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The Ultimate Combination: A private island retreat and luxury yacht charter

By Katia Damborsky   Last Updated: 14 April 2023

Blending the serenity of a private island getaway with the adventure of an Indian Ocean yacht charter, Thanda Island’s winning combination has created a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience.

Promising icing-sugar sand beaches lapped by glassy turquoise oceans, Thanda Island brings dreams of a tropical oasis to life.

Cloaked in tranquility and located 30km from East Africa's mainland, guests are able to rent the entire island; meaning the small slice of land becomes their own personal sanctuary complete with a team of staff to cater to their every whim.

aerial shot of thanda island, with luxury yacht 'over the rainbow' nearby
man on tender infront of luxury yacht over the rainbow, at anchor near thanda island

Further adding to its allure, the island’s exclusive access to the classic Thanda Yacht means that this lesser-travelled region can be explored to the fullest on the Thanda Island Yacht Cruise.

Guests can choose to embark on day trips, overnight trips or venture further afield to the shores of Zanzibar on the yacht; but with Thanda Island acting as a base, guests will enjoy the very best of both experiences.

Setting new standards in luxury travel, Thanda Island's incredible combination has cemented its reputation as one of the most impressive destinations in the Indian Ocean

Thanda Island: A Luxury Private Island and Marine Reserve

thanda island villa accommodation with infinity pool with glass rim in foreground and suites in background, with palm trees lined up infront
man walks next to infinity pool on thanda island. Sun loungers are lined up, along with palm trees and bright blue ocean in background
hawksbill turtle swimming in indian ocean around thanda island

Ensuring guests are entertained for hours on end, the island offers an incredible range of leisure facilities, spa treatments and water toys.

Thanda's visitors will have the opportunity to take a closer look at the protected marine reserve encircling the island, where hawksbill turtles, reef sharks and dolphins can all be spotted enjoying the clear, warm waters. Those looking to dive will be well-catered to, with the help of a local PADI dive school which works closely with Thanda Island.

In addition, guests looking for some fun on the water can head to the boathouse, where they will find a treasure trove of waters toys and accessories. Thrill-seekers can take the Jet-Skis out for a spin, while those looking for something more relaxed can try their hand at paddleboarding, kayaking or sailing.

man swims next to whale shark off the coast of Thanda Island

Sure to be one of the highlights of a stay on Thanda Island, guests have the possibility to swim with whale sharks. The seas around Thanda Island are a playground for these gentle giants between November and March, and can often be spotted in groups of up to 50 at a time during peak season. 

woman relaxes in copper bath on the beach surrounded by lanterns on thanda island
people play tennis on sports court on thanda island
woman lays on table and receives a massage from staff on thanda island

Afternoons can be whiled away indulging in pampering spa treatments, before dozing off on a cabana on the beach or on a sun lounger by the glass-rimmed infinity pool. As the weather starts to cool down, guests can then head to the sports court for a game of tennis or volleyball.

Gourmands will be pleased to hear that Thanda Island's resident chef has extensive Cordon Bleu training, and every meal is carefully tailored to the individual preferences and dietary requirements of each guest. Seafood is sourced daily from local islands, and dishes are expertly paired with wines from Thanda Island's enormous collection. 

Before the day is over, guests can experience the ultimate luxury with a copper bath on the beach infused with oils imported from Zanzibar. Under the soft light of the setting sun, guests will quickly begin to feel any residual stress melting away.

villa suite on thanda island, with doors to the terrace open and massage table set up
family room on thanda island
entertainment room on villas of thanda island, with balcony overlooking the sea and sofa in foreground
gym in villa of thanda island, with treadmills and other gym equipment

A villa beach house brimming in luxury continues to add to the appeal of this exclusive island. Five suites embodying a beach-chic theme ensures guests are accommodated overnight in comfortable and stylish surrounds, while a living room exudes laidback sophistication with its aquarium, Steinway piano and sumptuous seating

man waits at table on thanda island
staff wait to give cocktails to guests arriving via helicopter on thanda islandpeople dining in tent on the beach on thanda island

As the staff are able to focus solely on a single group of guests, you can rest assured that the service will be second to none. Itineraries, dietary requests and personal preferences are taken into consideration ahead of guests’ arrival, ensuring visitors enjoy a smooth stay from the moment they step on shore.

The dedicated team go above and beyond to provide the most comfortable and relaxing experience, and this extends into the island’s exclusive access to the 35m/115ft classic motor yacht ‘Over the Rainbow’.  This luxury yacht plays host to the Thanda Island Yacht Cruise, which is the perfect way to explore this off-the-beaten-track destination. 

