As a rule, a 6 bed private island with beautiful beaches in Tanzania costs upwards of $1000 per person per night. New as of 2013, Fanjove Private Island has re-written the rules, offering a beautiful slice of remote African wilderness for a third of that price. Popularly referred to as ‘pirate chic’, this is not luxurious like it’s not too distant neighbours Mnemba or Quilalea, but it does not need to be. Simple and brilliant, this beautiful island is many people’s idea of paradise.
Fanjove Private Island Lodge – The Facts
From the moment you board the plane at Dar Es Salaam and fly south, away from the crowds on their way north to Zanzibar, you realise you are heading somewhere special. This is only heightened by the short boat ride across the water from Songo Songo airstrip as you start to make out the bandas, barely visible against their forest backdrop.
The property is owned by Essential Destinations, who also own the brilliant Lake Manze and Mdonya Old River Camp, and we are pleased to announce that Fanjove has exactly the same vibe. The rooms are deliberately rustic – wooden, solar-powered and half-open to the elements. If you still secretly (or not-so-secretly) harbour ambitions of living in Robinson Crusoe style simplicity then the bandas are for you. But if it’s televisions, clean stone lines and swimming pools that you’re after then this is not your place.
The beach is one of the best in East Africa and for divers or snorkelers the coral reef presents a chance to explore some as-yet unvisited areas. Snorkelling, diving and kite-surfing represent the majority of the typical hotel activities on offer at Fanjove.
This simplicity is continued into the rooms which, although large, consist of a simple bathroom, bed, 2 armchairs and a day bed up on the balcony, accessible by ladder. But their simplicity is their biggest draw. They epitomise what Fanjove is about.
The food and service are excellent, with fresh fish caught almost every day and cooked in a blend of Swahili and Western style.
Fanjove will not be for everyone, but if you’ve ever had that slight urge to pack it all in and live like Robinson Crusoe on a beautiful tropical island then this is your chance. And here there’s no need to be rescued – it’s just a 40 minute flight from Dar Es Salaam. For those looking for a more adventurous Tanzania honeymoon look no further. If you do want to look further into some other options though, please refer to our blog of the best honeymoon options on Zanzibar and the surrounding islands.