Fanjove Island is located in the Kilwa area of the Indian Ocean Coast of eastern Tanzania.
Fanjove Island is situated on the remote southern coast of Tanzania, around 20km off the mainland coast and 195km south from Dar es Salaam.
Private islands are very rare in East Africa and this is the most beautiful by a distance, just 1km long, covered in palm trees, surrounded by wonderful white-sand beaches and encircled by an enormous protected reef and lagoon.
The island has superb marine wildlife including green turtles, spinner and bottlenose dolphins, a host of tropical fish and with humpback whales passing through mid-July to mid-October.
On land there is a small but important population of enormous coconut crabs, which climb the palm trees in search of coconuts, whilst thousands of hermit crabs scavenge the beaches. Weavers, egrets and herons are resident on the island, whilst crab plovers, whimbrels, ruddy turnstones and many others are regular visitors. The main season for migratory birds is Nov-Mar.
The island is a critical nesting site for green turtles, with eggs hatching during Apr-Jul and the camp staff carefully monitor each event as part of a wider conservation project along this coast.
This fabulous private island is so deliciously natural and pure, unique on the coast of East Africa, a real treat for nature lovers. The lodge too is blissfully small and simple. A real tropical island adventure.
When it comes to deciding when to visit, the best times down on the coast are generally considered to be Jul/Oct and Dec/Mar, when there is usually slightly less rain and wind.
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Fanjove Island is probably the most beautiful private island in Africa. It is really well priced and only has a handful of rooms and a host of superb activities.
Yet we only manage to provide a relatively small number of guests …
The biggest problem is the overall cost of a trip. The vast majority of visitors to Tanzania are looking for a safari and beach combination. The safari portion is inherently and unavoidably expensive, so the beach is usually the place to save. So many of our guests would love to come here, but simply don’t have enough left in the kitty to make it happen.
Furthermore, the decision to keep the place deliberately simple and environmentally sensitive was a bold one, but it does exclude guests who are uncomfortable with the more outdoorsy aspects of the lodge … often the type of guest who could have afforded to come.
But there is no crisis. The lodge owners are far from being the kind of bread-heads who worry too much about occupancy levels. They just want to slowly get the place moving and make sure that every single guest leaves here overwhelmed by the place, in a good way. Certainly, the guest reviews are extremely positive.
If you really want something special, something really extraordinary and wonderfully uncommercial, then this is one of those rare places where we would recommend digging deep. Fanjove is truly wonderful.
We tend to recommend it for 4 to 5 nights, more for people who really love complete isolation. It is often preceded by lodges on Mafia and Zanzibar islands, adding up to 8 to 14 nights down on this wonderful coast.
It is most commonly combined with safari areas such as Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Ruaha, Selous and Saadani, treks on Mount Kilimanjaro and other beach locations including the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia, typically in trips of 10 to 21 nights.