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10 Amazing Islands In Tanzania For Your Luxury Adventure

If you’re looking for excursions or experiences that go beyond what is considered tourist hot spots, you can consider the various islands around Tanzania, which go beyond Zanzibar in terms of what you can discover.

These islands can offer you different types of experiences, whether you’re keen on snorkeling or want to connect with the surrounding nature and abundant wildlife in all its glory.

10 Amazing Islands In Tanzania For Your Luxury Adventure

But what islands are suited to your interests or requirements, and how can you get the most out of your time there?

In this article, we’ll take a look at the 10 best islands in the region and show you the various sites and activities that are available on each one. Read on to start an unforgettable adventure that you can arrange right now.

The 10 Best Islands In Tanzania

Pemba Island

With an area of 988 kilometers squared, this larger island is east of Tanga, or Yambe Island, is recognized for its gentle green hills and clove plantations, and is a great place to see the various fishing and farming villages. 

Pemba Island is a great destination for those who want more immersion in the people and culture, and you’ll find you have more areas to explore. Each of these is unique as its landscape is brimming with wildlife that you can explore, including Colobus and vervet monkeys, and a wide variety of birds that you’ll hear and see quite easily. 

Additionally, on this island, you’ll find the Kidike Flying Fox Sanctuary, home to 4,000 Pemba flying foxes. You can catch a glimpse of these remarkable bats as you explore the trails within the Ngezi forest. These are just a few of the fascinating sights you’ll encounter here.

Things To Do In Tanzania - Bongoyo Island

Mnemba Island

This single small island is located about 3 km off the northeast coast of Zanzibar, which is the largest island in the archipelago. Mnemba Island has a circumference of 1.5 kilometers and can be quiet, with only some staff and a few boats coming and going.  

This is a private island and only houses 20 guests at a time, but when you’re here, you can find some diverse viewing options so you can enjoy the sea from wherever you are. 

If you’re lucky, you may be able to find a few dolphins or some friendly fish, and if you want to do some snorkeling, you’ll find the guides can accommodate however little experience you have in the water, as this is very reassuring. 

Fanjove Island 

Situated just southeast of Songo Songo Island, accessible via a boat crossing, lies this private island retreat. Here, you’ll discover a tranquil haven cherished by fishermen, staff, and fellow guests who appreciate the secluded beauty of its pristine beach, offering an exclusivity that goes beyond typical tourist destinations. 

Here you can go diving, kayaking, sailing, and snorkeling. You can also discover more about the surrounding area and find out how the local community works. Perhaps you could even get some pointers as you do your own spot of fishing.

On Fanjove Island, you’ll also find a boutique lodge with bandas that are spread out across the beach and paths that lead to dining areas. Then, you can turn your attention to the nature trails that allow you to explore this rich island more. 

Pungume Island 

Pungume Island, located south of the village of Fumba, is an area that allows for exploration of the forests and sandbanks. It also has the most colorful view of the Indian Ocean you’ll ever see. Take it all in, explore and go on a snorkeling adventure for a truly unforgettable experience.

You’ll see the magnificent coral reefs and fish, you might also spot a starfish or two. What’s more, you can have access to the best sea-grilled food that is all locally caught and prepared.

The location of the island really does give you a sense of seclusion, making it a perfect location if you want to have fun, relax, and simply get away from it all. 

You can find some staff and fishermen who are more than happy to show you around and add to your experience, so if there is something you want to see, be sure to let them know. 

Fanjove island

Bongoyo Island

Another enchanting island, located just off the coast of Dar es Salaam, is easily accessible via a short boat ride. Experienced guides are readily available to lead you on an island exploration, or if you prefer, you can explore it at your own pace.

You can also expect an extended menu that contains ingredients like grilled fish and lobster, chips, and even beer if you can imagine it, and you might find that the cooks can create something for you per request. 

With volunteers working in conservation to preserve the land, you can see the work they do and why it’s important to those who live there, as tourism is used as a means to ensure this work continues.

Mbudya Island 

You can find this island just north of Bongoyo island, and it has a lovely clean beach with clear waters, trees, and shrubbery that gives you a sense of privacy.

You also have a boat ride that is both enjoyable and allows you to see the surrounding area from a better perspective. 

This island can get quite busy over the weekends with locals. However, if you plan your visit during the week, you can have more of a peaceful visit, have a chance to look around the island and dip your toes into the clear and serene waters. 

If you’re feeling hungry, you can always stop by the bar and kiosk that sells food that is made with fresh ingredients. While you’re there, try the perfect grill with some fresh mangoes on the side – you’re going to love it!

Things To Do In Tanzania - Changuu Island

Mafia Island

Mafia Island, the third-largest island in the Tanzanian ocean territory, may appear as a bustling tourist destination. However, during certain times of the year, you can discover a serene and tranquil island, offering fantastic diving opportunities and the chance to witness magnificent whale sharks.

The island also has some high-end restaurants and lodges, which can be located by the beach so that you can dine in luxury.

By booking a tour guide through your travel provider, you can delve deeper into the island’s rich history and its diverse wildlife.

To reach Mafia Island, you can easily catch a flight from Dar es Salaam. Upon arrival, you’ll have the incredible chance to see the whale sharks that call these waters home.

For the most authentic experience, plan your visit between October and March when you’ll find the highest concentration of these magnificent creatures, perfect for viewing or snorkeling alongside.

Thanda Island 

This island is located west of the tip of Mafia island, so you could access it from here or have it as part of a tour if you break from the mainland.

While you will have to make a reservation if you want to stay here, you’ll find a beautiful island where you’ll be able to truly unwind and relax.

Additionally, you’ll be treated to an exceptionally hospitable team that goes above and beyond to meet your needs. Their culinary offerings promise flavors and experiences you’ll never forget. It’s no wonder this island is often described as a dreamlike paradise!

Chumbe Island 

Located west of the suburb of Chukwani, and only 15 guests are allowed on the island at any one time, you can see why many people are impressed by the spectacular views and the diverse ecology.

On Chumbe island, you can get a truly exotic experience with the sounds of the ocean and the birds singing along.  

You can unwind during candlelit dinners set in picturesque locations by the ocean. In the evenings, take leisurely strolls to catch a glimpse of the native coconut crabs, which are as vibrant and captivating as they are unique residents of the coastal forests.

Ukerewe Island

This is the largest island in Lake Victoria and the largest inland island in Africa. It can be reached by a ferry from Mwanza, where you’ll see vast rolling fields, parks, and a beautiful environment that has both fishermen and visitors roaming the island.

One of the best ways to see the Ukerewe island is by biking, as a guide can show you around the various farmlands and forests that are sure to leave you breathless, with a chance to view the scenery from the point on Rutare Hill. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to admire the architectural heritage of centuries past, including the oldest Roman Catholic Church. There’s a wealth of historical and cultural experiences awaiting you on this island – don’t wait, book a trip now or regret it later!


These Tanzania islands are known for their beauty as well as the range of amenities and activities that are available. Of course, we can’t guarantee that all of these islands are going to be tourist-free. Once you get there, though, you’ll see why they are visited by so many. 

From calming walks to conservation areas, all the way to snorkeling excursions, there is something for every type of traveler, and you’ll find that many of these are a short boat ride away.

Do you need help with planning your dream Tanzania experience? Contact us today and let us help you organize the best trip you can possibly have in your lifetime!

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