Thanda Island is a private marine reserve situated between Mafia Island and the mainland of Tanzania, reachable only by boat or helicopter. This beautiful jewel, sparkling in azure waters surrounded by protected coral reef and spectacular sea life, is home to a large family villa and two bandas – perfect accommodation for a group of friends or family travelling together for an unforgettable holiday or special occasion. The island is for the exclusive use of one set of guests at a time, meaning you have the villa, the bandas and the facilities all to yourselves.
‘Thanda’ means ‘love’ in the Zulu language and this paradise offers up plenty to fall in love with. Between October and March, dive in search of massive but gentle whale sharks and five species of sea turtles (Thanda Island is involved with Eco Ocean, a research unit that uses GoPro footage to identify individual whale sharks for conservation while green and hawksbill turtles nest on the island).
When you are back on land, the choices seem endless: enjoy the indoor aquarium, tickle the ivories of the Steinway grand piano, savour something from the wine collection and cigar humidor, take a dip in the glass-rimmed infinity pool (or a soak in the copper beach bathtubs), drop a few aces on the tennis court, hit the gym or take a bird walk to watch nesting egrets protect their fragile baby-blue eggs… When you feel peckish, the chef and butler can rustle up anything from a barbeque with cocktails to a gourmet pizza straight out of the oven.
And although Thanda Island is all about indulgence, it has a serious side, too. It is 100% off-grid, harvests solar energy, collects rainwater, reuses greywater for irrigation of the kitchen garden and has an on-site desalination plant.
The villa has five bedrooms with king-sized beds (extras can be arranged for children) while the bandas each have their own king-sized bed. Excursions to Chole Island, Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam can be arranged. The Mafia Island Marine Park is the largest reserve in the warm Indian Ocean with at least 15 metres / 50 feet of visibility around renowned dive sites like Kinasi Pass, the Milimani Coral Gardens and Chole Wall.