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Game for anything: the safari lodge that thinks it's a beach resort
You might not see them, but you’ll hear their chants: deep, throaty grunts that rumble out from the bush and across the beach – the welcoming committee. Then, through the trees, you see them: Kandokera, Luca, Emmanuel and Weri, standing in a circle, chanting and singing, while in the middle Ngobere jumps impossibly high, over and over again, his red shuka unravelling slightly at the shoulder, beaded necklaces jiggling around his neck, his sime (sword) bouncing about his waist – welcome to Saadani Safari Lodge, Tanzania.
Located four hours' drive north of the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam, the lodge is made up of 15 tented cottages tucked among screw palms on the Indian Ocean, in the middle of the Saadani National Park – the only East African reserve on the coast.
Of course, it's not all peace and harmony: the villagers often wake to find that a lion has sauntered into their backyards and helped itself to a chicken or a goat. You are assured, however, that game rarely ventures into the camp, and if a predator did, your Masai friends, with their sime and their clubs, would … well, you know what happens next.
Vervet monkeys are another matter (the bartenders keep slingshots behind the bar to ward them off), and elephants have been seen lumbering in the surf.
Rainbow Tours, offers five nights at Saadani Safari Lodge from £1,690, including flights from the UK, transfers, all meals, park fees and one activity each day, RainbowTours.