Eco Lodge: Chole Mjini in Tanzania

Contact Information
Phone: 255748131421

Chole Mjini Lodge lies on virtually undiscovered Chole Island, which is part of the Mafia Archipelago situated to the south of Zanzibar, Tanzania. This sun-soaked tropical island is located in eastern Africa’s largest marine park, in a region that is unspoiled and receives very few tourists, especially when compared with other destinations in the country.

Founded by Jean and Anne de Villiers, this beautiful lodge was eco-friendly and run according to sustainable practices long before the term “eco-tourism” became fashionable. This high-quality lodge is an ideal place to get away from it all, to relax and unwind amid lush natural surroundings, to enjoy a wonderful community-like atmosphere. Chole Mjini Lodge is a lodge for people looking to immerse themselves in nature, who appreciate the simple things in life.

This unusual eco-lodge consists of seven treehouses, meticulously designed and beautifully located in the jungle treetops of Chole Island. Built by local craftsmen, these treehouses feature an open design, yet offer ultimate privacy, and have a king-size bed which is the room’s centerpiece, thatched platforms and sea views—most of them also have a second floor where children can sleep. They are characterized by the lack of modern comforts such as air-conditioning and fans. It is the accommodations’ open plans that provide ventilation. There are no electric lamps, but rather lanterns and torches; no flush toilets, but long-drop toilets; and a shower that is heated by a paraffin burner. All treehouses are interlinked by winding pathways, which lead to the communal areas, including the lounge and dining area, and a small rooftop bar.

Activities are plentiful and environment-friendly. A recommended thing to do is visiting the nearby local village, which offers an insight into the local lifestyle on a tropical African island, while also showing how the lodge contributes to the local community—its contributions include the funding of a primary school, a dispensary and an adult education center. Per guest who spends the night at Chole Mjini Lodge, the lodge donates $10 directly to the local community and its projects.

The lodge’s setting amid a huge and extraordinary marine park makes diving and snorkeling extremely popular activities. The Mafia Archipelago is dotted with exceptional dive sites, its water home to more than 400 coral species. The lodge organizes its own diving excursions, while visitors who want to get their PADI license can do so at the dive center in Chole Bay. Other fun things to do in this world-class environment include swimming with whale sharks (seasonally), sunset boat trips, whale watching, sunbathing and picnicking on the beach.

Bram Reusen

Author: Bram Reusen


Bram Reusen is fluent in both English & Dutch, and his writings include news articles, equipment manuals, and more.

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