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    Tana Delta Dune Lodge, Tana River Kenya and Tana Delta Dune Camp Africa

    "You've got to be mad to build on sand dunes," is what any sane person would say, but here the near-impossible has been achieved, and the result is one of the most spectacularly located lodges in East Africa. The large, open-sided bandas are spread over different levels across the tops of a number of high dunes looking down on epic scenes that take in the river, the ocean, and the tops of yet more dunes. The Crusoe-style bungalows are completely open to the elements, with extraordinary views; the absence of doors and windows means that they're kept fresh by a cooling breeze that circulates. They're beautifully decorated using mostly shells, sculptural pieces of wood and lovely Swahili fabrics. Large chunks of driftwood have been fashioned into pillars and furniture, with shells for decoration and cushions for sprawling on. This is a magical place to come if you favor a more active beach holiday; you can venture along the beach for miles, chancing upon local fishermen (you may even spot lion paws in the sand or see yellow baboons hunting for crabs on the shore), or cruise the waterways by boat looking for game and birds, watching crocs practically dive into the water from the river banks while bulbous hippos wallow in the brackish river fringes. If you're very lucky, you might get to see elephants crossing the river below the Delta Dune lodges.

     

    In the lounge bar at night before dinner, genet cats and bush babies come, as if tame, to take food from your hands, or if the wind is calm, you can dine under the stars beside the pool, watching as the dunes glow under the moonlight. From thirty miles of private beach to virgin wilderness of the hinterland, Tana Delta Lodge is incomparable, set on the sand dunes where an outlet of the Tana River flows into the Indian Ocean, Tana Delta is set in a unique location where the African bush meets the Indian Ocean, Beachcombing safari expeditions are interspersed with bird watching safaris, boat trips down the maze of the Delta channels. You can surf the waves in the mornings, stalk buffalo in the afternoon, go fishing one day and water-ski the next, this pure wilderness is remote, unexploited and very different, the wild place by the sea. It is the only way to explore the incredible Tana delta and its unique & diverse wetlands and at the same time, enjoy thirty five kilometer of vast uninterrupted & uninhabited beach, Recharge your mind & body & soul in this awesome & exciting place. From thirty miles of private beach to virgin wilderness of the hinterland, "One of 50 Great Green Places to Stay Worldwide," Responsible Tourism Awards, London Times, Delta Dunes Camp has been welcoming adventurous guests for over two decades. In 2008, a complete renovation combined the Delta Dune lodges signature "castaway" style with first-class comforts and amenities.

     

    Delta Dune is a community-based safari lodge is managed by Kenyans and local staff, who know and love the Tana River delta and are proud to share this little corner of paradise with you. It is currently managed by Africa safaris and Adventures, which represents a select few intimate and exclusive safari lodges and safari camps in Kenya. For over 25 years, the Africa safaris and Adventures stamp of approval has indicated a particularly high standard of accommodation, cuisine and personal service. For guests interested in a Kenya safari after their time at the beach, New Africa safaris and Adventures provides custom travel itineraries to sister camps in Meru National Park and the unparalleled Masai Mara game reserve. Delta Dunes Lodge or Tana Delta Dune Lodge lies on a remote stretch of the Kenya coast midway between Malindi and Lamu. The lodge has an elevated position in the sand dunes at the mouth of the Tana River, offering views out over the Indian Ocean, as well as onto the Tana Delta Wetlands, which are a newly established Conservation Area. Delta Dunes lodge is less than 3 hours drive north of Malindi and stands high on miles of sand dunes, with sweeping views of the wild beaches of Ufungamana Bay. The Delta Dunes Camp Kenya offers Robinson Crusoe-style accommodation with all the comforts of modern living - electricity, cold drinks, hot showers and a swimming pool. To one side of Delta Dunes Lodge, the Tana River winds slowly into the bush, a rare wetland home to hippo, basking crocodiles and rainbows of birds. To the other side of Delta Dunes, is the deserted beachfront which stretches for 50km along the Indian Ocean. Each of the seven open-fronted Delta Dune cottages – built from driftwood and cooled by the ocean breezes – has a private view of this striking panorama, to be enjoyed from the veranda, sun-filled shower or enormous Swahili bed. The cottages nestle amongst the spreading doum palms which provide welcome shade during the heat of the day. By day, guests can race sand yachts, explore the shade-dappled creeks by kayak or simply settle into a hammock by the pool. In the evening there are sunset river cruises to see hippos and crocodiles basking in the shallows, followed by cocktails on the beach and a candlelit dinner of freshly-caught seafood under the stars. Delta Dunes is a community-based lodge managed by Kenyans and local staff, who know and love the Tana River delta and are proud to share this little corner of paradise with their guests. To protect this rare and fragile ecosystem, Delta Dunes and the Tana River Delta community have established the Lower Tana River Delta Conservation Trust. Together, they are setting up over 150,000 acres of conservancy, to be owned and managed by the local Orma and Pokomo people. For every visitor, the Delta Dunes lodge donates a conservation fee to the Trust, which supports education, employment and medical facilities for its 13,000 members living in the Tana River Delta.

