Chole Island

The oldest, still inhabited settlement in the archipelago.
The island is covered by extremely varied lush vegetation. You can visit a shipyard where traditional construction methods are still used to build dhows, the typical East African sailing boat.

Among the island's curiosities are a number of trees containing colonies of Comoro Flying Foxes, a protected species of fruit eating-bats.


Chole Island is situated just 5 minutes East of Mafia Island by boat and is one of the most historical islands of the archipelago, once being the capital. This tour is one of our most popular as in a short amount of time one can experience a good dose of Chole's nature, culture and history.

The tour can be broken up into 4 sections:

The Ruins: Chole boasts Arabic ruins from the 12th and German ruins from 19th Century, which were built during world war I. The ruins have surrended to mother nature and are almost all smothered with green foliage and brown vines.

The Bats: Chole also boasts the worlds first dedicated sanctuary for fruit bats, the Comoro Flying Foxes. During the day, these creatures hang in the trees asleep and fly over to Mafia by night to feed.

The Boatyard: Chole island is home to the skilled men who build the traditional Swahili dhows by hand and with minimal tools.

The Red herring: The Red Herring is Chole's beautiful bar, which is also the only West facing bar on the Eastern side of the Island, allowing for truly magical sundowners and of course lovely cold beverages to go down with it.

We advise our guests to depart for this excursion in the late afternoon to avoid the searing sun and always remember to have us$ 5 to contribute to the community fund. All women must cover their shoulders and knees.