In Summary
  • This castaway-style lodge sits high among sand dunes and doum palms in the heart of the Tana River Delta, along the wide concave stretch of coast between Malindi and Lamu.
  • It’s not the easiest of lodges to get to, but it’s certainly worth the journey.

As Kenya develops, and its population grows, it has become harder to find places that feel truly remote.

It doesn’t take much to spoil the impression of isolation: a communication tower on the horizon, say, or the faint drone of distant traffic. So it’s a lot more special on those few occasions when I do come across a location that provides a genuine sense of solitude. One of those occasions was last weekend, and the location was the H12 Delta Dunes lodge.

This castaway-style lodge sits high among sand dunes and doum palms in the heart of the Tana River Delta, along the wide concave stretch of coast between Malindi and Lamu. Its seven thatched cottages offer spectacular views of the river on one side, the Indian Ocean on the other, or both. Whether you look out towards the beach, or inland across the mangrove forests of the delta, there’s very little sign of human habitation, save a few fishermen drifting in their canoes.

It’s not the easiest of lodges to get to, but it’s certainly worth the journey. After our flight to Malindi, my fiancée and I were picked up by one of the lodge managers, Kelly, and were driven north about an hour up the coast.

We then turned off the main road and followed a murram track towards Tarassa, before skirting the Tana River and navigating a sticky stretch of black cotton soil to the delta. Here we swapped our little taxi for a boat, and weaved our way downriver to the lodge.

CLEVERLY FASHIONED

Delta Dunes forms part of the ‘H12 Art of Life’ global collection of ‘art and lifestyle hotels’. Other properties in the collection in Kenya are Elephant Gorge Camp in Amboseli and Kipalo Hills Tented Camp on the edge of Tsavo West. Each of their properties draws inspiration from 12 local and international artists, hence the rather unusual name.

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