Kasa Beach – or How to Disappear24-03-2008 | Tanzania | By
Jesper Guhle Mogensen
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My wife and I have decided to end a stressful week by getting lost. Disappear. Vanish. At least for a weekend. Getting lost is an art and not necessarily easy, but we have found the perfect destination: Kasa Beach Hideaway.
As we drive past one popular resort after the other on the shore south of Dar es Salaam, the other cars disappear one by one until we are all alone on the road. After 10 kilometers the tarmac disappears too. For the next 30 kilometers we only see livestock and a few bicycles along the dirt road. We pass a few villages, and in the fourth one there’s a sign pointing to an almost invisible track behind a small hut.
But finally we are there. The friendly staff takes our luggage to our room while we try to take in the place. I’m trying to come up with a suitable word to describe it: Cozy, exotic, eccentric… A huge whale scull is placed by the side of a small terrace along with broken canoes, corals, clay pots and furniture carved in dhow wood. Sea shells hang in strings from the trees. The place makes me think of fairy tales and of playing hide and seek as a kid.
The bungalows are made of dead coral and are well equipped and with big beds, basic bathrooms and a comfortable terrace overlooking the ocean. Soon we are on the way to the main attraction of Kasa Beach Hideaway: The Beach. For the few enlightened people who have made it out here, Kasa Beach is known as the best beach in the region – including the beaches on Zanzibar.
We have to follow a narrow path down a hill to get to it, but, suddenly, we are there. We see it. And we stand in the middle of a postcard. The deep blue Indian Ocean is showing us its white teeth, while a sea eagle lazily sways in the wind scouting for fish. In the horizon two dhows pass by.
We are the only people in this breath taking beauty. A while later the lodge staff brings down mattresses, cold drinks and other kinds of comfort. But for those first ten minutes we are the only two people on earth. And all through the weekend we are the only two guests at Kasa Beach Hideaway.
‘Kasa’ means ‘turtle’ in Swahili, and long before tourists began using Kasa Beach to hide from the heat and stress of Dar es Salaam, sea turtles used the beach to hide their eggs. And they still do. A few nests are marked along the beach. The staff makes a big effort to protect the nests from various dangers.
Apart from turtles, Kasa Beach is also known for its bird life and a few dedicated bird watchers come here frequently.
Lunch is served on a 40 ton dhow pulled up on the beach. We consume a four course meal while enjoying the view and the refreshing sea breeze and afterwards the staff has set up the wholes and flags for a game of three whole beach golf. Even though Kasa Beach has a cozy restaurant, the barbecue dinner is served right on the beach, so as the sun sets, we once again move down the hill from the lodge, this time following small torches that marks the trail for us.
We enjoy our dinner in the light from torches, from the bonfire and from the moon. No other light can be seen.
We have truly managed to disappear.
Kasa Beach Hideaway
P.O. Box 22035
Dar es Salaam