FANJOVE PRIVATE ISLAND, southern tanzania

Palm-fringed, powder-white sands; azure, shimmering waters; the call of birdsong; and a whole island to yourself…. Secluded and exclusive, Fanjove Private Island is a peerless tropical island idyll.

The soul of Ras Kutani emanates from the never-ending stretches of creamy white sand, broken only by footprints and the lapping of the cool blue waves. This sought-after beach solitude is the foundation of pure relaxation and offers a stark contrast to East Africa's busier resorts. Complementing the sound of the surf is the oasis of calm surrounding the lagoon, providing an ideal environment for stunning water birds.  Enhancing this watery setting is a lush backdrop of virgin coastal forest. 

Ras Kutani supports, protects and enhances this rare ecosystem which boasts over 132 varieties of trees and is home to four species of monkey.

THE island

This exquisite natural setting is the stuff of Arcadian dreams and literary legend. As a private island, guests share Fanjove only with the abundant resident wildlife, and of course our dedicated staff, who help to deliver the experience of a lifetime.  

Undisturbed, intact coral reef spans for miles; the prolific wildlife includes spinner dolphin, green turtles and humpback whales. On Fanjove, time seems to have no pull, and guests feel privileged to alight upon this pristine island – an unadulterated paradise, still very much as nature intended. Only the 19thcentury lighthouse and some architectural remnants of a former fishing village settlement hint at previous occupation by anything other than wildlife, evoking thoughts of historical discovery, desert island life and adventure.

the accommodation

Six discreet, eco-friendly private bandas are set along the sandy shore in complete harmony with the environment.  

The bandas are A-framed, shaped to resemble a Dhow sail, reflecting the local traditional sailing boats which may break the endless horizons as you gaze out to sea.

Each banda is open at its front to capitalise on the uninterrupted ocean views, which can also be enjoyed from the upstairs balcony. Each has its own en-suite bathroom, open to the sky for showers under the stars. The whole property has been designed to minimize its environmental footprint. Solar power is employed for all the rooms, and the buildings use traditional, natural materials – sustainable wood, mukuti (palm leaves) and thatch.  Simple, stylish and comfortable, and completely in keeping with the unpretentious Fanjove vibe, the accommodation provides the perfect base from which to explore the island, shores and seas.

dining & amenities

An open-air restaurant and lounge area is the perfect focal point at the end of the day, from where to gaze at the starlit skies and appreciate the undisturbed surroundings. Lovely fusion cuisine is served, on elegantly dressed tables on the beach.

The menu reflects the multicultural heritage of the islands and may include outstanding curries or freshly caught fish of the day. For a truly unparalleled experience, private dining in the 19thcentury lighthouse can be arranged


Selous Safari Company took over the management of Fanjove from Essential Destinations in 2018, and we are thrilled to have this exceptional property join our portfolio. Our ethos has always been to offer the best of Tanzania and to cherish and protect its natural assets and Fanjove Private Island is a fitting and valued enhancement to our stable.

We are currently planning an extensive restoration and refurbishment programme which will see the island close from Oct 2019 for improvements. Our intention is to restore the iconic, historic lighthouse for guest use, and to enhance the guest facilities, whilst retaining the unspoilt, peerless nature of this destination. The commitment to sustainability, understatement and deference to the natural environment of the island will remain firmly at its heart.

The island is rented from the nearby Songosongo island and 3% of income from Fanjove reverts to the local community for social development.  

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