Situated within southern Tanzania’s newly proclaimed Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve, one of Thanda’s initiatives to further the restoration of the local marine life, Thanda Island is one of the few truly private tropical islands in the world.
Providing absolute exclusivity for families and friends to enjoy on a sole-use basis, it features just one expansive five-bedroom villa comprising an impressive glass rim-flow swimming pool, a boat house full of water activities equipment, a tennis court and an outdoor cocktail bar, a yoga sala and a fully equipped gym. It is surrounded by its own private coral reef which can be explored in total seclusion with a snorkel and mask straight from the beach.
Off-grid and solar-powered, Thanda Island offers guests an environmentally sensitive, fun and restorative Indian Ocean, East African experience infused with the Arabian influence of passing Arab Dhows on the horizon and a spectacular “Arabian Night” experience. Deeply committed to the conservation of the region’s marine life, as well as the preservation and rehabilitation of the Shungimbili coral reef, Thanda Island invites guests to learn about the endangered Green and Hawksbill turtles as they nest and their eggs hatch on the island or catch sight of whale sharks that congregate nearby from October to March.
Providing the further insight into the local way of life, they also introduce guests to the Swahili sea-faring culture on nearby Mafia Island and offer the opportunity to explore its ruins, coconut plantations, lakes as well as the underwater sights of Chole Bay in the Mafia Island Marine Park.
Officially opened on Friday 28 October 2016 with marine life and its ecology of upmost importance, working with Sea Sense, the local Tanzanian marine conservation NGO which Thanda Island closely supports.
Delvaux went on to say: “Our mission is also to become involved in the education of neighbouring rural communities on Mafia in terms of biodiversity protection and particularly sustainable natural resource utilization. Our vision to create a unique and authentic guest experience within a protected marine reserve, whilst observing and directly participating in the protection and preservation of its natural resources in harmony with the Marine Parks Authority and neighbouring Mafia Island communities, has been very important to us right from the start.”
Acknowledging this, Dr M.E Machunu, Manager of Marine Parks said: “The luxury villa and island development falls squarely within the Tanzanian agenda of attracting foreign investors to the country. This opening is both momentous and historical, as it is the first time that such an exclusive villa development has been permitted within the boundaries of a Marine Protected Reserve in Tanzania, and possibly within East Africa.”
He thanked Thanda sincerely for their commitment and initiative of investing in such a worthwhile development, explaining that the Government’s agenda to promote tourism was in harmony with conservation through sustainable development that not only assisted them to manage their natural resources, but also created employment and other benefits for neighbouring communities. He went on to explain that the Government was supporting tourism more than ever before, that Marine Parks and the Government were committed to supporting Thanda Tanzania Limited with this venture as it had followed all investment procedures and guidelines, including environmental authorization, and that they saw Thanda as an agent for growth in the region.
Pierre Delvaux wrapped up the day by thanking Dan and Christin Olofsson, who unfortunately were unable to attend the function, for their vision, enthusiasm, investment and commitment to developing such a world-class luxury villa hotel that had the opportunity to make such an enormous difference in the region in so many ways.