Chole Mjini Lodge

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Chole Mjini Lodge in Mafia Island is the place I thought only existed in my dreams. Sleeping in the trees of a jungle island paradise would have been enough but the finer details of Chole Mjini are what will inhabit my dreams now. Your adventure wil be different than ours, no doubt, but it will be an adventure. If you have anything of a desire for adventure in a unique island paradise don't hesitate, go to Chole Mjini.

The sounds-hermit crab shells clunking as they fall off the coral walls that line the paths, birdsongs like bouncing marbles, bats crashing through baobab trees at night, and the morning trio-the rooster (a source of great hummor) , the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer (haunting), and the kids singing at the start of school (melodic and charming).

The place-the Red Herring bar is the freaking best in the world!

No one's there, the design is African zen, lights out except when absolutely needed and the Chole Stinger is an elegant concoction that is a feast to the eye and the head.

Walking at sundown from the bar to the tree house with a buzz (I advise slight to moderate) down the pristine beach sand paths through the jungle is a better antidote than any pharmaceutical prescribed or otherwise.

The toilets-a trip. The pigmented concrete walls and floor and thatch roof make a perfect design for the place.

They are immaculately kept. There is no odor.

There's a lizard or two in each-harmless as can be and fully visible.

They are agreeably good company and since you are not going to read the paper you might as well have something to talk to.

The people-It's possible to feel a part of the whole place, village and all.

Walking the dirt paths past mud-brick huts and islanders looks the same as it has for hundreds of years and you won't want it to change.

Special appreciation to: the woman bartender who made a perfect drink but whose name I never got;

Youssef who gave a haunting description of the cultural history at the Juani Isalnd ruins;

A place like Chole Mjini needs a good manager to tend to the needs of the eccentrics present and to interpret the natural and cultural environment that is so unusual to us. Lyndsey was perfect.

On the tiny island of Chole in the Mafia archipelago, within Tanzania's first Marine Park, you will find Chole Mjini, set amongst lush jungle, overgrown orchards and mangrove forest.

Discover unique accommodations in six magnificent treehouses and one luxurious suite on the ground.

Set among ancient Baobab trees and oriented to catch the cool sea breezes, each has a splendid view to the North of all of Chole Bay and the forests beyond.

The accommodations impart a sense of rugged adventure combined with casual luxury that is part Swiss Family Robinson, Tarzan, Indiana Jones and the Arabian nights.

Each house has at least one double bed, made-up with fine Egyptian cottons and protected by a huge, walk-in mosquito net.

Each treehouse has a shower, with both hot and cold water, and its own dry composting toilet, situated at the base of the tree in it's own private garden.

The "groundhouse" has an en-suite bathroom with a sunken, mosaiced Persian bath and flush toilet and a large private garden especially for those who cannot or do not want to live in a tree.

There is no electricity on Chole so, whilst you can expect ice-cold drinks and get your camera batteries charged, there is no television, no air-conditioning and no fax or email facilities available to the guests.

Meals are served in the dining area overlooking the small harbor and the accent is on fresh seafood, fruit and vegetables, including many traditional and local dishes but also utilizing recipes from throughout the tropics that are adapted to local ingredients and the zesty local spices.

There is a delightful upstairs bar with sweeping views, where sodas, beer, wine, and wide range of spirits are available.

The downstairs lounge area has a wide range of games, magazines, reference books and novels for the use of the guests.

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