I left you rushing out so let me continue with what happened next at Beho Beho before speaking of the beach where we have headed next.
The rains had finally given us a bit of a break and the soil was able to dry up a bit so we could all finally go on a walking safari! One of the activities for which Beho Beho is very well known and enjoys a great reputation. Guests can either leave from the camp and be picked up later on by the vehicles (walk-drive) or if they want to explore a bit far away areas they drive to a spot and then walk around that area (drive-walk) or again they can leave and come back directly to the camp. Many options!
We took off in single line and in complete silence guided by our armed ranger and … it was magic to feel the bush and pay attention to all the sounds and details. You certainly feel very vulnerable when out of the car and all your senses quickly awaken! We heard hippos chatting and actually “met” two solitary big boys, we were curiously studied for a long time by six giraffes, we saw a fresh track of a leopard, we walked past a large group of baboons, we saw many birds and as it is the case with the area around Beho Beho we admired the beauty of the varied landscape: forest, river, plain, dry river beds etc. The walk ended at the location of the bushnight tents – with a minimum of four nights and a supplement of usd 350 per person, up to four guests at a time can have a very private programme for themselves, alone in the bush under the protection of the armed ranger who sleeps nearby. Needless to say that all comforts are there and that this night out is very very much loved by honey-mooners and couples. The traditional Moroccan style tents will be replaced probably by a platform in the trees… you will be updated soon!
And the last evening in the bush was accompanied by a very special aperitif: as a surprise to the European agents, Africa-Reps offered a few bottles of Champagne!
The evening was also quite “special” but this time in an unplanned way: the early rains had woken up the surrounding life and for about 10-20 minutes we witnessed the flight of the termite kings and queens who in millions fly around looking for their mate in order to start up a new colony and a new termite mound. I had read about it in books and also seen in the great documentary by D.Attenborough “Castles of Clay” but it was amazing to witness it!
And after the 3 days in the bush, surrounded by the many nuances of green, here we have arrived at the beach, with all its blues and greens and its relaxed pace. We all could experience how nice it is to combine bush and beach, very different products but naturally complementing one another. And when you combine Selous Game Reserve with Zanzibar these two worlds are only a one hour flight apart.
Zanzibar is known all over the world as the Spice Island and has a very rich history of trade, so a visit of the capital, Stone Town, can be very nicely included in a cultural itinerary. Zanzibar is part of the United Republic of Tanzania but in fact it enjoys its autonomy and is very different from the mainland. The moment you arrive at the international airport of Zanzibar you feel you are in a tropical island where the rhythm is very pole pole 🙂
Since the 90s the island has become synonymous with great beach holidays and many hotels have been built in the last 15 years. Kilindi not only is quite new (it opened in 2009 but joined the Elewana Collection only in May 2010), it is also unique and very special.
It is located on the north coast of the island, slightly to the west of Nungwi and south of Kendwa, right on a tranquil beach and enjoying a private area of 50 acres or 20 hectares for only 15 villas and a maximum of 30 guests + 4 children. The transfer from the airport takes approximately 1 hour and is all on a tarmac road apart from the last 5 minutes.
The moment you set your foot in the hotel you realize you are in a different place and bound to live something unique, not just “another” beach holiday. First of all it is a triumph of colours gently blending into one another and into the architecture of the place: the blue of the sea and sky, the green of the vegetation, the white of the buildings and paths.
It is indeed the perfect retreat for couples, honeymooners, people who want to get away from it all, guests who like excellent service combined with privacy, persons who need a break to recharge, pampered with good food and a very good spa!
All this space and so little guests means that you hardly meet the other guests, also because most of them like to spend as much time as possible in the privacy of their exclusive villa complete with a garden, a living area and one or two plunge pools. Each villa is surrounded by walls and measures approximately 300 square meters, it is made up of three “areas” (bedroom, living-room and bathroom) and offers: a sultan-size double-bed (it can be turned into 2 nearby twin beds), a fan, an “airconditioned bed” (NEW!), a safe, a walkie-talkie, a minibar, a hairdrier, bathrobes, slippers, solar heated hot water and 24 hours electricity. By next autumn free wi-fi will be extended from the main areas to the individual villas too. Two villas are for families, meaning that there is an extra room with two Zanzibari-style beds for children (normally we recommend maximum 12-15 years of age). No standard villa can have a third bed added.
The main areas are made up of spacious open rooms and there is no official restaurant, the idea in fact is to arrange meals as per the guests desires: in their villa, on the beach, at the main infinity swimming-pool, under the mango tree, up on the terrace or in the shisha room. There is no schedule for meals either, guests decide what suits them best. Since last December the Chef is Adriaan van Niekerk, originally from South Africa and with great experience in deluxe properties in Africa and in the Indian Ocean islands. We all loved his dishes and his presentations!
Kilindi like all the other Elewana properties in Tanzania is on an all-inclusive formula (meals and drinks included), however premium drinks, champagne and special wines are on one’s account. Snorkel equipment and canoes (single and doubles) can be used free of charge but all the other sports activities (fishing, snorkelling, diving, kite-surfing etc), massages and treatments, and all the island excursions can be booked but are extra. At Kilindi Visa and MasterCard credit cards are accepted.
Plans for the future months include: the opening of a curio shop (probably it will happen in November and it will be near the main area; for now convenience items like sun lotion and toiletries and cigarettes are available upon request) and the building of a third path to the beach from the main swimming-pool area.
Before I forget, it is important to say that Kilindi is not the place for guests who have problems with steps, who do not enjoy the barefoot luxury atmosphere, who do not enjoy a close contact with nature, who look for an active holiday and for social life.
This afternoon we are off for a nice dhow excursion along the coast towards the north to snorkel a bit and to allow agents to see what the coast is like nowadays. They have to realize what a privilege it is to be at Kilindi with all this space and tranquil beachfront … the agents on the fam trip last October came back saying “Kilindi for ever!” and I agree Kilindi is pure magic and cannot not create the “wow effect” when anybody sees and experiences it!
This is my last blog for this trip … unfortunately tomorrow it is time to go home, bid farewell to this wonderful group of agents and get ready for ITB Berlin where Joel and I, together with Stephan Meves the manager of AfroChic will look forward to see you on the Tanzania stand.