Monday, 30 April 2007

The most Beautiful Beaches and Lodges South of Dar es Salaam








Turtles hatching and rushing into the sea - a regular sight at South Beach, Ras Kutani and Amani Beach, due to a respective protection project ongoing! A little great wonder of life.
Sunset at Ras Kiroko

Amani Beach Hotel

With elements of Swahili architecture, Amani Beach Hotel is less secluded than below described Ras Kutani, but shares the same generous beach. Child policy welcomes kids of any age, there is a nice swimming pool, cottages are spacious even though a bit darkish, and food is good: with candle light at white set tables under the archades it makes for a very nice dinner setting. And the hotel provides babysitters for parents to have a moment on their own, if wished so. Tel. 0754 41 00 33 (the hotel no longer is a Protea Hotel);



Kim Beach in Gezaulole

The village of Gezaulole, 13km South of the Kigamboni Ferry across Dar’s port (keep straight on the dirt track after the butterfly shaped sign of Kipepeo Beach, instead of following the tarmac road turning slightly right; you can also reach Gezaulole by public Dala Dala bus bound for Kimbiji) hosts a Cultural Tourism Programme, a camp site Akida’s Garden, and a great Beach with some Makuti roof shelters you can rent for a fee of 1’500TzSh per person and day, for a bucket of water, a waste bin and clean toilets in return. It is also possible to stay overnight on the beach camping. Valeriani, the chief guard of Kim Beach (Tel. 0756 27 78 05), present most week ends busy caring for the visitors, can provide a night guard and even fire wood for a barbeque in the sand. He also can organize for Dhow trips on Sinda Island. However, despite Valeriani’s presence be attentive to thieves and look your valuables into the car.
Have a close look at the little saint forest to the right of the camp site – well hidden under the trees are some Swahili graves preserved. Unfortunately, due to the destruction of the reefs out in the sea (on Sundays, when the guards of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism are on leave, too, you can observe the water fountain and hear the sound of dynamite fishing) more and more forest is destroyed during high tide, and one day in the not so distant future even these ancient graves will be gone.
Gezaulole is a Zaramo word meaning “try and see”. Zaramo people, the initial founders of the village, have been living along the coast for many centuries. When Arab settlers arrived in the 16th century, the village became a centre for merchants dealing in with ivory, hides and slaved bound for Zanzibar and beyond. During Tanzania’s Ujamaa, period, the village was chosen as one of the pilote settlements: people were relocated to the area in order to create a concentrated agricultural zone. The Name of Gezaulole became a new meaning: “try and see” how villager could develop their lives under the new socialistic policy of Nyerere. It turned out into a devastating experiment turning Tanzania into a country highly dependent from food imports to feed its growing population.


Ras Kutani

“There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep ea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more”

The Beach resort of Ras Kutani (Prior bookings with Selous Safari Company in Dar es Salaam, Tel. 022 213 48 02 or 212 84 85; e-mail: safari@selous.com; www.selous.com are absolutely essential as drive in guests are not welcome; fares are 99US$ for residents per person and night) , located 35km South of Dar es Salaam (follow the tarmac road from Kigamboni ferry South, until it turns into a wide dirt road; After 29km from the ferry, a sign post towards the left indicates the turn off to Amani Beach; follow this sign post, and finally the sign posts for Ras Kutani) in coastal forest, next to a beautiful sweet water lagoon and on a long, completely unspoilt beach great for early morning runs or late afternoon walks is special: the tranquillity of the place, the secluded cottages constructed of organic, local materials that harmonise perfectly with the natural surroundings, the individual hides on the beach, and if you are lucky dinner served on your own little platform into the lagoon, the perfect little shortbread served early morning to your cottage with hot coffee or tea all make the little difference and attention to give the visitor the feeling of being important and unique, allowing to forget about daily life in the bustling and hot city of Dar es Salaam instantaneously.


About Ras Kiroko see separate post.

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