Chole Mjini Treehouse Lodge

Chole Island, Mafia Archipelago

Chole Mjini Treehouse Lodge

Chole Mjini is one of Africa’s most unique eco-lodges. Situated on tiny Chole Island within the Mafia Archipelago, it consists of six fabulous treehouses, set amidst the mangrove forest on the north-western shore of the island, overlooking Chole Bay.

Diving, snorkelling and swimming are wonderful at Chole, and guests can also enjoy a dhow cruise to nearby sandbanks for a relaxed picnic lunch or sundowner. The marine life is diverse and includes whale sharks (seen October to March), turtle hatchlings, white-tipped reef sharks and giant groupers. The coral is home to an array of reef fish. The island is lush and tropical with forests of baobab, tamarind, giant fig trees and mangroves, creating a haven for the colonies of fruit bats and birds who make the island their home.

Arrival at the lodge is by boat, and as there is no jetty, guests need to walk through shallow water to get to land! Chole Mjini does not have a private beach but more than makes up for this with excursions to beautiful deserted sandbanks. The island’s sunsets are spectacular!


Chole Mjini comprises six large tree houses built into the giant baobabs. Each is unique in its design and structure, ranging from a family unit (Saba) built on two storeys, to smaller tree houses intended for couples. All have fantastic sea views. There is also one ground floor room for those who prefer more conventional accommodation and a flush loo!

Guests are provided with solar lanterns on arrival at Chole Mjini. The rooms have king size beds with mosquito nets. There are no windows allowing the sea breeze to keep the temperature comfortable. Rooms also have a solar powered fan. Décor is typical Swahili with colourful fabrics and hand-carved wooden furniture. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms with long drop compostable loos.

Showers have small paraffin burners which use coconut oil. A pulley delivers your coffee straight to your treehouse in the morning, allowing you to relax and enjoy the sounds of the forest and ocean before descending to enjoy a hearty breakfast!


Meals are served in the thatched banda, or in the beautiful gardens under the stars.
Dining room
Hanashi Bar
The Red Herring Bar (at the old port) is owned by Chole Mjini and offers wi-fi and the facility to charge batteries.


Diving and snorkelling
Dhow sailing
Swimming with whale sharks
Sandbank excursions
Paddle boarding

Child Policy

Children over the age of 2 years are welcome at Chole Mjini. The largest tree houses feature two bedrooms and are designed to accommodate families.