Thanda Island – Private Marine Reserve – Tanzania
Thanda Island is one of the world’s most exclusive island getaways, a paradise for you to enjoy in complete privacy with family and friends.
It took ten years to discover and develop this remarkably uncommon destination as a very special, totally private island getaway.
Situated in its own marine reserve, you can bathe in blue heaven with the gentlest giant of the ocean, the whale shark, and watch sea turtles nesting. Here, you can rest, rejuvenate and enjoy adventure sports, where shades of turquoise infuse your days and tropical spices your nights.
Set in Tanzania’s Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve and surrounded by its own coral reef, Thanda Island is one of the truly exclusive tropical islands in the world. Eight hectares in size, one kilometer in circumference and 350 meters wide, the Island features only one private villa with five suites and two rustic Tanzanian Bandas and is a sanctuary to enjoy in complete seclusion with family and friends. Depending on the season, guests can swim with the gentlest giant of the ocean, the whale shark, and may watch turtles nesting and their eggs hatching. Marine conservation is at the core of the Island’s offering and guests are encouraged to get involved in a range of projects, such as marine wildlife monitoring or awareness workshops with villagers on neighboring Mafia Island.
Thanda Island’s cuisine is fresh, delicious and customised to your palate. Head Chef Melissa McDonald will contact you ahead of your visit to discuss the menu of your choice and to find out if you have any specific dietary requirements or allergies.
The Thanda Island menu includes ocean-fresh fish and seafood, vegan and vegetarian dishes, beef, game and poultry; crisp seasonal vegetables and tropical fruits, and a choice of divine desserts. From breakfasts on the beach to romantic dinners and bonfires to picnics on a sandbank in the ocean or on a neighbouring island and spicy Tanzanian cuisine – whatever you desire, we’ll deliver.
Depending on the weather, you can choose to have your meals and teas indoors or al fresco. At night, because there is no light pollution on Thanda Island, you’ll be dining under a canopy of stars.
Chef Melissa works alongside Sous Chef Damoder ‘D’ Juma from Mafia Island to delight guests with their menus. Everything 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.
Wellness & Spa
The therapists are brought in from nearby Mafia Island or from Dar es Salaam. They use an exquisite range of non-allergic products to pamper your body to the full. Bearing in mind the absolute privacy you enjoy on the Island, your treatments can be done on the beach, in the privacy of your suite, wherever you choose. The Island’s amenities are provided by Healing Earth, market leaders in holistic African beauty and wellness care.
Experiences: Water Adventures
On the Island, guests can rejuvenate and enjoy a variety of water sports or island activities as they explore this remarkable destination, where shades of turquoise infuse the days and tropical spices the nights.
You have exclusive use of the Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve surrounding Thanda Island and a superb choice of water and marine activities. A boathouse full of equipment is yours to enjoy, and a boatman is dedicated to you as your personal guide.
Swimming with Whale Sharks
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Wildlife, beaches, friendly people, fascinating cultures, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Mt Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar – Tanzania has all these and more wrapped up in one adventurous, welcoming package.
Tanzania’s Indian Ocean coastline is magical, with tranquil islands and sleepy coastal villages steeped in centuries of Swahili culture. Travel back in time to the days when the East African coast was the seat of sultans and a linchpin in a far-flung trading network extending to Persia, India and beyond. Relax on powdery beaches backed by palms and the occasional baobab; take in gentle, pastel-hued sunrises; immerse yourself in languid coastal rhythms; and sit beneath the billowing sails of a wooden dhow, listening to the creaking of its rigging.
More than almost any other destination, Tanzania is the land of safaris. Wildebeest stampede across the plains. Hippos jostle for space in muddy waterways. Elephants wander along seasonal migration routes and chimpanzees swing through the treetops. Throughout the country, there are unparalleled opportunities to experience this natural wealth: take a boat safari down the Rufiji River past snoozing crocodiles in Selous Game Reserve; watch giraffes silhouetted against ancient baobab trees in Ruaha National Park; sit motionless as waterbirds peck in the shallows around Rubondo Island; and hold your breath while a lion pads in front of your vehicle in Ngorongoro Crater.
Sending its shadow across Tanzania’s northern plains, Mt Kilimanjaro beckons visitors with its graceful, forested flanks and stately snow-capped summit. It is Africa’s highest peak and one of the world’s highest free-standing mountains. It is also home to the Chagga people, and to a wealth of birds and wildlife. Climbers by the thousands venture here to challenge themselves on its muddy slopes, rocky trails and slippery scree. The rewards: the thrill of standing at the top of Africa; magnificent views of Kilimanjaro’s ice fields; and witnessing the sunrise illuminating the plains far below.
Wherever you go in Tanzania, opportunities abound for getting to know the country’s people and cultures. Meet red-cloaked Maasai warriors. Spend time with semi-nomadic Barabaig near Mt Hanang. Experience the hospitality of a local meal and the rhythms of traditional dance. Chat and barter at local markets in the Usambara Mountains. More than anything else, it is the Tanzanian people – with their characteristic warmth and politeness, and the dignity and beauty of their cultures – that make visiting Tanzania so memorable. Chances are you’ll want to come back for more, to which most Tanzanians will say ‘karibu tena’ (welcome again).