     

    Guests at Delta Dunes Camp Kenya are welcome to meet these incredible Tana River tribesmen and explore the Tana River delta by boat, kayak or guided walking safari. Delta Dunes camp Tana river is lucky to be set on one of the few pristine, untouched stretches of coast remaining in Kenya. Accommodation is in seven open-fronted Delta Dune cottages these have been built from driftwood and are naturally cooled by the ocean breeze. Each cottage has a private veranda with striking panoramic views of either the Tana River or the Indian Ocean, also to be enjoyed from the sun-filled shower or the enormous Swahili bed. Two of the cottages have two bedrooms with a sitting room so they sleep four people and are ideal for families. The rooms are simply decorated with shells, bits of old dhow and vibrant glass and there is a beach basket providing colorful kikoi wraps and pillows for use on a trip to the beach. There are 5 rooms and 2 family cottages which sleep 4 in two connected rooms and have 2 private bathrooms. Delta Dunes has no specific facilities for children but is ideal for the adventurous family, with loads of water sports and activities and staff on hand to help. They also have two two-bedroom family cottages, which have a large shared sitting area, The Delta Dunes Kenya has a swimming pool to relax around during the heat of the day. The top lounge is positioned high in the dunes and is a favourite for dining and relaxing with stunning panoramic views. The chef prepares delicious meals using fresh ingredients from Tana River Delta - all the sea food is caught daily. Dinner is taken in the open sided lounge areas in the dunes or down on the river sand under the stars, Activities take place on the beach, in the ocean or along the Tana River.

     

    Guests can enjoy tranquil river cruises offering great game viewing, alternatively take a kayak to explore the many shaded creeks and see hippos and crocodiles basking in the shallows whilst spotting some of the 400 species of birds. The river is teeming with snapper, rock cod, catfish and barracuda. Wake boarding is also a popular activity along the flat waters of the delta. Sand yacht racing is a popular activity with 50km of pristine beach and sea breezes abounding. Delta Dunes is closed June - July 15. The rainy season on the Kenyan Coast is generally May/June. So from July onward the weather is gradually getting hotter and dryer until March/April when it reaches the high 90's (over 40 degrees C). Christmas New Year is generally considered the peak season and the weather is lovely then with constant sunshine and gentle off shore breezes. If you want clear seas for diving then make your trip after August/Sept. Lamu and Malindi are served by short daily flights from Nairobi. Delta Dune lodge is happy to arrange a transfer from Malindi. From the Malindi airport, it is a 2-hour drive and a 20-minute boat ride to the Tana River delta. Guests also have the option of chartering a plane or helicopter directly to Delta Dunes from Lamu or Malindi, a short scenic flight along the coast. Charter flights may be arranged through the Delta Dune lodge. At low tide, flights can land directly on the beach.

