The island of Mbudya lies north of Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam, which is uninhabited and one of the four islands within the Dar es Salaam Marine Reserve. This stunning island in the middle of the Indian Ocean feels like the Zanzibar of Dar Es Salaam. Featuring white sandy beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters, Mbudya Island is the perfect destination when you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Dar es Salaam. This island is ideal for sunbathing, snorkelling, swimming, and just hanging out on the beach with friends.
I’ve been blessed to visit the beautiful island of Mbudya island twice. Because of my love for bringing people together, I decided to organise a day trip there for my friends. My friends all the way from South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and America came through and it was a vibe. If you’re interested in taking a day trip to Mbudya island, this guide provides an overview of things you need to know when you visit.
How To Get To Mbudya Island?
Mbudya Island is only a 20 minute boat ride from the mainland of Dar es Salaam. To get the local speed boat from Dar es Salaam to Mbudya Island, you need to head to Kibo beach or Jangwani sea breeze resort in the Mbezi area and find a local boatman to pay the Mbudya island government fees and boat fees.
Boats are available every half hour. There are many different sizes depending on how many people you’re coming with. The large boats can hold 40 people. The boat journey can be a bit choppy. If you tend to get seasick easily, take some sea sickness tablets beforehand.
What Are The Costs?
To visit Mbudya Island, you will be required to pay government fees towards islands maintenance and boat fees.
The cost of the government fees in Tanzania is 2400 Tanzanian Shillings (Tsh) for Tanzanian residents and 27000 Tsh for foreigners, which is £8.38 or $11.64. The boat fees are 10k Tsh, which is £3.11 or $4.31.
On the island, there are Bandas (thatched huts) with tables and seats available to rent on the beach for 15k Tsh (£4.66 / $6.47). You can get seafood, chicken, and drinks on the island, but I suggest you bring your own snacks, drinks, and speakers to play music. Lobster and chips cost 30k Tsh (£9.33 / $12.94), chicken and chips are 15k Tsh (£4.66 / $6.47).
Travel Smart Tip: Bring a cooler with ice to keep drinks nice and cold.
Tips To Make The Most Of Your Trip To Mbudya Island
- With the last boat leaving the island leaving at 7 pm, you will have more than enough time to catch the sunset before you leave.
- Pack essential items with you. Some items on my island packing list are sunscreen, sunglasses, mini portable handheld fan, swimwear, waterproof bag, swim shoes and my own snorkelling equipment.
- Plan the day trip around the weather so you can avoid a rainy day or very cloudy weather.
- Avoid bringing DSLR cameras and drones as there is a hefty fine you have to pay on the island if you haven’t been granted permission and paid a fee. A good smartphone is all you need to capture the content!
We really enjoyed and brought the vibes to the island! Would you go to Mbudya island?
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