ISLAND PARADISE

Delta Dunes lodge a hidden gem in Tana River

It is built to have the best views across the plains

In Summary

-Lodge is perched on top of sand dunes on the side of Kipalo Hills

A swimming pool next to one of the rooms
A swimming pool next to one of the rooms
Image: Elizabeth Ngigi

Delta Dunes Lodge sits high up in the Kipalo Islands at the mouth of Kenya’s mighty Tana River.

A comfortable lodge with delicious and fresh meals (mostly seafood), fresh innovative cuisine and seven luxurious rooms built to have the best advantage of the beautiful views across the plains.

After a two-hour drive from Malindi town, you will finally arrive at a pick-up point of our destination, where the host with a small boat waits for you to get you through the Tana River. In 20 minutes, you are at the famous Delta Dunes, formerly known as Tana Delta Lodge.

Perched on top of sand dunes on the side of Kipalo Hills, Delta Dunes has fabulous views overlooking the Tana River on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other. Delta Dune is an Island Lodge.

Open accommodation is what caught my attention as the manager distributed the rooms to us. The mess area is built in a castaway style but with all the ultimate comforts, and the breeze is what makes you want to spend more time with them.

However, hotel manager Lawrence Kazungu says the lodge has had challenges, as most travel agencies fear recommending guests to the facility, claiming the area is not safe.

"Those who have been here before have not had any problems. Even the attacks that were in Lamu never affected us. Anything or anyone coming to Delta Dunes, we have to know because we pick our clients in a boat. If visitors do not come to this place, it will be denying our youths employment," Kazungu told Weekend Star.

"Explore this place with incredible bird life, aquatic life and wildlife. The lodge started off in 1982 in a tent where visitors would come and put up tents and spend nights there.

"Poachers had invaded the place, and elephants who initially had their home there were not at peace."

In 1996, the first room was established, exciting and extremely beautiful.

The lodge has various activities, which include boat rides for sundowners and bird and game spotting, bush walks with armed and experienced guides, water skiing, kayaking, tubing, swimming and sand yachting.

There are also boat trips with the local community on the freshwater river to see hundreds of birds and hippos.

Leopards and elephants can occasionally be seen on tracks usually found on game walk cultural visits, and dances by the local Pokomo and Orma tribes entertain guests.

Visitors ride a boat to get to Delta Dunes Lodge
Visitors ride a boat to get to Delta Dunes Lodge
Image: Elizabeth Ngigi
One of Delta Dunes' rooms
One of Delta Dunes' rooms
Image: Elizabeth Ngigi
A resting place for visitors
A resting place for visitors
Image: Elizabeth Ngigi