Thanda Island

One of the few truly private tropical islands in the world, Thanda Island just opened to guests in 2016. Nestling within Tanzania’s Shungi Mbili Island Marine Reserve, Thanda Island is 8ha in size, 1,1km in circumference and 350m wide. It is 16 nautical miles or 30km east of the mainland of Tanzania, opposite the Rufiji River Delta. Thanda Island is accessible by boat from Mafia Island or helicopter directly from Dar es Salaam International Airport. Thanda offers absolute exclusivity for families and friends to enjoy on a sole-use basis. It can accommodate up to 27 guests when children are included and sharing rooms.

Luxury Villa
5 Extra-large double beds   Maximum guests: 19

Beach house romance, nostalgia and East African elegance personify the villa on Thanda Island, designed for a perfect summer in coastal whites, greens and blues. The owners of Thanda Island, Christin and Dan Olofsson of Sweden, built the villa as their own discreet, sumptuous retreat and private getaway. It offers an expansive living area featuring everything you would want from an extravagant beach house, including an indoor aquarium, Steinway grand piano, wine collection, cigar humidor, glass rim-flow swimming pool and wrap-around dining area with its 180-degree view of the ocean. The Olofssons have included personal touches such as romantic copper beach baths as well as an al fresco/outdoor BBQ, cocktail bar and pizza oven. Whilst off-grid and 100% self-sufficient, the Island has Wifi Internet access and mobile phone reception. Five air-conditioned bedroom suites with comfortable king-sized beds lead directly onto the beach with its silken white sands. If required, further beds for an additional 9 children, can be set up in the bedroom suites. 

Tanzanian Bandas
2 Double beds + 4 Single beds   Maximum guests: 8

Thanda Island has two traditional Tanzanian Bandas, making the Island a nine-bedroom destination. They each have a king-sized bedroom and ensuite bathroom on the first floor and two single beds and ensuite bathroom on the ground floor, with each floor being 72 square meters big. Beautiful, locally hand-carved furniture and fabrics from Mafia Island, in soft, natural colors were selected.

Many of us find it difficult to relax, but the beauty of Thanda Island is that it relaxes you. You’ll find yourself spontaneously relaxing while you restore your vital force in a serene but adventure-filled environment where time dissolves. The Island invites you to enjoy simple, exquisite pleasures… strolling along your own private 1,1km beach or exploring the 8ha Island where the only sign of human habitation is the occasional, traditional fishing dhow in the distance.

Scuba Diving
Chole Bay offers an incredible diving experience in the Mafia Island Marine Park. The largest marine protected area in the Indian Ocean, it offers some of the most spectacular diving off the East African Coast, including an intriguing diversity of coral reefs, five species of turtles and 400 species of enchanting reef fish. Because Chole Bay is well protected, you can dive here all year round.

Swimming and Snorkeling
Swim and snorkel in the translucent, tropical waters. Enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience of an up-close encounter with the gentlest giants of the ocean, the whale sharks, when they congregate just south of Thanda Island from October to February.

Sailing, Paddling and Kayaking
Ride the trade winds in paradise on your very own sailboat or explore the coral reef in a kayak or canoe. We can also organize a sailing trip on a traditional Arab fishing dhow.

Tennis Court
In the early mornings, late afternoons or evenings (when it isn’t too hot) you might want to have a game of tennis or volleyball on our 16 x 35m artificial lawn court. It has white lines for tennis and yellow lines for volleyball. Constructed especially for your enjoyment on Thanda Island, it has nightlights for those who would like to play after dark. We are fully equipped with rackets, balls and even partners and opponents if you need them. Alongside the tennis court is the gazebo where friends and family can cheer on the match, while having tea or cocktails.

The Thanda Villa Gym
We know that many of you enjoy your regular exercise and gym routine, and we have created your own private, air-conditioned Thanda Villa Gym for all types of training. We offer a wide range of equipment – from running machines and bicycle machines to weight training and boxing equipment. Irrespective of your fitness level, we have all sorts of options especially for you. The gym is large enough to accommodate groups who can exercise at the same time, if you so choose.

Big Game Fishing
Thanda Island has a fully equipped 28-foot reef runner cat, deep-sea boat if you would like to do some big game fishing nearby Mafia Island. Catch and release iconic species or bring home the catch of the day for the Chef to prepare for your lunch or dinner.

Tanzanian Adventure
Visits can be arranged to Zanzibar Island with its spice fields and incredible blend of modern and ancient Tanzanian culture; or a visit to Africa’s largest game reserve, the World Heritage Site-listed Selous Game Park. Both are an hour’s flight away.


Conservation Commitment
Thanda Island is situated within the Shungi Mbili Island Marine Reserve, and is partnering with the Tanzanian Marine Parks and a leading NGO called Sea Sense, on a range of marine conservation and education programs in the region. These include research and conservation projects on the sea turtles, dugongs, dolphins, whale sharks, coral reefs and marine reserves. Five species of marine turtles occur in Tanzania’s waters. The largest fish in the world – the gentle, human-friendly whale shark - breeds just south of the Island.

Community Commitment
Thanda Island has a far-reaching commitment to the Tanzanian people and is participating in a range of social upliftment programs on neighboring Mafia Island, which has approximately 60 000 people. We are committed to the education of young people in sustainable fish harvesting, marine conservation, and in the development of healthy, sporting activities, such as football.