Thanda Island

2 villas and 2 bandas / 7 bedrooms / Sleeps 18

Thanda Island started with a dream to find a small, remote, uninhabited Tropical Island off the coast of East Africa. Today, it is one of the world's most exclusive island getaways, a paradise for you to enjoy in complete privacy with family and friends. A secluded island with a single luxurious villa and two traditional Bandas (beach chalets) in the Indian Ocean, off the east coast of Tanzania. Situated in your own marine reserve, you can swim with the gentlest giant of the ocean, the whale shark, and watch sea turtles nesting. Here, you can rest, rejuvenate and enjoy adventure sports in a world where shades of turquoise infuse your days and tropical spices your nights.

Nestled within Tanzania's Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve, opposite the Rufiji River Delta and the Selous National Park, Thanda Island is 5.5 hectares in size, 1,100 metres in circumference and 350 metres wide. It is 16 nautical miles or 30 kilometres east of the mainland of Tanzania, opposite the Rufiji River Delta, and located between the mainland and Mafia Island. (The name 'Mafia' is derived from the Arabic morfiyeh, meaning group or archipelago, and from the Swahili mahali pa afya, meaning a healthy dwelling-place.) Thanda Island is 7 degrees south of the equator and in the East African Time Zone, which is one to two hours ahead of the Central European Time Zone. It is surrounded by coral reefs, which protect the Island from massive waves and heavy seas.

The villa

When you first set eyes on the Villa, you will know you are going to have the most beautiful time. The home surrounds you in coastal whites, greens and blues for a perfect East African summer, with sublime living and sleeping areas leading directly onto the outdoor pool and living area, surrounded by turquoise seas and silken white sands.

The Villa offers relaxed living and sleeping areas, with everything you would want from an extraordinary beach house, including an indoor aquarium, a variety of musical instruments, magnificent wine collection, glass rim-flow swimming pool, air-conditioned gym, library, including an extensive Ernest Hemingway book collection, and a wraparound dining area with its 180-degree view of the ocean. The five en-suite bedrooms are air-conditioned with king-size beds, and an idyllic island feel. If required, additional beds for children can be set up in bedroom suites or the library.

The bandas

Thanda Island also features two traditional open-air Tanzanian Bandas, making the island a nine-bedroom destination entirely for you. Each Banda has an en-suite master bedroom on the ground floor and two single beds with en-suite bathroom on the first floor. Each story of the Bandas is 72 square metres with intelligent use of the space to maximise the indoor-outdoor flow. Beautiful, locally hand-carved furniture and fabrics from Mafia Island in soft, natural colours enhance the stylish, authentic feel.

If you have additional family or you would like to experience traditional Tanzanian living during your stay, the beautiful double-storey Bandas offer other, unique living quarters on the beach. Air-cooled, they are designed to meet your every comfort while retaining their authentic island feel.
The chefs set a high value on healthy food. Every meal they prepare is fresh, from herbs freshly picked from the Island herb garden to papayas, coconuts, watermelons and pineapples. They make their own coconut milk for the curries, and they handmake the ice cream, sorbet, yoghurt and muesli.

If you enjoy fish and seafood, this is paradise, and our chefs are fish and seafood masters: the menu includes fish cooked to perfection, fish carpaccio, sashimi, sushi, prawn curries, lobsters freshly caught off Mafia Island, mangrove crabs, tuna, red snappers and a choice of other sea-fresh fish, daily caught by you or our team, as well as seasonal oysters freshly-picked from Thanda Island.

Pizza-making on our private island resort is part of the entertainment and everyone gets involved at the alfresco dining area, where there is a traditional hand-built Italian pizza oven. Here you can help to make the pizzas with a choice of delicious ingredients, including flour from Italy, delicious cheeses, original prosciutto di parma, cured hams and meats, artichokes, fresh tomatoes and fresh herbs from the island herb garden.

You can experience a Swahili feast, dedicated to the flavours and aromas of Tanzania, tickled with the spices from Zanzibar. Swahili curries, rice dishes, grills, local desserts, chai and more. Ancient Arabian culture is infused in East Arica, and we offer your friends and family an exotic experience of Arabian nights with a themed evening of indulgence, with chiffon drapes, incense, Afghan rugs, low tables, Arabian music and culinary delights.
Prices and availability
Rate includes
  • Exclusive use of the whole property including all amenities and facilities
  • Accommodation in the private Villa and Bandas
  • All meals and drinks, including Thanda's selection of wines, spirits, champagnes and cocktails
  • All activities and facilities
  • Return fixed wing transfers for all guests from Dar es Salaam to Mafia Island and boat transfers from Mafia Island to Thanda Island. Helicopter transfers are the most convenient and direct way to the Island. Rates to be quoted separately.
  • Laundry(nodry-cleaningavailable)
  • Local tax at 18%
All activities and facilities (include)
  • Unlimited spa treatments
  • Private dive charters (outsourced)
  • Swimming with whale sharks (October-March)
  • Snorkelling
  • Sailing and deep sea fishing
  • Jet skiing
  • Kayaking, SUP boarding (Stand-up Paddling), wakeboarding, tubing and water skiing
  • Beach volleyball
  • Floodlit tennis court
  • Yoga (on request)
  • Airconditioned gym
  • Wifi
Rates exclude
  • Conservation Levy of $ 120 per person per stay
  • Marine Park Levy of $ 23.60 per person per day
  • Helicopter transfers
  • Premium wines and champagnes
  • Curios
  • Gratuities
  • Any other items of a personal nature

To get to Thanda Island, you fly directly to Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam with Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airlines, Etihad Airlines or South African Airways. The following international airlines also fly into the region and use local airlines to fly to Dar es Salaam: Swiss Air and KLM. On landing at Dar es Salaam the Thanda Island team will meet you and accompany you through customs, ensuring a smooth, quick entry into this beautiful country. From here there are several options for the transfer to Thanda Island. These include 4, 6 or 8 seat helicopters which take 30 to 45 minutes. There is also the option of a 30-minute fixed-wing transfer in an 8 or 12 seat plane to Kilindoni and then a short boat ride of approximately 30-minutes to the island.
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