Thanda Island Offers Marine Encounters by Day & Night
The day is far from over when the sun goes down at Thanda Island. Following cocktails and elaborate dinners served in the Villa, the private 20-acre island located 18 miles into the Indian Ocean off the coast of mainland Tanzania offers activities for guests to enjoy deep into the evening: from night snorkeling to reef walks amid the fragile wonders of the Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve, as well as stargazing throughout the glorious heavens above.
Resident Marine Biologist Rianne Laan leads nighttime programming for guests at Thanda Island. Activities generally start when it’s good and dark, about an hour or so after sunset. Guests of all ages are encouraged to participate she says: “We reserve night snorkeling for comfortable swimmers, but reef walks at low tide are open to everyone.”
Bioluminescence is always a potential highlight, particularly during December and January when plankton is more prevalent and their glow can cause the surface of the ocean and reefs underneath to sparkle at night. Many other sea creatures are visible at night as well, including blacktip reef sharks, octopuses, squid, and sleeping parrotfish. “We are always careful not to wake parrotfish, as they have protective bubbles around them to protect themselves from predators,” says Laan.
With water temperatures averaging just above 80° Fahrenheit year round at Thanda Island, there is no need for wet suits for either activity, though the resort has short neoprene suites available should guests prefer to wear them.
While there is no telling what will appear beneath the ocean’s surface – “We get a lot of surprises,” says Laan – most nights offer clear views of the Milky Way lighting with no human-made light pollution to dampen the effect. “The stars and the moon make every evening special in their own way, time and again.”
Exclusive use of Thanda Island is offered at US$25,000 per night for up to 18 guests. In addition to the 5 suite villa, the island also boasts two traditional double-story bandas (beach chalets) accommodating a further 8 guests. The rate includes the team of specialist island hosts, all island activities and watersport, pick-up from Mafia Island by boat, all meals and drinks including a handpicked selection of wines and champagnes, spa treatments, sandbank picnics, sunset cruises and local excursions. Five-night stays on Thanda Island include roundtrip transfers from Dar es Salaam by fixed winged charter via Mafia Island, the closest neighbor island. Direct to island helicopter transfers are quoted separately.
For more information please contact T: +27 (0) 32 586 0149;
Andrea Schnoor Communications
122 West 27th Street, Floor 10
New York, NY 10001
Thanda Island is located between the mainland of Tanzania and Mafia Island. It is 16 nautical miles or 18 miles east of the mainland of Tanzania, opposite Selous National Park and the Rufiji River Delta. The Island is accessible by boat from Mafia Island or helicopter directly from Dar es Salaam International Airport.
Scheduled flights from Dar es Salaam to Mafia Island take approximately 30 minutes. Boat transfers are approximately 30 minutes depending on weather and wind conditions. Helicopter flights from Dar es Salaam to Thanda Island take approximately 30 minutes.
Thanda Island offers beautiful, warm, tropical weather. The rainy seasons comprise “long” rains in late April to May and “short” rains in November. Rain showers are mostly short, followed by sunshine, bringing a wonderful renewal and freshness to the environment. Thanda Island lies across the trade winds and experiences the northeast (Kaskazi) and southeast (Kusi) trade wind seasons. The Kaskazi usually starts at the end of November and lasts into February. The Kusi is from early July to mid-September.
The Island does not have Malaria, although Mafia Island is in a low-risk malaria area. The main currency is US Dollars. Travel visa and information is available via www.immigration.go.tz
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