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What Makes Thanda the ultimate Private Island holiday in Africa?

Dreaming of white silken beaches, tropical forests and turquoise seas? Escape to Thanda Island, a pristine and magical private island located in the glimmering turquoise seas off the Tanzanian Coast.

Located off mainland Tanzanianear Mafia Island and opposite Africa's largest game reserve Selous, this little slice of paradise is perfect for a completely exclusive beach escape at the end of your safari to Tanzania. Or spend your entire holiday there – with plenty to keep you happy indefinitely!

What is the benefit of an exclusive private island holiday?

The benefits are immeasurable! The opportunity to spend time with your family or friends only, with no distractions or intrusions, is something that we don’t often come across. Thanda Private Island is exactly that – the entire island is booked by your party, with no other guests at all. The only other people you will see are your wonderful hosts and staff who look after your every need!

What is the accommodation like on Thanda Private Island?

Thanda hosts just a single luxurious villa and two traditional beach chalets – Bandas. This is all booked exclusively for your party.

The villa has an expansive living area and five beautiful bedroom suites that all lead directly onto the beach. There is a glass infinity pool which one can use too, just metres from the ocean. Everything you could possibly want from a beach villa is found inside, including an aquarium, musical instruments, a collection of wonderful wines, air-conditioned gym, a library and en-suite bedrooms.

In the additional Bandas, (which are perfect for hosting members of your group who may want a bit more seclusion from the rest of the party), the air of traditional Tanzanian coastal living permeates the entire chalet and one feels a part of the ocean and the soft sands. They are open to the sea breeze in the style of traditional Bandas so there is no need for ‘aircon’ – they are air-cooled!

What activities are available at Thanda Private Island?

See the extraordinary wildlife of the Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve, including:

  • Swimming with the gentle whale shark.
  • Watch turtles nest or hatch on the beaches under the moonlight,
  • Scuba dive amongst marine life including turtles, trumpet fish, threespot dascyllus, blue-spotted stingray, damselfish and many more,
  • Take a walk through the bush around the villa to visit the egrets that inhabit the island.

On the island you can spend the time:

  • Strolling along your private, 1100m beach,
  • Dining on freshly-caught seafood,
  • Take a spa treatment or a therapeutic copper bath on the beach,
  • Play tennis and volleyball on the Island court,
  • Work out in the air-conditioned gym,

Participate in yoga and meditation sessions overlooking the ocean.

  • Explore the Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve that surrounds Thanda Island, of which you have exclusive use:
  • Set sail in a traditional Arab dhow,
  • Take a cruise in Thanda’s fleet of vessels,
  • Explore the island’s reefs by kayak or stand-up paddle board,
  • Enjoy some adrenaline by jet-skiing or wake boarding behind a speedboat,
  • SCUBA dive the reefs or learn to dive with a diving instructor,
  • Snorkel with resident guide on any of seven different snorkelling adventures around the Island,
  • Try some big game fishing from the fishing vessel and have the Island’s chefs cook what you catch so you can enjoy it for your meal.

Venture further afield with an expert guide who can take you to see:

  • Chole Island where you can visit the communities and learn about the history of the region,
  • Dar es Salaam, a thriving harbour city, where you can explore the colonial architecture and vibrant markets,
  • Zanzibar, the legendary spice island, where spices were traded from all over the Far East bY the monsoon winds. Stone Town is a fascinating old city to explore too,
  • Mafia Island where you can visit village communities and their boat-building craftsmen,
  • Juani Island which has an extraordinary channel and lagoon, which you can explore by dhow, heading inland to sail between mangrove forests to see the diverse bird species.

The food is an event in itself! One can dine on:

  • Ocean-fresh seafood and fish,
  • The chefs can create delicious meals for any dietary requirements,
  • Breakfasts on the beach,
  • A freshly cooked pizza from the pizza oven, which you helped to create,
  • Romantic dinner in front of the bonfire beneath a canopy of stars,
  • A picnic on a sandbank reached with your dhow,
  • A Swahili or Arabian Feast.

Are families welcome at Thanda Private Island?

Absolutely! In fact, Thanda was created with families in mind! The owners wanted to create a paradise island where generations of families can come together to reconnect and bond away from the distractions and pressures of the outside world. Should you wish for some time together without the children, babysitting services can be arranged too.

What is the best time to visit Thanda Private Island?

  • June to October is the optimum time to visit, with occasional rain showers and warm weather.
  • November is usually good weather with short rain showers, and December to March has beautiful weather with short rains and north-easterly trade winds.
  • April and May has more rainfall (the ‘long rains’), though it is still possible to visit.
  • Whale sharks feed near the Island during October to March, and big game fishing is available September to March, with sailfish from November to January.
  • Temperatures are warm year round varying between 27°C and 31°C. Water temperature ranges from 27-29°C.

Where is Thanda Private Island located?

Thanda is a small tropic island located in its own Private Marine Reserve near Mafia Island, off the coast of Tanzania. Guests fly to Dar es Salaam and are met by the Thanda team who assist you with your onward travel. One can then select to their fly by fixed-wing for 30 minutes to Mafia Island and then take a private 30-minute boat ride to Thanda, or take a private 45-minute helicopter flight directly from Dar es Salaam to the island.

Conservation and Philanthropy at Thanda Private Island

Thanda Private Island is highly active in conservation and community programs. Sitting in the largest Marine Reserve in the Indian Ocean, Thanda is blessed with extraordinary marine biodiversity and has pledged to help protect it.

Thanda Island’s marine biologist monitors the condition of the surrounding Shungimbili reefs and their reef restoration project is helping to regenerate the reef, providing a habitat for the many species that live there. Other species that are protected in the Marine Reserve include five species of sea turtle, dugongs, dolphins and mayn more, all of which are protected by the Park Rangers which use Thanda as a base to patrol the western side of Mafia.

Thanda are committed to helping the local Tanzanian people, too, and are involved in various social empowerment programmes on Mafia Island. They assist with programmes that teach young people about sustainable fishing and marine conservation, and help to run healthy sporting activities. Local people from Mafia Island are employed on Thanda Island, offering them valuable experience and training in hospitality.

For further information, please do feel free to contact Nicola directly or at The Explorations Company for further inspiration and unforgettable safaris and holidays to Africa, Asia, and Latin America

Or, if you would like to just dream some more for now then you can by visiting our Video Library.