Shaken and stirred at Fundu Lagoon in Tanzania.
By Janet Norman
As Hip Hotels quip on their website, “Here you can be Crusoe and Cousteau on the same day”. I would add that on the day you arrive you can be James Bond too. Powered by two 115hp Mercury engines, your speedboat wastes no time in getting you to the jetty of Fundu Lagoon. Your arrival feels worthy of 007 and a martini begins to beckon in your mind at what must be one of the coolest bars in Africa.
Rustic luxe with a wist of the 70’s, the lodge is accessible only by boat and is barely visible from the approach. Eighteen tented rooms and suites sprawl across a thick jungle of vegetation that tumbles down onto Fundu’s pristine white beaches. In this remote and exclusive patch of East Africa, your footprints will certainly be the first of day. Decorated in tranquil tones of parchment neutrals and faded blues, each tented room is a statement in comfort and beach luxury. Canvas strips criss-cross the gauzy windows giving a faux pane effect and delivering the cosy home-from-home in a tent concept. Thoughtful touches such as beach baskets and straw hats complete the look. Low key seventies touches are further secured through the use of batik, bucket-shaped basket chairs and even a conversation pit in one of the suites – perfect for those late night discussions over a night cap or two. Being able to hail the bar from your in-room walkie-talkie is a modern day touch that Robinson Crusoe just wishes he had.
Three bars, two restaurants and various lounging options are peppered across the property soaking up the inhabitants to deliver an almost uninhabited atmosphere – yet without the isolation. The attentive staff are always discreetly accessible for more gin and tonics, a legendary burger poolside or a heavenly massage.
Fundu Lagoon lies in one of the world’s best and most exclusive marine playgrounds. The diving is some of the best on the planet and unlike other famous sites, there is no one around. Even the novice snorkeller can expect to see some dramatic ocean life with shallow coral lagoons dropping off to outrageous depths. The team at Fundu lagoon’s dive centre are at once professional, experienced and friendly. Dive-master Filbert has a quiet competence which inspires confidence even in the most nervous of swimmers so everyone from the specialist diver to the starting out snorkeller is guaranteed of a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Please don’t forget to try your hand at deep sea fishing. Those of us propping up Africa’s coolest bar will gratefully accept some more dorado served ceviche-style with lime juice, garlic, coconut milk and a touch of chilli.
Make a date with Bond, Cousteau and Crusoe.
More details here.
About the Author: Janet Norman is a Cape Town-based writer and blogger with her head in the clouds. She is constantly in search of the quirky, the surprising and the extraordinary. She has high hopes, she loves horses and she loves to smile. See Janet’s Blog: www.alwaysjumpingneverlanding.com