Situated on the relatively undiscovered southern Tanzania coastline, just 35km south of Dar es Salaam, Ras Kutani (www.selous.com/ras-kutani) is a unique boutique beach retreat, which sits within 100 acres of lush tropical, coastal forest. As much of Tanzania's coastline has suffered from heavy deforestation, this truly is a hidden gem which offers a rare opportunity to explore one of the most bio-diverse indigenous coastal forests in East Africa.
Thanks to owner and keen conservationist, Charles Dobie, this idyllic forest has been saved, cultivated and is now continuously patrolled in order to protect it and retain its natural beauty. The forest boasts 132 different species of trees, including mango trees (famous for their spectacular fruit) and the Marula tree (prized for its rich bounty of fruit, and the oil from the kernel, which is used to make moisturizer). Guests can enjoy watching the antics of four species of monkey, including the spectacular black-and-white colobus, as well as many species of birds, baboons, wild pigs, the elusive Civet Cats and other wildlife.
Available only at Ras Kutani, the From Tree To Tree self-guided tour steers guests through this eclectic ecosystem on a gentle, yet fascinating walk. The corresponding map highlights each point of interest along the walk from the wild custard apple shrubs to the African Breadfruit trees - where you're most likely to find Sykes' monkeys, yellow baboons, Blue Duiker and Giant African land snails!
In addition to the coastal forest, Ras Kutani promises the epitome of barefoot-luxury and a hideaway for those seeking solace, luxury and tranquillity. The luxurious accommodation comprises nine open-fronted spacious, charming cottages, each with en suite bathroom, large verandah with a covered sand floor, seating area, hammocks and views of the clear lagoon, beach and Indian Ocean.
Ideal for water babies, the temperate seas and proximity of coral reefs ensure a wealth of marine life with the chance to see colourful fish, dolphins, whales, turtles and even a shipwreck. Complimentary snorkelling equipment, kayaks and boogie boards are available for those that wish to venture from their hammock or beach bed. And in season, turtles come to nest along the beach and guests are invited to get involved in projects that look out for their welfare.
Africa Odyssey (www.africaodyssey.com / 020 7471 8780) is offering a seven-night break at Ras Kutani from £1,869 per person (a saving of £376). Valid for selected dates throughout June and July, the price includes return flights from Heathrow, internal transfers, accommodation on a full-board basis, taxes and surcharges.