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Thanda Island

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Islands Islands

Thanda Island 

The only private marine reserve on the entire East African coast. This exclusive experience has no parallel anywhere else on earth: complete luxury within a special marine reserve on a private island in the Indian Ocean.

Thanda Island - an island experience like no other

Just 30 miles from Tanzania’s mainland sits the exclusive paradise of Thanda Island. “Thanda” is a Zulu word (from the South African tribe), which means ‘love’, and was aptly named so by the island’s owners, the Olofsson family. This name captures the Olofsson’s admiration for Africa and profound commitment to ocean and marine life.

The conservation team on Thanda Island works closely with Tanzania Marine Parks Authority and Sea Sense - an international leader in ocean-life conservation efforts - to protect the endangered sea turtles that nest on Thanda’s shores and the spectacular coral reefs that border its beaches.

Thanda Island is so exclusive that it  has only a single, private villa on the entire island. There are also two fabulous beach ‘bandas’ for additional accommodations, but the island only rents on a single-serve basis: once booked, guests are assured to have the entire island to themselves for the duration of their stay.

This is a fantastic location for a completely private honeymoon or romantic occasion. The couple is guaranteed a secluded island paradise.

Likewise, the five-bedroom villa and additional rooms in the bandas offer a super opportunity for families, even extended families, to enjoy an exclusive holiday on a private island in the Indian Ocean.

On Thanda Island, guests will experience the beauty of the Indian Ocean by diving, swimming with whale sharks and exploring coral reefs, all while staying at what has been rated one of the best, most exclusive and environmentally-friendly hotel options in the world.

Forbes has reported on Thanda Island as a top luxury vacation destination several times, including highlighting the Island’s commitment to wildlife conservation.

Thanda Island offers an experience like no other, as the only private marine reserve in the Indian Ocean, available exclusively for guests.

Thanda Villa and Bandas 

Thanda Villa offers much more than luxurious hospitality to guests: five suites provide double accommodations with ocean-facing balconies, en-suite bathrooms as well as outdoor baths and showers for a star-viewing experience in the privacy of each room. The sitting room has musical instruments, an extensive library and an indoor aquarium, all with a grand view of the ocean. Guests can enjoy a 180-degree view of the ocean at sunset while enjoying an evening meal in the dining area. Everything about Thanda Villa is designed for comfort, relaxation and to enjoy the beauty of this tropical island, set in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.

More accommodations are available in the bandas, two-storey, beach-front bungalows built in the traditional Tanzanian-style, to ensure plenty of space for large families, or essential staff members accompanying families or couples.

Outdoors, white sand stretches all around, edged by a garden of exotic plants and flowers, flora native to the area. Palm trees and other indigenous trees provide comfortable shade for the swimming pool and tennis courts, which are available for guest’s use.

Boats, paddleboards and other water-sports equipment is available for guests at the pool house, A fully-equipped gym and WiFi internet are available, as well. Amenities such as fresh, clean water and air conditioning are provided through the eco-friendly solar-power approach that the Island is famous for - Thanda Island’s solar farm is the second-largest in all of Tanzania!

Marine activities 

As a private marine reserve, the opportunity for marine-activities on Thanda Island cannot be matched. Here, guests may experience all the incredible ocean sports, such as sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking, wakeboarding and more, but in absolute privacy. Here, the ocean is yours to enjoy!

Diving is an especially favored activity, as the waters around Thanda Island are teeming with unique marine life, including five different types of rarely-seen sea turtles, whale sharks, dolphins and an uncountable number of tropical fish around the neighboring Mafia Island’s coral reefs.

The Island employs its own snorkelling expert, to serve the guests as a professional guide in the waters around the island. Here, the snorkeling-guide will show guests blue-spotted stingrays, trumpet fish, cornet fish, and many other types of unique tropical fish.

Deep-sea Fishing
Deep-sea fishing or game fishing is available, too, as Thanda Island is outfitted with all the equipment needed to reel in heavy-hitting tunas, kingfish and more. If guests wish to enjoy their catch, they need only to bring the fish back to the villa, where the professional chefs will create an excellent meal from your own freshly-caught seafood.

Whale Sharks
Swimming with Whale Sharks is an incredible opportunity for guests on Thanda Island. Despite their name, ‘whale shark’, these gentle giants are harmless, feasting only on plankton (just like whales). Spend a day swimming with the largest fish of the Indian Ocean, and be awed by the beauty and elegance of this spotted giant, while maintaining and supporting the conservation efforts of the Marine Park to help protect these special creatures.

The Island has its own luxury boat for sunset cruises and limitless options to explore the waters of your own, private marine reserve.

Island Activities 

If, for any reason you don’t want to enjoy the gorgeous ocean waters, there is plenty to do on land, too.

Guests have unlimited access to tennis and volleyball courts, an air conditioned villa gym, and a spa outfitted for relaxing activities, including massages. There are also walking tours to view the tropical birds that make Thanda Island their home, as well as on-site lisenced specialists for yoga and meditation practices.

Getting to Thanda

As an exclusive island, there are only two means of arrival to Thanda Island: by air or boat. Those with their own private helicopters may arrive directly to Thanda Island, or they can arrange a helicopter from Dar es Salaam International airport.

The short, over-water flight takes only 35 minutes and provides an incredible aerial view of the Tanzanian coast.

Another option is traveling by boat from neighboring Mafia Island. A private boat will meet guests at Mafia Island port or airport and transfer them overwater to Thanda Island. The boat ride takes approximately 30 minutes.

As a private island within a designated marine reserve in the Indian Ocean, it is easy to see how Thanda Island is a truly exclusive, luxury destination that provides an island experience like nowhere else in the world.

Contact us to organize your exceptional experience on Thanda Island!

Published on 5 August 2023 Revised on 26 January 2024
About this article
Agnes Mkumbo
Expert Articles: 20
Written byAgnes Mkumbo
Travel Expert Tanzania
Diving Diving
Islands Islands
Safari Safari
Tanzania Tanzania

Agnes is a vital member of the Altezza operations team, boasting extensive experience in Kilimanjaro and in-depth knowledge of Tanzania's safari parks. Additionally, she holds an Advanced Open Water diving certification, a rare achievement in Kilimanjaro. With her diverse skill set, Agnes is the perfect author to guide readers through hiking, safaris, and island trips in Tanzania. Through her writing, Agnes introduces readers to both well-known destinations and hidden gems across the region.

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1 Comment
Altezza Travel
Danny Garcia
07 Mar 2024
What a gorgeous place
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