Thanda Group clenches two prestigious travel awards

By Renate Engelbrecht

Thursday, Dec 07

Thanda Group, a family-owned portfolio featuring five-star hospitality, lifestyle and philanthropic experiences across Africa, has just announced its double triumph at the 30th annual World Travel Awards. The group was awarded for the experiences on its private island off the coast of Tanzania, as well as its safari offering in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.

In the prestigious ‘World’ categories – the highest honours in travel and tourism – the Thanda Group secured two victories at the awards’ Grand Final Gala ceremony, which was held at Dubai’s iconic Burj Al Arab on 1 December 2023. Thanda Island in Tanzania earned the title of World’s Leading Exclusive Private Island 2023, while Villa iZulu at Thanda Safari in KwaZulu-Natal was recognized as the World’s Leading Luxury Private Villa 2023.

Dining Villa iZulu Thanda Safari


The World Travel Awards Final Gala ceremony is globally acknowledged as the most esteemed honours program in travel and tourism, attracting industry leaders and VIPs from across the globe. Winners are selected by travel and tourism professionals and leisure travel consumers worldwide, highlighting organisations’ commitment to excellence in the past twelve months.

Pierre Delvaux, CEO of Thanda Group, congratulated Thanda’s owners, Christin and Dan Olofsson of Malmo, Sweden, as well as the leadership team, including Antigone Meda, General Manager of Thanda Island, Imani Mwakosya, Hospitality Manager of Thanda Island, Promise Hlongwane, Guest Relations Manager at Thanda Safari and Bronwyn Smith, Head of Sales for Thanda Group.

Villa iZulu

Delvaux also highlighted Thanda’s reputation for outstanding service excellence, where staff consistently go the extra mile to ensure guests leave with cherished memories. Thanda Island and Villa iZulu at Thanda Safari are lauded as exceptional world-class destinations, known for delivering that ‘wow factor’ that entices guests to return time and time again.

Furthermore, he also raised his hat to all Thanda staff who contributed to this incredible recognition and gave a nod to the World Travel Awards for consistently acknowledging these unique destinations.

Both Thanda Safari and Thanda Island are situated within their private reserves, emphasising a strong commitment to community and conservation. Both destinations offer discerning guests a diverse range of expert-led wildlife and marine-based activities, as well as the opportunity to participate in conservation initiatives.

Thanda Island, within Tanzania’s Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve, offers absolute exclusivity for families and friends on a sole-use basis. Featuring a five-bedroom villa, beach chalets, a glass rim-flow swimming pool, a boat house with water activity equipment, a tennis court, gym, yoga deck and an outdoor cocktail bar, it combines tropical beach-house living with ocean adventures.

Thanda Safari KZN South Africa

Thanda Safari provides an authentic South African wildlife experience with year-round excellent game viewing. Big Five game drives, specialised bush walks, wildlife conservation activities and Zulu cultural tours into rural communities offer meaningful insights and a rewarding African experience. Villa iZulu, available for exclusive use, accommodates up to 10 guests and includes a library/cigar lounge, wine cellar, playroom, heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi, outdoor boma and even a helicopter pad. It’s truly the ultimate luxury safari experience. Fully serviced with a dedicated staff complement, this 900sqm villa is set within a beautiful, fully fenced garden.


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