     

    Delta Dunes Camp Accommodation

     

    The wild place at the sea, at the old mouth Kenya’s mighty Tana River, Delta Dune lodge sits high atop windswept dunes. Nestled among the palms, Delta Dune looks out upon an unparalleled landscape – lush, wild and utterly unique. Tranquil Wetlands - the only wetlands of it’s type in Eastern Africa with incredible birdlife and shade dappled creeks & wetlands full of aquatic life with large numbers of hippos and basking crocodiles. Endless miles of vast uninhabited beach that is wild and exciting and extremely beautiful……all to yourself. - Miles of rolling rippling sand dunes sit overlooking the creek on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other, fantastic views and exciting game tracking through the sand in the early mornings. Delta Dunes Lodge Africa consists of 7 huge split-level rooms hugging a massive coastal dune with views over the Tana Delta estuary and the Indian Ocean. The rooms are very breezy which is a very welcome as this region can get quite hot. Some of the rooms are a long way up the hill, with many steep steps to be negotiated. The all-wood constructed rooms are lit day and night with mains power. It is a rustic but magnificent lodge; Delta Dunes has seven cottages facing the Tana Delta or the Indian Ocean, each with its own individual charm. The cottages and en-suite bathrooms are open fronted to enjoy the beautiful expansive view, and have everything you need – bring only your toothbrush! The top mess area has 360° views perfect for breakfast after a walk on the beach, as well as lunch and sundowners... and the bottom mess enshrouded by doum palm and baobab trees is perfect for candle-lit suppers and teatime before fishing and sundowner cruises, Completely open, each cottage has wonderful views and enormous double beds shaded with nets (en suite 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 en suite shower and toilet. The all-inclusive format offers full board accommodation with soft drinks, beer, wine at table, and a laundry service. The location! There is nothing else like it... the Tana Delta is a unique wetland that has just been designated as a Ramsar wetland site. This ecologically important area is well worth exploring - and you can visit the projects the lodge works on with the Lower Tana Delta Conservation Trust in order to conserve this amazing wetland! The perfect place to escape to...

     

    Delta Dunes Lodge 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, you will enjoy a great brunch at 1000A including fresh fruit, porridge, sweet rolls, muesli, toast, and for the omnivores eggs to order with sausage, bacon etc. If you could manage, there were some beans and a mixed green salad as well. One of the highlights of your stay at Delta Dunes is a visit to a nearby Orma village. It was a novel experience for anyone: enjoying sweet chai in one of the villagers' homes is not something we do every day. Spend some time in the tiny school building, where a single teacher was doing his best with 40 children in two groups. You will be thrilled to observe a group of Orma women dancing, their colorful native dress making it quite a spectacle.

     

    Tana Delta Camp is less of a conventional beach lodge and more of a marine safari location. The remote location is absolutely stunning, the eco-systems fascinating and hosting is really elegant and sensitive. The Tana River is one of Kenya's top paddling rivers, with high quality white water runs and stretches of flat water for novices. The river is highly accessible, being only a 60-mile drive from Nairobi, and offers spectacular scenery and a wealth of wildlife. The river delta, on the Indian Ocean, is a beautiful wilderness area with scrubland and deserted beaches. Kayaking courses at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels are available from White Water Kenya (whitewaterkenya.com), based near Sagana, which also offers multi-day guided expeditions. Other good kayaking rivers include the Mathioya, which is very extreme and technical, with continuous Class III and IV rapids, so is only suitable for expert paddlers, and the Athi River, which boasts the full gamut of water conditions from mild Class II to exciting class V. You can kayak 300 miles from Thika to the Indian Ocean with some short portages.

