Opened in 2013, Fanjove is part of the Songo Songo Archipelago, situated some 140 km south of Dar es Salaam. Measuring less than 1 km long and offering only six guest bandas, Fanjove offers a rustic, private island experience. The island was previously uninhabited, save for some local fishermen who used it as an occasional fishing base, and this is the first time visitors have had the opportunity to stay and explore its beautiful beaches and wildlife.
- Go snorkelling, kayaking or diving along colourful reefs
- Explore the island on foot along white sand beaches
- Cruise the ocean on a dhow safari with a sandbank picnic
- Enjoy guided nature trails and discover the island’s history
The guest bandas are located on the south-east coast of the island, each with their own sandy path leading away from the main lodge area and boasting private views of the beach and ocean beyond. The two storey rooms have been designed in the shape of a traditional dhow and constructed with wooden floors and makuti thatched roofs. They are open-fronted to catch the breezes blowing in off the ocean. The en suite bathroom facilities at the rear provide hot and cold running water, as well as a flush toilet.
The airy and spacious main lodge houses a small dining room under makuti thatch, although many meals are enjoyed on the beach. A lounge area houses some wicker sofas on the sandy floor – the perfect place to relax with a book and enjoy the ocean views.
Swimming and snorkelling in the crystal clear waters which surround the island are a big draw and it is also possible to explore the island on foot (it takes about 1½ hours to circle the island). For keen kite surfers the winds that blow between June and August provide the perfect conditions. Kayaks are available and are a great way to circumnavigate the island, especially from November onwards when the water is generally flat and calm. The lodge can also offer fishing trips just offshore.
At low tide many sandbanks are exposed and the lodge can arrange for a dhow trip to take guests out and set up a picnic lunch on one of the temporary islands – this makes a good combination with snorkelling on some of the further out reefs to make the most of the journey.
The waters surrounding Fanjove contain excellent marine life with many species of reef fish and corals in evidence – sightings of sweetlips, black triggerfish, parrotfish, pufferfish, scorpionfish and barracuda are common.