An exclusive piece of paradise off the East African coast, Thanda Private Island is one of the finest beach properties on the planet. A jewel a long time in the making, this exquisite property does not disappoint! The private home of two Swedish entrepreneurs, it has the feel of a Maldivian island – stunning coral, dusty sand, and with all the facilities, service, and fine dining you would expect given the considerable price. The list of activities is extensive and the shimmering seas are so full of marine life it’s like a sea safari – expect to see dolphins, reef sharks, turtles, whale sharks, and humpback whales as they follow their migratory sea routes through the archipelago. For multi-generational families and larger groups of up to 15 with no budget constraints, it doesn’t get much better than this.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Thanda Island is located 33 kilometres east of the Tanzanian coast, just north of Mafia Island, its larger neighbour. There are few beach locations in Tanzania that offer such world-class waters, sand, and coral… the sheer volume of fish in the area makes it the Serengeti of the Seas! Your experience with Thanda starts in Dar, where the property’s team will meet you and guide you through the airport. From here, you can take either a helicopter or a boat to the island.
The island is fully solar-powered, with great care taken to protect the surrounding environments and marine ecosystems. There is even an in-house marine biologist, who, while not documenting sightings, will guide you on snorkelling expeditions and dives to all the best spots.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT THANDA ISLAND:
The main central family villa, comprising five suites, offers breezy, Scandinavian-inspired chic. It boasts elegant double rooms furnished with everything you could need, including aircon, outdoor showers, and ‘star’ baths. On the other side of the island, there are two classic Tanzanian-style beachfront bandas, double storey and thatched. Large verandas surround all of the rooms, with soft furnishings for relaxing and whiling away the hours on this desert island utopia.
The main sitting room in the villa has an impressive aquarium on the wall, sumptuous sofas, and a grand piano if you’re lucky enough to have someone in your group who can tinkle the ivories! As this is such a small island, of only 8 hectares, the views out to sea are everywhere, and pristinely manicured gardens lead the way down to the white, sandy beaches. The swimming pool is a classy affair, made of glass, while the floodlit, astroturf tennis court can be quite surreal – it’s not often you get to play a few games on a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean! There are various beautiful locations for fine dining, and the food is absolutely first class, with cuisine inspired by local produce and fresh fish. The staff are exceptional – and from the chefs to the boatman to the amazing spa, nothing is too much trouble.
*Please be aware that the swimming pool here has no depth markings, so take care before you jump in.
ACTIVITIES AT THANDA ISLAND:
There’s an extensive list of things to do on the island, and everything has been thought of for you to make the most of your stay in this amazing marine park. Of all the islands and reefs off the Tanzanian coast, the Mafia area is renowned for having the most substantial quantities of marine life… the seas here will blow you away.
Deep sea fishing, whale and dolphin watching- Thanda has its own boats, including a yacht, from which staff run trips out into the deep water. Depending on the season, you can witness some of the largest sea creatures on the planet in all their splendour, including swimming with the gentle whale sharks. Magical.
Snorkelling and kayaking- Whether you head out from the shore or take a boat to more remote areas, there’s a wealth of coral and things to see… the staff will guide you to the best areas.
Other sports- Sailing (there are many vessels to choose from, including a catamaran), jet-skis, yoga and meditation, a well kitted-out gym, volleyball court, and tennis.
Dhow sunset cruises- These are a must-do! A trip out to watch the sunset, with a boat stocked with sundowners and nibbles – a real highlight.
Excursions- Why not visit Zanzibar, and other local islands including Mafia, Juani, Chole? The rich history of civilisation is to be found on these beautiful and intriguing islands. Head out for a day trip to immerse yourself in a little cultural history.
Bird walks- Many egrets nest on the island, and you can take a guided walk to see them in action.