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“Fanjove Heaven” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Fanjove Private Island

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Fanjove Private Island
Certificate of Excellence
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Fanjove Heaven”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2013

My husband, our 3.5yr old son and I enjoyed a magical stay at Fanjove Island. Getting there was a pleasure, with a quick stop at Mafia Island, or flight soon landed at Songo Songo and from there a lovely boat journey to Fanjove. Approaching the Island felt like a scene in a movie. We have been living (an holidaying) in Tanzania for 3 years and seriously did not know such pristine waters were amongst us here. It is, quite simply, very beautiful. Tidal, definately, as is all of the coast line here so if very low tides are not your thing, Tanzania aint your destination, full stop. However, if you are after a dreamy Island break, with walking adventures during low tides, lagoon like bathing in crystal clear waters, AMAZING FOOD, cold beer (always, we were very impressed, hard to get here alot of the time...) and beautiful bandas with hot showers, then Fanjove is your destination. Pietro and Giorgia are doing a brilliant job, the staff are very lovely, warm, and extremely helpful.
We loved it, and will return, for sure!!

Room Tip: We were in Banda number 5, further around the beach from the dining/bar area. So we could walk the l...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank FiandShaun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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90 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 October 2013

This is an off the beaten track gem. A small Island with 6 bandas that face directly onto the Ocean. They are clean and perfect if you want to while away a couple of hours during the day to read a book on the upstairs loft day bed overlooking the turqouise ocean. In the evening the sea breeze keeps the place cool (there is no AC). An abandoned 19th century Lighthouse stands guard over the Bay where the communal dining area/bar faces a white sandy beach. The journey to the Island is a bit of an adventure in itself but is well organized. We went as a group of 6 with a couple of kids and had a great time. Food was fresh (all seafood) and all locally sourced The bandas are solar powered for lighting and heating the water. In the communal area you can recharge cameras etc. If you want a few days of relaxing in a stunning setting this is the place to come.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kennyw42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cuenca, Ecuador
Level Contributor
101 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 September 2013

We were thrilled to be transported to this lovely little slice of heaven in its rawest and most essential form...this is redolent of the Seychelles or Maldives, a very off-the-beaten track and authentic destination for the true naturalist. Whether it is coconut crabs that have your fancy, or stretches of beautiful tide pools at low tide, with an occasional fly-by from a heron or egret, Fanjove provides a highly personal and truly laid back destination, one that inspires true relaxation. Pietro deserves high props for his Kilometer 0 approach to cooking, featuring some wonderful seafood and coconut concoctions. Lovely and original bandas, very comfortable. All you need to pack are reef shoes, lots of suntan lotion, bathing suits, a hat and maybe a couple of gauzy blouses or shorts. Next steps should involve a fuller definition of the diving and snorkeling wonders, searching for whale sharks, even more integration into the blue. We shall return!

Room Tip: They're all lovely...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Brenlang_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chichester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 September 2013

Dar to Songa Songa - 1 hr flight in 5 seater plane. Transfer at Songa Songa by tuktuk to jetty, small boat to larger boat – 1 hr to Fanjove. Transfer by small boat to beach.
Island managed very well by Giorgia and Pietro.
6 bandas, 5 more to be built. 20 staff. Good Vodacom signal.
Banda; Good airy rooms with beautiful 24 hr view on to beach and sea. Some flies.
Eco soap was useless, no lather, take own soap and hair wash stuff. (Told Giorgia!)
Ice for drinks in banda came from kitchen and melted almost immediately.
Only low voltage power in banda from solar cell panel. Therefore no fan, no mains socket (used mains socket at bar to charge stuff) no tea/coffee ability, no hair dryer.
Food first class thanks to Pietro and Harry the chef. Banana curry soup, grilled grouper, stuffed squid, coconut/fish soup, squid risotto in it’s own ink, etc.
Saw coconut crab. Turtle nested near our banda one night and laid 390 eggs! Staff dug up carefully and renested just above spring high water line. 3 good exploration dives, using dow under sail.
Great natural island, with minimal tourist intervention so far (e.g. beautiful shells being washed up by tides all along beach. Turtles nesting within metres of bandas.) Not quite ready for continuous full bookings, offering diving etc – but will get there.
We will return!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Harry-and-Jan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2013

Fanjove exceeded my expectations in every way. I knew that it was eco-friendly and on a private island, but it's much more than that. Fanjove is a paradise. It is completely isolated from anything, creating a peaceful and serene experience. You can enjoy the view of clear ocean waters from your banda (and even bed!). It's so safe and private that I left my banda's doors and windows open the entire time. This allowed me to appreciate the gorgeous views, the ocean breeze in the evening, and literally wake up to the waves and the ocean less than 500 meters in front of me. This is a great place to disconnect - you can walk around the island, go kayaking, snorkeling, diving, or simply enjoy the home-cooked meals and cushiony beds overlooking the gorgeous beach. For a getaway, I highly recommend Fanjove Private Island - and I'd recommend staying for 5 days to really get the maximum the island has to offer.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank julietraveling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vienna, Austria
Level Contributor
103 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2013

Excellent lodge in full eco style and local materials - very well appointed rooms with unobstructed indian ocean view,- with a beautiful bathroom. All done in local materials and in perfect harmony. Very personal approach and food is catered through 3 meals a day and a lot o f fresh coconut....those who like diving and snorkeling or even those like me reading a book its paradise.
I did stay 2 nights , feels too short , I would rather recommend 4.

Room Tip: All rooms are same and like your private villa facing the ocean
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank toversti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wiesbaden
Level Contributor
24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 July 2013

Fanjove Island really exceeded our expectations. It is very small, very beautiful, extremely eco-friendly and a place that we definitely will return to one day if we can.

From conversations with the very friendly managers (a young italian couple) we learned that Fanjove is actually more of a project than a hotel. With only 5 simple, but beautiful eco-bandas that are located right on the beach the impact of tourists is very low. Everything is made from local materials by local people. They only buy big fish for dinner to ensure that the local fishermen learn to let the fishes grow enough so as not to endanger the species and were also involved in stopping the very destructive dynamite fishing that used to happen around the area.

There is a huge and practically unexplored coral reef around the area that is great for diving and snorkeling, dolphins are regularly seen and - in the right season - even whales. We were shown a turtle's nest on the beach, but unfortunately we came a bit too late to witness the hatching. But we did see flying fish and lots of wonderful birdlife.

Travelling to Fanjove is very adventureous. We flew from Selous via Dar and Mafia Island to Songo Songo Island, where we had a motorbike transfer to a pier and then another boat transfer of about 40 Minutes to Fanjove, all very interesting! Pietro (the manager) told us, that they will purchase a faster boat soon. Then transfers will be quicker and very convenient even from Kilwa on the mainland of Tanzania.

Now, what more I say? It is probably best to look at my pictures and see for yourselves.

This is a truly amazing place that touched my deeply.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TheodorWiesbaden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fanjove Private Island

Property: Fanjove Private Island
Address: Fanjove Island, Songosongo Arcipelago | 25 miles off Kilwa, in the Arcipelago of Songosongo, Kilwa Masoko, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Lindi Region > Kilwa Masoko
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Speciality Lodging in Kilwa Masoko
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The wonderful uncontaminated nature of a tropical island, 20 miles from the coast, is an unexplored tourist destination. There are six Eco Bandas, each with an en-suite bathroom open to the sky for hot showers under the stars; distributed along the main beach to guarantee privacy, each with a view of the ocean. During the day it will be possible to amuse oneself with the various activities..more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fanjove Private Island Tanzania/Kilwa Masoko

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