     

    Tana River Information

     

    The Tana delta is the name loosely given to the flood-plain ecosystem of the lower Tana river, a vast wetland complex on the Kenyan coast. The delta is roughly triangular in shape, with its apex at Lake Bilisa (north of Garsen) and its base a 50 km stretch of beach along Ungwana (or Formosa) Bay, stretching from Kipini in the north-east to Mto Kilifi in the south-west. This low-lying area is bounded by higher land to the east and west, and to the south by a dune system bordering the Indian Ocean. It forms the interface between the river and the ocean, with fresh and brackish lakes and streams, freshwater and saline grasslands and wetlands, and successional stages of forest and woodland on the riverbanks and the dune ridges parallel to the shore. The mouth of the river has shifted many times. Today, the main stream of the Tana follows an artificial course, directly into an estuary at Kipini, rather than into the complex system of channels and distributaries leading to its old mouth at Mto Tana. Until recently, some fresh water still flowed into the ‘old’ delta through one of these channels, the Kalota Brook. However, since 1988 a small dam has blocked this, built by Pokomo farmers, who use the tidal bore to push fresh water into their fields and irrigate their crops. Alluvial sediments cover the entire flood-plain in the lower parts. Flooding happens as a result of rain in the river’s catchment on Mount Kenya (IBA KE005) and the Aberdare mountains (KE001). Normally, the major floods occur in April–May, with a smaller, short-rains flooding in October–November. The timing, extent and duration of the flooding vary greatly from year to year.

     

    The Tana river delta contains a very wide variety of habitats, including riverine forest, grassland, woodland, bush land, lakes, mangroves, dunes, beaches, estuaries and coastal waters. Small fragments of riverine forest, not nearly as extensive as the forests north of Garsen (see KE023), occur along the present or former river courses. Seasonally flooded flood-plain grasslands cover c.67,000 ha of the delta. West of the flood-plain is a diverse bushland. Wooded bush land or grassland, with fire-resistant tree species, occupies a broad swathe east of the flood-plain, merging into the Boni forest vegetation to the north. Other bush land associations form a complex mosaic with the flood-plain grasslands. Parallel to the coast along Ungwana Bay run lines of high dunes, some as much as 37 m above the sea. These are covered by their own distinctive vegetation, a dense thicket dominated by Dombeya sp. and Grewia similis. In the valleys the thicket mingles with taller trees, including various palms. Palms are prominent in many places. In some areas, especially those cleared and burned in the past, these form substantial tracts of palm-bushed grassland. Tall mangrove forest grows at Kipini in the Tana estuary and along the network of channels further south. As well as seasonal wetlands in the oxbows and flood-plain depressions, the delta contains a number of near-permanent lakes and marshes. Some of these may dry out in certain years, but others, like Lake Shakababo and Bilisa, maintain true aquatic plants and good populations of several species of fish. Luo and Luhya immigrants to the area are responsible for an active and thriving fishery, while Orma pastoralists use the wetlands as dry-season grazing areas for their livestock. Fishermen also camp for days or weeks, while catching, salting and drying fish, on the coral outcrops of Mwamba Ziwayuu, c.10 km offshore from Kipini. The other main ethnic group in the area, the Pokomo, are agriculturalists who cultivate a narrow strip on either side of the river, and around the seasonal and permanent wetlands. As the floods start to recede, rice is planted in the shallow water. Several crops of rice follow the water as its level drops, and other crops, such as maize and sweet potatoes, are planted on the drying mud. There is also an irrigation scheme growing rice in traditional style at Ozi, near Kipini, and a much larger, mechanized one upstream, east of Garsen, that is eventually intended to cover as much as 16,000 ha.

