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Tropical Thanda Island

Thanda Island is the magnificent beach residence of the Swedish entrepreneurial and philanthropist couple Christin and Dan Olofsson

Situated within southern Tanzania’s Shungi Mbili Island Marine Reserve, this private island offers absolute exclusivity for families and friends to enjoy. It is the sister property to their acclaimed and multi-award winning private game reserve, Thanda Safari, in Zululand South Africa.

Off-grid and solar-powered, Thanda Island offers guests an environmentally sensitive, fun and restorative Indian Ocean experience in total seclusion. Boasting an expansive five-bedroom villa and features an impressive glass rim-flow swimming pool and indoor aquarium to rival its outdoor counterpart. It also combines casual beach-house living with outdoor ocean adventures. The villa accommodates ten adults, with the option of additional children sharing.

Christin and Dan Olofsson reflecting their own personal style through the villa’s design and decoration. A palette of white is combined with soft, natural hues and fabrics throughout, complementing their handpicked pieces of furniture and artwork. Leading straight off from the pristine white sand beach, the fan cooled and air-conditioned suites featuring indoor and outdoor showers. Countless palm trees, indigenous vegetation and bushes have also been planted to enhance the existing beauty of the Island’s flora.

Tropical Thanda Island
Thanda Island villa (Dining Area)

Most noteworthy, the island encourages guests to slow down and soak up the relaxed tempo of island life. Long lunches under the veranda, making pizza in the outdoor oven while laughing late into the night around the outdoor cocktail bar. By day, they may choose to laze on the expansive deck that frames the house and the pool. Perhaps they may even prefer the feel of the white sand of their own beach between their toes.

Eight hectares in size, 1.1kms in circumference and 350m wide, the Island is surrounded by its own private coral reef. This includes a 1km exclusive-use zone, which can be explored with a snorkel and mask straight from the beach. Additionally, sailing boats, 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 the whale sharks just south of the Island from October to February. Others may spot the endangered dugong while scuba diving with qualified instructors as well. Furthermore, a powerboat-zone outside the Marine Park and south of the Island, allows for water skiing, jet-skiing, wake-boarding and tubing. Most of all, big game fishing on a 28-foot reef runner cat off Mafia Island is another available activity.

Tropical Thanda Island
An aerial view of Thanda Island.

Depending on the season, guests can watch turtles nesting and their eggs hatching. Five species of marine turtles occur in Tanzania’s waters, two of which have recently returned to nest on the Island. Guests will also be able to learn about the local Swahili sea-faring culture on nearby Mafia Island and picnic on a neighbouring atoll.

Finally, Thanda Island seeks to mirror the conservation and community upliftment successes that Thanda Safari has achieved in South Africa. Therefore partnering with the Tanzanian Marine Parks and Sea Sense, on a range of regional marine conservation and education programmes. These include research and conservation projects on the sea turtles, dugongs, dolphins, whale sharks, coral reefs and marine reserves.

The team is thus participating in a range of social upliftment programmes on Mafia Island, which has approximately 60 000 people in the communities. This will be in the form of a commitment to the education of young people in sustainable resource utilisation, fish harvesting, marine conservation, and in the development of healthy, sporting activities, such as football.

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