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Delta Dunes - Tana River, Kenya

Tana - The Wild Place by the Sea

Less than 3 hours drive north of Malindi, standing high on miles of sand dunes, with sweeping views of the wild beaches of Ufungamana Bay, the Delta Dunes lodge offers Robinson Crusoe-style accommodation with all the comforts of modern living - electricity, cold drinks, hot showers and a swimming pool. Rates include a wide range of activities with boat trips on the estuary, sundowner cruises, game and bird walks with local trackers, channel fishing for rock cod and red snapper, plus sand-yachting, windsurfing and canoeing. Water skiing, sea cruises for snorkelling and more serious fishing are also available at additional cost. With only six cottages the lodge is an oasis of tranquility in a wilderness of water and bush, and will appeal equally to romantics of all ages, seclusion searchers, and those looking for a more active holiday in a pristine environment.

Situated on the outlet of the Tana River, the lodge is shaded by doum palms, baobabs and tamarind trees and looks out to sea across a twenty mile stretch of wide, empty, beach. The lodge also enjoys sweeping views inland, over the extensive estuary of the Tana Delta, which attracts hippo, crocodile and a wide range of other wildlife. The swimming pool, spectacularly positioned above the dunes offers a cool retreat from the sun. The Lodge itself extends over two floors. On the lower floor, is the boutique, reception and massage centre, while on the upper level, on top of the sand dunes, there is a restaurant, a bar, and a lounge sheltered under an open-air pergola with panoramic views.

The easiest way of getting to the Lodge, is by air (using charter aircraft from Nairobi, Lamu or Malindi). The lodge's airstrip is 10 minutes boat ride from the lodge. Alternatively the lodge can be reached by schedule flight from Malindi (2-hour boat road transfer followed by a 2-hour boat trip).

The Tana River
The 708 km Tana River flows through Garissa and Garsen before branching into a huge delta as it enters the Indian Ocean, south of Lamu. Along the last 65 km of its course it has a broad floodplain, and the reserve extends for about 36 km of this course.

Relics of an ancient forest, the last home of two endangered primates
The Tana River Primate Reserve, which is known to the local people as Mchelelo, was formed to protect two endangered species of monkey; the crested mangabey and the Tana River red colobus. It is also one of the last remaining relics of the once massive Central African Lowland Rainforest, but became isolated from the rest of the forest during the seismic eruptions that caused the formation of the Rift Valley. As a result, much of the reserve's flora and fauna are unusual to East Africa and bear traces of ancient links to the Congo Basin forests of the Miocene period.

To help preserve this wonderfully unique environment, "The Lower Delta Conservation Trust" has been founded, and the Lodge is one of its partners, just as the Trust is a partner of the Lodge. For each night spent at the Lodge, a contribution is made to the Community and to the Trust.

The Lodge works in close contact with two local communities, the Orma and Pokomo native tribes, whose members help preserve this delicate ecosystem. The Orma are of Ethiopian descent and are herdsmen, while the Pokomo are farmers and fishermen. Their womenfolk produce splendid handcrafted objects using the leaves of palm trees. The Pokomo also guard the Ozi Forest on the main river, which is a sanctuary for elephants, buffaloes and myriads of other animals.

There are 6 dune cottages all built from driftwood, mangrove poles and thatch. All have both a lounge and a bedroom, and are raised on wooden platforms with matted floors. Completely open, each cottage has wonderful views and enormous double beds shaded with nets (ensuite bathrooms with hot showers and flushed WCs, room service, safes and limited laundry services). Two cottages act as larger family units with two rooms (four guests), one with a king size bed and the other with two singles and ensuite shower and toilet. The all-inclusive format offers full board accommodation with soft drinks, beer, wine at table, and a laundry service.

Dining and bars
The Lodge kitchen offers exquisite food, the prime ingredients being fresh fish and seafood, which is caught daily and brought by the local fishermen to the lodge. Other alternatives are also available and meals can be served privately on the veranda of the cottage.

The lodge welcomes children and can provide family accommodation units, children's meals and activities.

Game and bird-viewing by boat, walking safaris with armed guides, creek fishing, water-skiing, surfing, sand yachting and snorkelling. There are 2 kayaks, 2 sand yachts, 3 motorboats, surfboards for use on sand and water.

High season: 15th July to the end of October - the coolest time and the sea can be a little rough in July. And December to March - warmer with seas calm for snorkeling excursions
Low season: mid April to mid July and November.
Closed: June to 15th July


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