Barefoot luxury on a tiny private Indian Ocean island

You leave the tiny island of Songo Songo by boat, setting off into the incredibly blue Indian Ocean, and wondering quite where you are headed.  Your destination is an even smaller tropical island called Fanjove off the coast of Tanzania, a long way south of Zanzibar. It is just 1km long by 300m wide.  There is no transport. There is no electricity. Nobody lives here.  Nobody has heard of it. There is no fresh water. Not much grows here other than mangrove and palms.  This is remote.  Why bother?

Fanjove

You bother for the tranquillity and privacy – there are only 6 bandas on the island.

You bother for the stunningly blue seas, and the 11 kilometres of reef just off the island.

You bother for beautiful sandy beaches with no-one else on them.

You bother for that feeling of adventure, that childhood fantasy of landing on a tropical island, that Robinson Crusoe feeling (except that Man Friday knows how to cook a fabulous 3-course seafood feast, and has impeccable taste in making simple yet stylish beach huts!).

Fanjove

Fanjove Private Island opened its doors on 1st June 2013, and I was privileged to be one of their first visitors. From the moment you see the lodge team on the white sands waving a welcome to you as you arrive by boat, you know this is going to be special – and it is.  I loved the huge rustic wood and thatch bandas (with roofs that look like dhow sails) which are very simple but still very comfortable, and I loved the fact that this really is life spent on the beach. The food is a very tasty combination of European (strong on Italian) and Swahili with a touch of Indian, and locally caught seafood and fish is very much the order of the day.  Swimming, canoeing, snorkelling and diving is all available, and one of the managers can also offer yoga and Pilates.

It takes a bit of effort to get to Fanjove, but it is SO worth it!

Amanda Marks is Founder and Managing Director of Tribes Travel.

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