     

    Delta Dunes Lodge Prices information

     

    Delta Dunes Lodge has a stunning setting with views of miles of wide, empty beaches out to sea and inland over the vast Tana estuary. There are 60km of 'private' beach, you won't find discos, prostitutes and beach boys pestering you here! The lodge offers wildlife viewing by boat and guided walking and birding safaris. Other activities include kayaking, sand yachting, waterskiing, snorkeling, fishing and walking along the deserted beaches, or you can relax by the pool and enjoy views of the creek below. Meals are served in the thatched dining area and make great use the fresh local seafood. Sun downers can be enjoyed down by the creek. Note that you need to be fairly mobile for a stay here as there are plenty of steps and climbing on and off of boats and jetties! We would recommend a minimum stay of 3 nights to enable you to immerse yourself into the environment and make the most of the range of activities and exploring the area. If there was ever a place that made you feel like you were approaching an adventure, this is it. If you fly in, and depending on tides, your plane will either land on the beach one side of the Delta Dunes Lodge, or in the wild bush on the other side. Both will leave you slightly breathless and yet it is not until you see the accommodation perched on top of the sand dunes that you know you have arrived somewhere remarkable. The dunes themselves are stunning but it is the remoteness of Delta Dunes that distinguishes it.

     

    Here you really can walk down a 20-mile stretch of beach and not see another tourist. A conservation fee is paid to the Community for every guest that stays at the Lodge to improve the standard of living, education, employment and medical facilities in the area. After some thorough consideration Delta Dunes Lodge has decided to drop its rack rates. The believe that taking this action will make the camp more financially accessible to a wider demographic including the younger generation and young families. The rate changes include: Per person sharing Adult has changed from $550 to $300 per night A single room has changed from $650 to $360 per night Conservation fees have also all changed from $60 to $50 for adults and $30 to $25 for children per night. The high standards at the lodge will be maintained but alcohol and some activities are now excluded from their rates. They will offer the option for an all-frills and inclusive package if desired. Remote unexploited & very different, the wild place by the sea. It is the only way to explore the incredible tana delta & its unique & diverse wetlands and at the same time, enjoy 35kms of vast uninterrupted & uninhabited beach. Recharge your mind & body & soul in this awesome & exciting place.

     

    Combining Safari and Beach Information

     

    If you're looking for sun-kissed Africa beach holidays beneath a cloudless sky, then head to the east coast of Kenya: to the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya and their tropical islands. Do you prefer a huge beach hotel or a small, remote beach lodge; a private and quiet spot on the beach, or being close to the high life with a lot of bars and restaurants; a highly luxurious hideaway, or convenient accommodation beside the beach?! We can help you in combining a Kenya safari with relaxation, the pairing of a safari to Kenya with an idyllic beach holiday escape is a popular choice, particularly amongst couples and honeymooners. And many beach extension destinations are just a short flight away. Waking before dawn in the heart of the bush with a full itinerary planned for the day ahead could not be more different from lazy mornings spent lounging on glistening sands, and this is exactly why the combination works so well. Hot-air balloon flights at sunrise, Big Five viewing, bush breakfasts, snorkeling in crystal clear waters, cocktails on the beach at sunset, falling asleep to the sound of the waves lapping the shore – this is a twin centre holiday that’s hard to beat. Kenya’s tropical coastline around Mombasa and the exotic island of Lamu Island are both excellent options for a beach stay following a safari in Kenya or Tanzania.

     

    Just a short flight transports you from safari heaven to dreamy beaches, with a range of accommodation from affordable hotels featured in our value range to world class luxury retreats. Twin-destination beach and safari are a great way to maximize your holiday to Kenya time and when it comes to combining excitement, adventure and relaxation, a safari beach vacation is a great choice. Generally, the vast majority of couples choose to go on the safari part of their honeymoon first, leaving a week or so at the end of their holiday to flop on a beach. Kenya Safaris are exciting and exhilarating because to the early starts required for morning game drives. They’re also low-key (most lodges aren’t the place for stilettos and glamorous dining), dusty (game drives leave you a little windswept) and intimate (many Kenya lodges offer communal dining) so may not suit everyone. However, going on safari is also one of the most incredible experiences you’ll ever have. There is nothing quite like seeing wild animals in their natural habitat and a good safari will remain with you forever.

     


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