This lodge is not for everyone. It’s utterly bizarre in its own little way but if you are the right person it really does work for you. This is an eco-focused tourism project and not a commercial outfit looking to make money. It is run by Afrika Afrika, who are the driving force behind many Tanzania based eco and community projects. They have purpose and direction, but Chole Mjini is certainly for the basic, rustic and very ‘out there’ type of traveller. If you don’t mind long drop loos then this place might interest you.
Chole Mjini - The Facts
Chole is a small island off the island of Mafia
. It is a 20 minute flight from Dar es Salaam followed by a 45 minute drive and a short boat trip across to Chole Bay.
The point of this lodge is to be environmentally friendly and give back as much as it can to the community. The main areas are all made from as many natural materials as possible, aimed at having the smallest possible impact on its surroundings. Apart from the massive concrete floor, the bar, restaurant and top deck is all made from wood structures. There are some concrete shaped sofas covered in large cushions.
The rooms here will the deciding factor to whether you like Chole. There are seven tree houses and one ground house. They are not the most spacious rooms, made from lovely wood with massive bed that dominates the room. The bathrooms are extremely basic with long drop loos (don’t have a flush) and this all directed towards being eco.
Chole does have access to some excellent snorkelling and diving in the area and it’s great for whale shark diving too. It does lack a good beach and there is a long, white sand spit that you can visit for your beach fix. Not many Tanzania honeymoon
make it to the Mjini.