See our selecton of sample itineraries which feature Thanda Island Private Marine Reserve

The private island escape of Thanda is located just 16 nautical miles off the coast of mainland Tanzania. This luxurious eco-retreat can sleep up to 19 guests on an exclusive use basis within its luxurious villa.

The powdery beaches encircling Thanda are sheltered from the Indian Ocean swell by a vibrant fringing reef, which is part of the Shungi Mbili Island Marine Reserve. Given its location within a protected marine reserve, conservation is at the heart of the Thanda Island experience; the Thanda team have partnered with the Tanzanian Marine Parks and NGO Sea Senses to work on a range of marine conservation projects including research into sea turtles, dugongs, whale sharks and reefs. The island is also both off-grid and 100% self-sufficient - though wifi and mobile signal are available for any guests who can't totally disconnect.

The single villa houses five ensuite bedrooms and an expansive living area featuring an indoor aquarium, Steinway grand piano, wine cellar and glass rim swimming pool. The villa was built as the private island escape of its Swedish owners, which can be felt in the Scandi-cool interiors; whitewashed wooden ceilings and French doors open out to the soft sand beach ensuring the villa is light and airy, while vibrant soft furnishings inject an element of Swahili style. The two open air Tanzania Bandas complete the island accommodation.

The Thanda Island team includes chefs, butlers, boatmen, snorkel and dive guides, spa therapists and even a cocktail barman to cater to guests every whim. Facilities on the island include a pool, BBQ deck, tennis court, yoga sala, sailing boats, kayaks, paddle boards, wireless BOSE music system, a gym and a heli pad.

Meals at Thanda are crafted using fresh, local produce including herbs from the island garden, home-made coconut milk for curries, and even home-made ice creams and sorbets for a post-dinner treat. Super fresh seafood features highly on the menu, alongside spicy Swahili flavours. There's also a pizza oven on the island for more low-key dining days. The Thanda Island team are also pro's at crafting bespoke dining experience - deserted sandbank picnic, anyone?

With a wealth of water sports toys, tennis, yoga and beach volleyball all on offer on the island, there is plenty to keep the whole family occupied. Away from Thanda Island, the team can arrange a variety of experiences, from snorkelling and diving around Thanda and Mafia islands, sailing on a traditional Arabian dhow and exploring nearby islands - both inhabited and completed deserted.

Why We Love It
Image of Eleanor Orr

A marine enthusiasts paradise, guests at Thanda Island can swim with whale sharks from October to February, or spot nesting sea turtles during summer.

Eleanor, Original Traveller

Itineraries that feature Thanda Island Private Marine Reserve

Best for: Couples, Honeymoons and Solo Travellers
Best of the West
A Tanzanian itinerary that gives you a little bit of everything this 12 day itinerary focuses on the wonders of the west. Start with game driving...
12 Days
From £6,165pp

Other Places to Stay in Spice Islands & the Tanzanian Coast

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Isabel is our 'Thanda Island Private Marine Reserve' expert and as a seasoned traveller has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

Image of Isabel de Galleani