Where to go

Mainland Coast

The small coves and beaches along the coast from the capital are some of the best in Africa...

Ras Kutani - dinner on the beach
Ras Kutani - dinner on the beach

For those looking for a bit of rest and relaxation close to the city then the small inlets and secluded beaches that run to the south are just the ticket. While most of the resorts and lodges here don't offer diving, what they do offer is great value for money and total seclusion, away from the madding crowds on nearby Zanzibar. Quite often used in an itinerary for a few nights at the start of an itinerary to relax into a trip, they constitute a good alternative to resorts on Zanzibar.

Driving south from Dar es Salaam the journey starts with a trip across the harbour using the old chain link ferry that carries ten or so cars on a trip. This simple and relatively basic way of getting across is the reason why these beaches have remained secluded and isolated for as long as they have, and it has been a blessing in disguise for the lodges that are down here. Once rugged and untouched jungle that ran right to the water's edge, the unkempt coastline that runs from Dar right down to Kilwa and on into Mozambique, is still one of the last regions to see a large influx of tourism and lodges. Partly due to the lack of a main artery road, but also as this area has never been seen as a good investment in favour of the nearby Zanzibar, the small luxury lodges that are in this region are a real delight. Unlike the beaches of Zanzibar, the beaches here are of yellow, soft sand rather than the white coral sand of the islands...but this is not a drawback at all. Considering that the entire beach is yours and yours alone it is a real luxury worth making the effort to come for.

Best time to visit the Mainland Coast:

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Where to go in Mainland Coast:

Our top five hotels & lodges in Mainland Coast: