MARINE LIFE & COMMUNITIES AT THANDA ISLAND
Thanda Island is part of research and conservation projects on the region’s sea turtles, dugongs and whale sharks, as well as the preservation and rehabilitation of the Shungimbili coral reef. The island provides a basis for its neighbouring Mafia Island’s Marine Park Rangers to patrol the western side of Mafia and several other islands to stop illegal fishing in the area. Thanda Island is deeply committed to the education and wellbeing of the young people on Mafia, including programmes on sustainable fishing and marine conservation, and the development of healthy sporting activities. We employ members from the community on the Island and offer high-end hospitality skills development and employment advancement.
Uniquely situated in Tanzania’s Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve, Thanda Island is surrounded by vulnerable coral reefs, and its seas are home to the gentle whale shark which is categorised by the IUCN as vulnerable to extinction. It is also home to five species of sea turtles and dolphins all of which need concerted conservation programmes to ensure their survival. Thanda Island's marine biologist is monitoring the condition of the surrounding Shungimbili reefs and a reef restoration project is helping to stimulate the recovery of the reefs and the marine species that depend on them.
Community empowerment is part of Thanda Tanzania's DNA, and we are as engaged with the Tanzanian people as we are with the Zulu people in the communities neighbouring our other property, Thanda Safari, in Northern Zululand, South Africa. The Thanda Island team is participating in a range of social, educational and economic upliftment programmes, as well as sporting activities on Mafia Island, including the much-loved game of football, to contribute to a brighter future for its young people.