Thanda Island Yacht Cruise

man greets guests arriving to luxury yacht over the rainbow
Arabian dhow off the coast of thanda island
woman walks in shallows of beach in tanzania
overwater walkway leading to bungalow in tanzania

Perfectly complementing a stay on Thanda Island, the Yacht Cruise gives guests the rare opportunity to explore East Africa in supreme complete comfort and style. The luxury yacht offers elegant accommodation for 11 guests, as well as gourmet cuisine, alfresco living and an exciting selection of water toys.

World-class service is delivered by the yacht's professional and attentive crew of five, who have a wealth of experience cruising around the South of France, where the yacht is based during the summer months. The crew is headed up by British Captain Tim Cooter, who liases closely with Thanda Island to create a bespoke itinerary for his guests.

children of bwejuu island in tanzania
woman walks though fishing village on remote island in tanzania
child carries bucket on bwejuu island in tanzania

Those wishing to embark on a short cruise around Thanda Island will find plenty to see and do on daytrips and overnight excursions in the surrounding area. Sitting a few kilometres from Thanda Island lies Bwejuu Island, a remote islet and fishing village with a population of 400; of which only 100 are adults.

While the native people have barely any contact with tourists, the yacht's Captain has been given exclusive access to the island by the Chief, thus allowing Thanda's guests to come on shore and tour the island. Visitors can enjoy observing the islanders' unique way of life, from spearfishing around the reefs to making fishing ropes out of coconut husks. This is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience, which gives guests a glimpse into the community's local culture and traditions.

beach in tanzania with indian ocean in foreground
hands hold bright red nutmeg seeds on pemba island, near tanzania
men wearing traditional swahili outfits walk on beach in tanzania

For those looking to explore further afield, the yacht can head north to the 'Spice Islands' of the Zanzibar archipelago. So-called because of their abundant plantations of cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and ruby-hued nutmeg cloves, the island-chain is located roughly 200km away from Thanda Island. Over centuries, the islands have been shaped by trade between the Middle East and Africa, lending them a unique cultural crossover which leaves them primed for guests looking for a taste of adventure.

Guests can get lost traversing the cobbled streets of Zanzibar's Stone City, or breathe in the heady aroma of the spice farms of Pemba Island. In addition, the region boasts world-class dive sites, and the Captain will be pleased to take his guests to the 'Captain's Secret Wreck' off the coast of Pemba Island. With the flexibility of the Cruise, guests can visit optimum dive locations with ease.

upper deck aft of luxury yacht over the rainbow

After a day of exploration, yacht-goers will be able to make the most of Over the Rainbow’s inviting living areas. From the sundeck, al fresco dining setup, main salon and entertainment room, a variety of multi-functional spaces are primed for relaxation as well as socialising.

What’s more, the traditional interior styling pays tribute to the yacht’s illustrious heritage. The classic elegance is also replicated in the four cabins, providing guests with upscale accommodation throughout their time at sea. 

The duration of the Yacht Cruise can be tailored to fit the needs of travellers on board. Additionally, guests can choose between beginning their Cruise on mainland Tanzania, or setting off from Thanda Island.

The Perfect Pairing

thanda private island and marine reserve with luxury yacht over the rainbow anchored nearby

Combining a stay on Thanda Island with the luxury yacht cruise is the ultimate way to experience everything that this incredible destination has to offer. Guests can relax in the knowledge that everything will be organised by the island, while expecting the highest standards of luxury and comfort every step of the way.

With a wealth of local knowledge about the region, Thanda's staff have helped make the Thanda Island Yacht Cruise a truly unmissable component of the private island experience. 

Find Out More About Our Adventure

The editorial team at YachtCharterFleet had the privilege of being hosted on Thanda Island and experiencing an adventure around East Africa on the Thanda Island Yacht Cruise. We were awe-struck by the tranquility of Thanda Island, and this, coupled with the opportunity to explore the surrounding area on a luxury yacht, made this vacation a truly unforgettable experience. 

If you'd like to get some first-hand insight about our time on Thanda Island, you can read our Thanda Island Review. Packed with information about the island's amenities, local excursions, and unique experiences, you can discover everything there is to know about this luxury private island retreat.

Those interested in finding out more about our time on the Thanda Island Yacht Cruise can read our Yacht Review of Over the Rainbow. Uncover the fascinating history of this classic yacht, and all of the on-board facilities she offers her guests.

woman sits on tender next to luxury charter yacht over the rainbow in east africa

This incredible combination is available between November and April, with one week’s exclusive use of Thanda Island in combination with the Classic Yacht Cruise being offered at $225,000 for 10 guests. 

The all-inclusive experience includes all of the following: a dedicated team of staff; gourmet dining; a handpicked selection of fine wines and champagnes; water activities including scuba-diving and swimming with whale sharks; spa treatments; sandbank picnics; local excursions; overnight cruises and helicopter transfers from Dar es Salaam for up to 8 guests.


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