I left the laid back yet traffic filled city of Dar es Salaam and began the drive towards Saadani. After nearly a five-hour drive due to a number of stop offs and initial heavy traffic, the bustle of the city and tarmac roads were swapped for villages and beach tracks. The bush began to grow thicker and the landscape varied between African savannah and old coconut plantations.
Michael, the head of the Masai security, met me in the car park and showed me the way to the reception. The restaurant/bar/reception/entertainment area of the lodge was amazing! The building was raised up on stilts, with all wooden and natural materials used in the construction and a makuti (palm woven/thatch) roof. The sides of the building were open and allowed easy circulation of the fresh sea breeze. As it was high tide, the sea could be seen from the small terrace and the waves heard lapping the dark golden sand beach. There was a great energy in the place with cheeky vervet monkeys springing through the near-by trees. Michael gave me a quick briefing and then walked me to Banda no. 12 and my new home. I was then left to settle in for an hour or so before dinner.
I fell instantly in love with the place!
As I looked around, I took a deep, happy breath.
I was home.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!