It took us nearly two days to drive to Pangani from Nairobi, and boy, was it worth it. As we rattled our obligatory four-wheel-drive down the dusty track, past the little 'nyumba ya udongo' (Swahili for makuti thatched mud homes) nestling amid palm trees, past the little airstrip, I could not imagine how our accommodation would be anything but basic. How wrong I was.
The first thing you notice when you pull into the Tides is that it is far from pretentious. It lets nature speak first. Swaths of palm trees dotted amid the cottages rustle gently in the breeze, and the sand is white, soft, and warm. Nothing else can be heard apart from the rhythmic ebb of the sea. The beach is deserted, the cottages themselves are constructed with a modest rustic approach, makuti thatch, wooden beams, little pebble-lined paths and wooden-decked floors, everything has been designed to ensure maximum comfort, tranquility, and privacy, yet it maintains a humble, homey feel. A little stone footwash bowl outside the door for washing your sandy feet, an opulent Zanzibar-style daybed, and a private sunbathing (or sundowner) area for each cottage ensures rustic can mean exclusive too.
Dining at the tides is a sacred experience. The food is some of the best I have had in Tanzania.
There are only a handful of places to stay here, and this remains one of Tanzania’s best-kept secrets. Shhh, just don’t tell anyone!