Beach Bliss at Ras Kutani
Sarah Walker, one of our guests, describes her time at Ras Kutani which exceeded all expectations. From white sand beaches to ample bird watching opportunities, Ras Kutani has something for everyone in order to help you to escape the hustle and bustle of every day life and re-charge your batteries.
An experienced driver met us at Dar es Salaam airport and transferred us 25km south of the heavily traffic congested city to Ras Kutani, a tranquil and perfect beach retreat where you cannot help but de-stress and shake off the manicals of urban and city life.
The warm welcome that we received from Dutch managers, Bas and Suzanne (previously from Siwandu) and their smiling staff made you want to kick off your shoes and relax from the moment of arrival. In fact, it was easier to walk along the soft, silky white sand paths between your chalet to the main open lounge and dining area and down to the beach, barefoot than to wear sandals. Cement water baths are positioned at the entrance of all the buildings and the swimming pool surrounds so there is never any chance of carrying sand into these areas or into your chalet.
Being particularly interested in birding, we ventured into the natural forest behind the resort fairly early in the morning. The number of beautiful butterflies was extraordinary and whilst the forest birding was challenging, we did manage to record 34 species but no coastal birds whatsoever. Perhaps they will be back later in the year. What was most prolific though, were the hundreds of dragonflies that hovered around like miniature helicopters, their delicate wings glistening in the sunshine.
A seven kilometre beach walk was the order of the day, with very little pedestrian movement apart from the scurrying legs of ghost crabs that sought the safety of their sandy burrows. We passed a turtle egg incubation area which becomes operational in September once the eggs have been laid on the local and neighbouring beaches. The collection of eggs by local fishermen is encouraged in order to increase the number of turtles. Freshly laid eggs are brought to this fenced off incubation holding station so that they can develop without being dug up by monitor lizards and other predators like dogs. Incubation takes about two months. Once the turtles hatch, they are released into the sea.
Juma, the head chef has been at Ras Kutani for over twenty years, and amongst other choices, has a fine repertoire of seafood meals to offer. The uber fresh Red Roman fish was cooked to perfection as well as the platter of mixed crayfish tails, calamari and prawns which we had served to us at a table on the beach near a bonfire which had been lit prior to our knock-out pre-dinner, freshly squeezed, lime Margherita cocktails!
Curious vervet and gentle Sykes monkeys were in camp by day and bush babies called from the tree tops at night. The continuous sound of the waves breaking gently on the beach lulled one to sleep, only to be woken refreshed, with the expectation of another day of beach bliss.