Thanda Island to Open April 2016 Off Mainland Tanzania

Thanda Island to Open April 2016 Off Mainland Tanzania
Thanda Island, one of the few truly private tropical islands in the world, will begin welcoming travelers for island getaways in April 2016.

Set within the magnificent beach residence of Swedish entrepreneurs and philanthropists Christin and Dan Olofsson, the private island villa is located in southern Tanzania's Shungi Mbili Island Marine Reserve, with absolute exclusivity for families and friends to enjoy on a sole-use basis. Thanda Island is the sister property of the highly acclaimed and multi-award winning private game reserve, Thanda Safari, in Zululand South Africa, a Leading Hotel of the World.

Off-grid and solar-powered, Thanda Island offers guests an environmentally sensitive, fun and restorative Indian Ocean private island experience in total seclusion. The property comprises an expansive five-bedroom villa featuring an impressive glass rim-flow swimming pool and a huge indoor aquarium with sea life to rival what waits under the waves. The private island destination combines casual beach-house living with outdoor ocean adventures, with comfortable accommodation for 10 adults, with the option of additional children sharing.

The villa has been designed and decorated by the Olofssons in a style all their own. A palette of white combines with soft, natural hues and fabrics, complemented by handpicked furniture and artwork. With access straight to the pristine white sand beach, each fan-cooled and air-conditioned suite features indoor and outdoor showers. Indigenous landscaping of countless palm trees, indigenous vegetation and bushes enhances the beauty of Island flora.

The ambiance encourages guests to slow down and soak up the relaxed tempo of island life, enjoy long lunches under the veranda, have fun making pizza in the outdoor oven, and laugh late into the starry night around the outdoor cocktail bar. By day, guests may choose to laze on the expansive deck that frames the house and pool or stroll the beach with white sand squeaking between their toes.

Twenty acres in size, nearly three-quarters of a mile in circumference and almost 400 yards wide, Thanda Island is surrounded by its own private coral reef, with an exclusive-use zone extending over a half-mile that can be explored with a snorkel and mask straight from the beach. Sailboats, stand-up paddle boards and single as well as double kayaks are all on hand for the active. The more adventurous can catch sight of whale sharks that congregate just south of the Island from October to February or spot endangered dugong while scuba diving with qualified instructors. A powerboat zone outside the Marine Park to the south of the Island is perfect for water skiing, jet-skiing, wake-boarding and tubing. Big game fishing on a 28-foot reef runner cat off nearby Mafia Island is another available activity.

Depending on the season, guests can watch turtles nesting and their eggs hatching. Five species of marine turtles inhabit Tanzania's waters, two of which – endangered green and hawksbill – have recently returned to nest on Thanda Island. Guests can also experience local Swahili sea-faring culture on Mafia Island and picnic on a neighboring atoll.

Mirroring successes achieved by Thanda Safari in South Africa, conservation and community uplift are a focus of Thanda Island through partnerships with Tanzanian Marine Parks and the leading NGO, Sea Sense, on a range of marine conservation and education programs. These include research and conservation projects on sea turtles, dugongs, dolphins, whale sharks, coral reefs and marine reserves. In addition, the team is participating in a range of social improvement programs on Mafia Island, which has a population of approximately 60,000, including commitment to the education of young people in sustainable resource utilization, fish harvesting and marine conservation, and the development of healthy, sporting activities, such as football.

Exclusive use of Thanda Island is offered at US$10,000 per night, with a minimum stay of 3-7 nights depending on the season. The all-inclusive rate includes the team of dedicated staff, boat transfers from Mafia Island and all activities offered on the Island, along with all meals and drinks including a handpicked selection of wines and champagnes. Spa treatments, diving, and exclusive wines and champagnes are extra.

For more information or to reserve island vacations on Thanda Island, please contact T: +27 (0) 71 611 5348; E:; or visit


Thanda Island is located between the mainland of Tanzania and Mafia Island. It is 16 nautical miles or 18 miles east of the mainland of Tanzania, opposite Selous National Park and the Rufiji River Delta. The Island is accessible by boat from Mafia Island or helicopter directly from Dar es Salaam International Airport.

Scheduled flights from Dar es Salaam to Mafia Island take approximately 30 minutes. Boat transfers are between 15-45 minutes depending on point of departure on Mafia Island and wind conditions. Helicopter flights from Dar es Salaam to Thanda Island take approximately 45 minutes.

Thanda Island offers beautiful, warm, tropical weather. The rainy seasons comprise “long” rains in late April to May and “short” rains in November. Rain showers are mostly short, followed by sunshine, bringing a wonderful renewal and freshness to the environment. Thanda Island lies across the trade winds and experiences the northeast (Kaskazi) and southeast (Kusi) trade wind seasons. The Kaskazi usually starts at the end of November and lasts into February. The Kusi is from early July to mid-September.

The Island is in a low-risk malaria area. The main currency is US Dollars. Travel visa and information is available via