A COMMITMENT TO CONSERVATION
Thanda Island is deeply committed to the conservation of the region’s sea turtles, dugongs, dolphins and whale sharks, as well as the preservation and rehabilitation of the Shungimbili coral reef. Thanda Island is situated within the Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve, and Thanda’s team is partnering with the Tanzanian Marine Parks and the leading NGO, Sea Sense, on a range of marine conservation and education programmes in the region. These include research and conservation projects on the sea turtles, dugongs, dolphins, whale sharks, coral reefs and marine reserves.
Five species of marine turtles occur in Tanzania's waters: Green, Hawksbill, Loggerhead, Olive Ridley and Leatherback turtles. All are categorised by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as endangered or critically endangered species. We often have sightings around Thanda Island and know that you will be completely amazed by these creatures. Our focus on recreating a conservation haven on the Island is proving successful; the first Green turtle hatchlings were born at the end of May 2017. We hope that increasing numbers of turtles will return to nest on the Island. It is still a rare occurrence and only seasonal, yet if you are lucky, you may witness this special event during your stay.
Whale Shark Citizen Science Programme
We invite you to participate in our citizen science programme where photos that you take of the whale sharks nearby Thanda Island can be uploaded to ecoocean.org and whaleshark.org. Photo identification of the whale sharks, each with a unique pattern of 'fingerprint', is used to study their little known feeding, migratory and breeding patterns. To retain your memories of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, our marine guides are equipped with GoPro cameras to record your time with the whale sharks.
A dugong monitoring network was established in the Rufiji Delta in 2004 which was the last known refuge in Tanzania for this critically endangered species. In 2009, a dugong was sighted on the west coast of Mafia Island and the network was extended to include Mafia.