By Leila El Krekshi
Fall under the spell of a discreet island with exquisite natural beauty. A retreat designed with essence that stems from the elements of Mafia's nature, all wrapped up in a personalized experience to send you back home feeling grounded and balanced.... But first ... where on earth is Mafia Island??
In Tanzania, Mafia island is part of the five laid back tropical islands which are clustered together in the Indian Ocean, known as the Mafia Archipelago. Only 30 minutes flight away from Dar es Salaam, Mafia island has so far escaped the invasion of mass tourism that overwhelms its neighboring Zanzibar island.
The name Mafia is said to be derived from the Arabic “morfiyeh”, meaning “group” or “archipelago”, or from the Swahili “mahali pa afya” meaning “a healthy dwelling place”. Its history goes back to the 8th century where it played a key role in the East African trading routes between Kilwa and Zanzibar.
Being in Mafia, one can see how time can serve to enhance things of exceptional beauty in the Indian Ocean, the delicate and fragile ecosystem, rich coral reefs, marine life and amazing coconut palms, rooted as they are into this pristine island.
Imagine yourself retreating to a discreet island getaway set in beautiful Marine Park in Mafia. Enjoy sipping a fresh coconut water, and be utterly seduced into a meditative trance as you watch the coconut palm trees gently sway in the fragrant tropical island breeze and the warm, turquoise water beckons you for a swim.
Peaceful island living
Set your feet onshore, and step away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. If you are craving the peace, tranquility and friendliness that the island has to offer you will feel immediately at home. Pole Pole 's heartfelt hospitality is all about the island’s elements and heritage. Natural, organic elegant materials keep the seven luxury bungalow suites set among the coconut palms in harmony with the tropical surroundings, while the genuine warmth and attention of the staff continue to inspire the restful, and peaceful island living vibe.
Slip into Pole Pole's way of being ....
....and you ll discover Mafia has its own unique answer to everyone's senses. The Ocean has all kinds of healing powers and spending time in and around it can be soothing and relaxing. Embrace your sense of adventure...Discover and go beyond, into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, the colorful underwater world, and the pristine silence of mangrove channels, the calming sails of traditional Arab dhows, the stories of abandoned ancient ruins, the picnics on sandbanks.
Mind, Body & Soul: Enter into a natural rhythm of regeneration and balance
Ever dream of practicing yoga in a tropical environment while embracing the soothing breeze from the Indian Ocean? Well when you visit Pole Pole , you’ll come to the right place. Practice yoga and meditation, adapted to your needs to balance the mind, body and soul. Through gentle yogic flow, pranayama (breath regulation) and meditation, you will enter into a natural rhythm of regeneration and balance, much like the lunar pattern of Mafia’s tides. The daily practice during the retreat will develop and refine your inner awareness, with a focus on letting go through both movement and stillness.
Begin each day with a yoga, meditation and breathing technique practice at Shamba la Mnazi (coconut garden) overlooking the sea and the mangroves. The early morning sun warms the fine white sand, making for a meditative stroll and getting ready for an energizing yoga practice ... Later in the evening, enjoy a sunset yoga practice that will bring forth a soothing balance to your being.
After few days of meditation, yogic detox, and yoga you will begin to feel like a wind filling up the billowing sails of a traditional Arab dhow, steering you along calm waters with a certain grace and determination.
Unplug...and forget about time
Take few days to unplug from your laptops, smartphones, and instead reconnect with yourself and the soothing surrounding. Going offline will make you feel automatically more present, and able to really savor the experience.
Pole Pole s heart beats Mafia island, and its culture. Even the name Pole Pole, which means "slowly" embodies a cultural concept that is very much part of the Swahili culture. A slow gentleness that has its source in the elements of nature, and the pace of the day.
Enhance your journey with a selection of relaxing and energy balancing treatments
Enhance your vital energy by indulging yourself to a traditional Thai massage on your private veranda. The intangible outcomes of the therapeutic massage will make you feel peaceful, yet more energetic, with a sense of well being.
Add to that, a range of spa treatments that are offered at Alasiri Spa in a space with privacy blend harmoniously with nature.
Embody the soul of Swahili culture
Explore the openness and warmth of the community and the nearby villages. Here you will constantly hear the word that best embodies the soul of swahili culture: Karibu (welcome in Swahili) , the inherent pleasure that people take in receiving guests with genuine smile, an attribute that is also at the heart of Pole s hospitality.
Stir your senses
Inspired by a combination of diverse culinary traditions and cultures, with an Italian - Swahili touch, are at the heart of Pole Pole's approach to food. Enjoy your delicious meals at the restaurant while overlooking the bay or under the moonlight on the white sandy beach. Sip on your favorite drink under a canopy of stars, while sharing your island's latest adventures , stories with other guests.
Ready to step away from your daily hustle to join us for a breath ... relax yoga retreat?? Book today!