Ras Kutani sits on a beautiful, quiet beach just south of Dar es Salaam...
Ras Kutani: Our full report
Ras Kutani is situated on a quiet stretch of white beach south of Dar es Salaam, tucked in amongst lush tropical vegetation on a wild stretch of coastline. To get there you'll be rowed across the calm waters of a lagoon. It aims to have the feel of a 'safari lodge' on the beach, rather than that of a resort: rustic yet stylish. In this sense, it is very much in keeping with Ras Kutani's sister camps, Siwandu in the Selous Game Reserve and Jongomero in Ruaha National Park.Nothing here is over-the-top, yet – with open sides around the main areas, polished stone floors, makuti thatch roofs and sandy paths – Ras Kutani is clearly a high-quality lodge.
Ras Kutani has nine spacious, reed-and-thatch cottages, four new, larger suites and a family house. The cottages sit along the lagoon, or face out to sea.
The restaurant, lounge and well-stocked bar at Ras Kutani share a large open-sided thatch structure, its floor covered with makuti mats. Above the bar hangs the hull of a traditionally carved African dhow, and the bar stools are shaped like African drums. For greater relaxation, the adjacent lounge has plenty of low sofas, with an abundance of colourful cushions, set around a solid coffee table made from reclaimed dhow wood. The dining area extends onto a patio with umbrella-shaded tables overlooking the sea: a lovely spot for a cool drink.
Ras Kutani has a shop with a small range of curios and some toiletries for sale, and a handy book exchange. There is also a massage room where, when we visited in September 2012, an hour's soothing massage cost only US$45.
Most guests spend their days at Ras Kutani relaxing on the beach, where someone will set up some shade for you. You can borrow kayaking and snorkelling gear to explore an 80-year-old shipwreck off the beach. (Snorkellers should note that otherwise it's mostly sand, with very little in the way of coral.) Other activities include gentle canoeing in the lagoon or a walk through the local village.
Our viewRas Kutani is a beautiful lodge, an ideal place for pure rest and relaxation at the start or end of your trip. Not only is it a stylish place to stay, and we love the suites in particular, what struck us most when we stayed was the team of staff. One of the most attentive that we have come across in Tanzania, they were not only polite and friendly, but also very observant – the moment you finished a glass of water they were there to refill it. However, they never felt intrusive – it was the perfect balance.
Ideal length of stay: 3–4 nights is probably long enough to spend at Ras Kutani as activities are limited; we suggest it for a few days of relaxation before or after a safari.
Directions: Ras Kutani is a 15-minute flight from Dar es Salaam, or a 90-minute to two-hour drive.
Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer
Owner: Selous Safari Company
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: When we visited Ras Kutani in July 2010 the food was excellent: fresh, tasty and imaginative. Plenty of seafood is incorporated into the menus, but there are always alternative options.
For breakfast you could choose from fresh fruit, cereals and bread, or indulge in a full cooked breakfast. If you have to leave very early to fly on to your next destination, tea, coffee and biscuits will be brought to your room on request.
Lunch is a light, two-course affair. A buffet-style main course, including an excellent mix of salads, pastas, cold meats and light curries, is followed by a dessert along the lines of a fruit meringue.
In the evening you will gather around the bar for pre-dinner drinks before being taken to individual tables for dinner. Several nights of the week they have themed barbecues. We were served fish soup to start with, then there was a delicious buffet of meat skewers, pastas, salads and vegetables, followed by a crème caramel.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Drinks are not included. A beer or glass of wine costs around US$3–5.
Further dining info: The suites have butler service, but as there is no phone, guests either have to arrange things in advance, or wait a short while until he comes to ask if you need anything. You can order tea, coffee and snacks to all of the rooms.
Honeymoons: The team at Ras Kutani are amongst the most attentive that we have come across, led by incredibly thoughtful management. We are sure that any couple on honeymoon to Tanzania would be made to feel extra special and treated very well at this romantic and luxurious beach retreat.See more ideas for Honeymoons in Tanzania
Beach holidays: Ras Kutani is a beautiful white beach only a few hours south of Dar es Salaam - making it ideally located for a few days of relaxing at the beginning or end of your holiday, no matter if you are going to do some game viewing or experience some more of Tanzania’s best beaches.See more ideas for Beach holidays in Tanzania
Attitude towards children: Children over the age of 6 years are welcome at Ras Kutani.
Property’s age restrictions: No children under the age of 6 years.
Special activities & services: The team at Ras Kutani can organise childminding, though parents should note that this would be with a member of staff, not a specially trained childminder.
Equipment: Ras Kutani have no special equipment
Generally recommended for children: Ras Kutani is very quiet and popular with honeymooners, so is not suitable for very young children. It is possible that children will get bored, and that parents might feel uncomfortable having children there.
Power supply: Generator
Communications: There is cellphone reception at Ras Kutani, and the lodge also has a phone and computer for guest use in the office.
TV & radio: No
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: The managers at Ras Kutani are first aid trained and there is a safety watchman on the beach for water activities. For serious medical cases, guests would need to transfer to Dar es Salaam: a 15-minute flight or two-hour drive.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: Ras Kutani is fenced and there are guards on the beach in the evenings. It is advisable to give your valuables to the management for safekeeping on arrival – though theft is rarely a problem here.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in all of the rooms.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Laundry is included but for cultural reasons no ladies underwear is accepted.
Money: There is no currency exchange available at Ras Kutani.
Accepted payment on location: Ras Kutani accepts cash in the form of US dollars, Tanzanian shillings, GB pounds and euros. They also accept credit cards; there is no charge for Visa (the preferred card), but charges do apply for MasterCard and Amex.