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An Island Escape

8 days from £850pp plus international flights.

Have you ever dreamed of jetting off to a small tropical island, swapping your mobile ringtone for the whisper of the breeze in the trees? Then this holiday is JUST what you need!


Zanzibar is the famous spice island, but if you want to get right away from the crowds there are other lesser known island and islets to choose from, offering small lodges and hotels with friendly, personal service. We've picked out 3 of our favourites just to give you a flavour of what you could be enjoying, but there are others to tempt you too, which you'll find shown under the Accommodation tab below.  

Chole Mjini embodies the simplicity and charm of island living. AND you'll be living in a treehouse in an ancient baobab.  It isn't luxury, there's no electricity so no air con or TV, but one luxury you will have is time. Time to watch, listen and simply experience every moment to the full. That makes it very special. 

Fanjove Private Island is a tiny dot in the Indian Ocean. it's uninhabited apart from the staff and guests, so you'll have the island. Go for nature walks, snorkel amongst tropical fish and take a cruise looking for dolphins. Slow down and enjoy the slower pace of life. 

On Mafia Island, Ras Mbisi is a real 'barefoot luxury' destination, with timeless wood and thatch buildings, 8 kilometres of beach and opportunities to go snorkelling, explore by kayak, visit a local village and take a cruise on the Indian Ocean at sunset. Larger than the tiny islands above, it's still only half the size of Zanzibar.


Whichever you choose you'll have a wonderful week resting and exploring, making new friends and enjoying delicious freshly cooked food. You'll come away feeling thoroughly refreshed and re-energised.  
Itinerary
Arriving at Fanjove Island

DAY 1: ARRIVE ON YOUR ISLAND

This is the start of your escape! Depending on your choice of island you'll arrive by plane or boat, to be greeted by smiling staff who you'll get to know well over the next week. Gaze out over the ocean as you realise this is your home for the next 7 wonderful days. This evening the chef will treat you to some superb cuisine, perhaps including the freshest seafood, and later you'll sink into your bed, falling asleep to the sound of waves lapping the shore. Lunch, dinner.
Chole Mjini treehouse

A typical day on CHOLE ISLAND

A typical day at Chole Mjini (the only lodge on the island) begins as you stand on the balcony of your treehouse, built around a baobab, watching the ocean and breathing in the fresh air. After breakfast the time is your own. The water is perfect for swimming, snorkelling and diving, and between November and March you can swim with whale sharks. You'll have the chance to explore Chole Island with a local guide, spend time in the village, and take a cruise in the lodge's dhow. If you want to get away from it all, spend a day on a sandbar, where sunbathing is interrupted only by swimming and a pause for a tasty picnic lunch. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Walking along the beach on Fanjove Island

A typical day on FANJOVE ISLAND

Should Fanjove be your destination, you'll find yourself on a classic deserted island. Armed with a map from the lodge, take a tour of your domain, following trails inland, walking along the beach, or take to the water in a kayak for a full circumnavigation! The lodge supplies diving and snorkelling equipment to let you observe shoals of fish, turtles and colourful corals, an entrancing underwater world. Take a boat cruise to spot bottlenose and spinner dolphins, and with luck you'll be able to go swimming with these playful, intelligent creatures. Spending time among natural wonders is a real pleasure and privilege on Fanjove. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. 
Pool at Ras Mbisi

A typical day on MAFIA ISLAND

Life at Ras Mbisi, one of the few lodges on Mafia Island, is unhurried, from the leisurely breakfast right through to the generous Swahili dinner buffet. In between you can explore Mafia's beaches, lakes and forests, board the dhow for trips to neighbouring islands, or propel yourself in a kayak or dugout canoe for some independent adventure, maybe stopping off to make friends in the village. You're welcome to spend lazy days, too, barely stirring from the lodge. Sunbathe, swim in the sea or pool, chat to other guests and de-stress with a soothing massage. As the sun goes down make your way to the rooftop bar to toast another day in paradise! Breakfast, lunch, dinner.   
Goodbye!

DAY 8: DEPART

It's hard to believe a whole week has passed since you arrived. But you're now feeling the benefits of island living, rest and relaxation, fresh food and good company. Today you'll be transferred back to the mainland for your homeward flight. Breakfast.
Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £850 (ex. international flights)

Price notes: 2015 - RAS MBISI: From £850 pp sharing. CHOLE MJINI: From £1540 pp sharing. FANJOVE: From £1795 pp sharing.

Includes: 7 nights twin share accommodation on full board basis; return transfers from and to the nearest airport; return domestic flights from Dar es Salaam to your island; park fees and community levys (at Chole Mjini). 

Excludes: International flights and taxes; visa; meals not specified; drinks; optional excursions and activities; tips; items of a personal nature.

Getting there: All these islands are in Tanzania. We recommend flights via either Nairobi or Dar es Salaam, which will cost from £700 per person depending on availability and season. We usually book flights for you.

Departure dates: This is a private tailor made holiday that operates from the beginning of June to the end of March each year (avoiding the rains and April and May), and can begin on the day of your choice subject to availability.  

places you will see

places you will see

Pemba Island
Pemba Island
This is a smaller, quieter island neighbour to Zanzibar. It’s more rural and whilst the beaches are not quite as good, the diving is superb and there are a couple of great lodges. 
Mafia Island
Mafia, Chole & Fanjove Islands
South of Zanzibar are some tiny Indian ocean islands offering a very different kind of experience. Great diving, far fewer people, unusual accommodation like treehouses … a real escape.

customer rating

5/5 from 42 reviews

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facts and information

Time: GMT +3 hours

Flight time: Flights from UK to Tanzania take about 9 hours direct or 10-11 with a brief stopover en route if from Europe.

Language: Kiswahili and English are Tanzania's official languages. Although most people in the cities speak some English, a few phrases of Kiswahili are useful in more rural areas.

Visas: Most nationalities require a Tanzania visa, obtainable from the High Commission in London (or on arrival into International Airport.

Health: Most nationalities require a Tanzania visa, obtainable from the High Commission in London (or on arrival into International Airport.

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Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
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