of Zanzibar or the Kenyan coast.


  • Unspoilt Indian Ocean island location
  • Marine Reserve setting & 5-Star PADI dive centre
  • Migrating whale sharks October – March
  • In-house masseuse for ocean-side massages
  • Four-sleeper family accommodation
  • Community & eco-conscious lodge


  • 4x4 Drives
  • Boat excursions
  • Scuba diving
  • Bird watching
  • Guided walks
  • Local village visits
  • Picnics
  • Sailing
  • Snorkelling
If you are looking to relax in a great setting off the beaten track, you can`t go wrong with Pole Pole. The food is delicious and the diving really lives up to expectations.
Maureen Stover

Maureen Stover

Africa Safari Expert

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Bungalow Suite

The seven bungalow suites at Pole Pole are perfectly blended with the surrounding tropical garden and all of them overlook the pristine Chole Bay. Built entirely out of wood and positioned on raised stilts, these suites are spacious and combine elegance with a rustic, natural feel.

Choose between a double or twin room with imported Italian linen, carved and antique furniture, and a bathroom with his-and-hers basins and a large shower. Walk out onto a large private veranda that features a Zanzibari day-bed, chairs and a coffee table as well as gauzy drapes.


Two of the seven bungalows are family suites, and feature two rooms, a shared bathroom and a small inter-leading corridor.


Pole Pole Bungalow Resort is built around the main lodge where you will find a well-furnished lounge and bar plus indoor and outdoor dining areas. The library, complete with cards and board games, is a nice detail, as is the complimentary laundry service. The swimming pool offers both sun and shaded seating and comes complete with its own bar while the Massage Centre overlooks the beach so you can enjoy a soothing massage to the sound of gently breaking waves.

The resort also has a 5-Star PADI Dive Centre with a highly experienced team of local and expatriate instructors and dive masters.


All meals at Pole Pole are included in the rate but drinks are for your own account; bottled water is served every day and is available on request. Dietary requirements are catered for as far as possible.

Supporting the local islanders, Pole Pole Resort sources much of its food from Mafia Island itself, either organically grown or harvested sustainably from the ocean. The result is three delicious meals a day, a combination of diverse culinary traditions with a familiar touch of Italian. Traditional Swahili dinners are served once a week or on request.

General facilities

  • Bar
  • Beauty or wellness therapist
  • Library
  • Swimming Pool
  • Laundry service

Why travel with us

  • Independent experts since 1998
  • Our best price promise
  • Full service, flights included
  • Complete financial protection
  • 24/7 on-safari support
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