Among the islands between Fanjove and Mafia Island is one of the world’s richest marine habitats.
The marine park of Mafia, established in 1995 by the Tanzanian government, is the larger marine protected in the Indian Ocean and enjoys an indescribable beauty generated mainly by the proximity of the Rufiji river delta, which allows an extraordinary variety of marine flora and fauna.
Before reaching Fanjove’s beaches, The Indian Ocean meets a 11 km long coral reef which runs down the east of Fanjove Island. The resulting lagoon provides calmer seas to swim in.
Thousands of migrant birds rest and feed on the island, green turtles lay their eggs in season, hundreds of dolphins roam the seas and humpback whales pass through in their migrations.
Nobody lives on Fanjove, except you and the dedicated staff, as the whole island is rented from the nearby village of Songosongo. The lodge contributes 3% of it's income to the social development of the community.
From Dar es Salaam flights are available twice a day. After an hour's flight via Mafia the plane lands on the main Island of the archipelago, Songosongo Island. The island is reached by speedboat in around 20 minutes.
There are six Eco Bandas - each with an ensuite bathroom open to the sky for hot showers under the stars. The individual Bandas are distributed along the main beach to guarantee privacy, each with a view of the ocean.
All the bandas have been designed with the environment in mind, specifically to have the lowest impact on the island and are powered singularly by solar power. The shape resembles the Dhow sail (Dhow are the local traditional sailing boats that you will see almost at any time when looking at the sea).
The lodge is all made of wood (only planted wood has been used) and makuti (palm leaves). Only the bathroom, because of its necessities, has been built in concrete, but shaped to be inserted in harmony with the rest of the building.
To make the best of the view the banda is designed to be completely open at its front. Doors and curtains, in different combinations, protect from wind and sun. The curtain’s fabric and the ropes are the same used in local dhows to make sails and boat ropes.
Should guests wish to enjoy the view from a higher point they are welcome to go upstairs onto the balcony. The 6 lights in each Banda are powered by a solar panel on the top of the makuti roof. Hot water is heated by a 90 liters tank solar panel.
Water is an important resource on Fanjove Island - fresh water is not found on the Island so they have to ship it almost daily from mainland. Guests are kindly asked to be sensitive on the water they consume whilst on the island.
Some of the island's stategies to reduce the impact on the small and delicate ecosystem of Fanjove:
- solar panels provide light in the bandas
- sun power warms shower’s water
- rechargeable batteries are preferred on disposable batteries
- septic tanks have been installed for bio-degradation of waste water
- a waste recycle system is in use
- whenever it is possible Fajove Island will buy local fresh products to both stimulate local economies and reduce fossil fuel consumption necessitated in long distant transportation.
- Fanjove island produces a portion of its fresh water reservoir with a desalinator, while a system of gutters and tanks collect rain water during the wet season.
Dives are from the boat and there are no deco dives. Water temperature is 27/29 C and visibility can reach 30 m.
Humpback whales migrate, sea turtles lay eggs, and tropical fish dance before you.
The reefs show remarkable resistance to global marine threats, and further research and exploration of the area is vital to help replenish the reef and support healthy ecosystems and sustainable fishing practices for the local villages.
Each dive is likely to be at a completely new dive site with sightings of new fish, shark, mammal and invertebrate species on nearly every dive. Varied marine landscapes such as underwater pinnacles and gardens of cabbage coral with 20+ meter visibility make for a rare chance to experience an area that no one has ever explored before.
- Kayak Safari
- Dhow sailing
- Sand bank excursion
- Fanjove Island Trail
- Bird watching
- Dolphin excursion
- Diving and Snorkeling equipment is available to hire at the lodge
Open season: June through March
Number of Bandas: 6
Age: we welcome children age 6 and up
For guests with special needs or disabilities: please contact us
Closest Airstrip: Songosongo Island
GPS co-ordinates: 8° 34’ 18.11” S – 39° 34’ 2.27” E