Unique Treetop Retreats ~ Chole Mjini Lodge, Mafia Island, Tanzania
By Dian Hasan | October 1, 2009
A tree house hotel on an island called Mafia must be the epitome of exotica! Here’s a look at a tree house eco-lodge in Tanzania that’s been practicing Responsible Tourism long before it was considered “in”. Off the tourist trail on a stunningly beautiful island within Tanzania’s Mafia Archipelago, Chole Mjini Lodge was an eco-lodge way before the term had been coined.
The owners, Jean and Anne de Villiers, built this collection of six tree houses high in the branches of baobab trees set within tropical gardens to be environmentally sound and to give something back to the community.
Today, $10 of each guest’s nightly tariff goes towards funding a local project (most recently building a primary school and an adult education centre).
Be prepared for ‘creative’ takes on modern conveniences: storm lanterns replace electricity, there are composting lavatories, and air conditioning comes in the form of natural ventilation that blows through each open-sided house. The result is a unique rustic charm and complete indulgence defined by attentive staff, huge wraparound terraces with gorgeous ocean views and the feeling of being somewhere completely, wonderfully different.