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Pole Pole means ‘slowly, slowly’ in Swahili, and this laidback bolthole on Mafia Island is set in a shady, breezy spot facing the sea and overlooking the islands of Chole, Juani and Jibondo.
The seven spacious bungalow suites at this exclusive boutique eco-resort are set in amongst the coconut palms and have spectacular views overlooking the bay. Each is self-contained, built entirely out of wood, raised on stilts and has a wide veranda. There are also two bungalows with two bedrooms, ideal for families.
Food at Pole Pole is a diverse mix of traditions and cultures, using food primarily bought on the island in order to help the local fishermen and farmers. Swahili suppers are on offer once a week (or more if requested), and are truly delicious.
Facilities at the hotel include a swimming pool and massage centre, and there is plenty to do round and about Pole Pole and Mafia Island, such as snorkelling, diving and fishing. Excursions include a visit to Chole Island, the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the archipelago, to see the Comoro bats (a protected species of these fruit-eating flying fox); or to Juani Island to explore the Kua Ruins. The fishing-villages at Jibondo Island and Bwejuu Island, considered to be the most beautiful island in the archipelago, are also well worth the visit.
Alternatively, we think relaxing on Marimbani's dazzling white beach or swimming in the blue lagoon is equally as attractive.