Ninety percent of the tourists that come to southeastern Tanzania are traveling in and out from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar. But for the other 10% looking for an experience that’s more unique, there’s a new private island called Thanda Island.
Look at this cute room!
Rent Your Own Private Island
Thanda Island is a private marine reserve in the Indian Ocean accessible by boat from Mafia Island (which you can fly to from Dar es Salaam). The island is small but gorgeous–you’ll sleep in a private villa with five suites that can accommodate 10 adults, and two thatched-roof houses that can sleep six each.
I recently spent a few blissful nights on Thanda Island. Here’s a little more about my experience.
I had endless amounts of fun in this clear glass pool
How I Spent My Days
It can be a bit of a challenge for busy New Yorkers like me to go from fast-paced to totally chilled-out and I admit it took me a few hours to adjust from worrying about answering my emails to finding joy in watching the sun set. If you’re like me and need a little more than a beach to keep you entertained for a week, there are plenty of activities on Thanda to keep you busy.
Thanda Island is surrounded by its own private coral reef, so the snorkeling on a clear day is stunning. Sailboats, stand-up paddle boards, kayaks and jet skis are available for guests to use as well. The property will also soon have a tennis court and a gym, and you can also request to have a masseuse come in for the afternoon.
There are also really fun excursions to nearby Mafia Island and Chole Island, where I danced with these super cute kids:
When you’ve had enough of the sun and need a little break, lounge out on the patio with a good book and a gin and tonic or take a dip in the partially shaded clear-glass pool.
Eco-Friendly & Responsible
I loved all of the activities (especially the jet skis!) but one of the favorite parts of my stay was hearing about what the staff are doing to help the delicate ecosystem of the island. Five species of marine turtles have returned to nest on Thanda Island because of their efforts, (including two which are endangered, the Green and Hawksbill) and depending on the season, guests can watch them nest. The team has also partnered with Tanzanian Marine Parks to boost marine conservation and education efforts in the area and is participating in programs to increase education and sustainability to nearby Mafia Island and its 60k inhabitants.
Imagine taking a bath with this as your view!
The Break Down
Exclusive use of private island Thanda will set you back US$10,000 per night, with a minimum stay of 3-7 nights depending on the season. (Though, split between 16 people brings it down to $625 per person, per night which really isn’t that bad!)
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.
The luxe experience includes meals crafted by the private island’s chef which were excellent. Our meals included fresh fish, lobster and prawns, our days were full of fun water activities, and our nights were wonderfully quiet with a sky full of glowing stars.
It was amazing. And you should go! Here are some of my favorite images of Thanda Island.
Yum! Curried prawns with coconut rice and salad for lunch.