Pole Pole Resort is the perfect Romantic Getaway, the ideal place for a romantic honeymoon package on Mafia Island off the coast of Tanzania. Mafia is a remote small wooded island accessible only by plane, best from Dar es Salaam, or Zanzibar or other parts of Tanzania via Dar. There are flights every day, but be warned the aircraft is small, perhaps only 16 seats and it isn’t for the faint hearted. After landing on a grass airstrip on Mafia it is still a further hour by jeep.
Pole Pole as a vacation destination which is off the beaten track immediately means that only like minded souls tend to go there, plus a good sprinkling of honeymoon couples post safari, because it really is a romantic honeymoon getaway more than anything else.
Pole Pole in Swahili means literally ‘ take it easy’ and that is exactly what you will do when you are here. In East Africa you get used to noise and bustle, hassle and delays, children begging for money. At Pole Pole Lodge there is none of this. What you get is peace and tranquility, and lots of sunshine. Not a sign of a dusty road, just a beach.
Pole Pole specializes in excellent service and cuisine. There are 7 spacious bungalows and large shady verandas with day beds. The room and veranda are very much built in local style with carved and antique pieces, very private, and very clean. You do feel like a bit of a castaway. Two bungalows are designated Family Rooms with a second bedroom with twin beds. With the lack of mains electricity at Pole Pole it comes as a bit of a surprise that the bedrooms come with a fan, and there is a walk in shower with no shortage of hot water. The early morning tea in bed, and sundowner cocktails on the veranda will live with you long after you leave Pole Pole.
There really isn’t anything to do apart from relaxing on a day bed, swimming at high tide, although the beach does vanish, and swimming at low tide is impossible. You can take dhow trips to remote beaches and island where you won’t see another soul, as this whole place is so empty and unspoiled. The snorkeling and diving are incredible with quite amazing fish, coral, and colors you really can’t believe until you see it.
Pole Pole really is the kind of sleepy place for honeymooners who have spent the first part of their romantic honeymoon package on safari, and now just want to chill out.
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Eating is a major feature at Pole Pole, and there is a strong Italian management team here. As you might expect the food has an Italian flavor allied to African and spicy European influences and delicious it is too. Most food is organically produced and bought locally to benefit the local economy. You might well find the antipasto consists of something like octopus salad, and there will also be pasta on the menu. You will find that fish features hugely on the menu, and you will often be served an ice cold dessert which isn’t bad considering there is no mains electricity. The split level dining bar area is at the bottom of the hill, right next to the kitchen reception area, all lit by oil lamps and candles. With the very elegant glassware and crockery it makes for a lovely setting. If you are worried about not liking something on a very small menu, your concerns will be allayed by the manageress who will ensure any food problems are taken care of. Alcohol by the way isn’t expensive, and house wines can be ordered by the glass.
In terms of daytime eating, breakfast is a mixture of fresh local fruit, featuring the likes of Mango and Papaya, bread, toast and eggs if you want them. If you are out on a trip a picnic is supplied otherwise there is a light lunch at Pole Pole.
The staff at this remote outpost on Mafia Island are very friendly and helpful. Pole Pole is a perfect spot for a romantic honeymoon, but probably five days would be a long enough visit.