Kenya (Coast Province)
The Tana River is 440 miles long and is Kenya’s longest river. It rises in Mount Kenya and the Aberdare mountain range in central Kenya.
The Tana River Delta is the second most important estuarine and deltaic ecosystem in Eastern Africa. As Kenya’s 6th Ramsar site, it has a significant local community of cattle herders and others dependent on it, who have lived in and around the delta for centuries.
Covering about 163,600 ha (404,000 acres), it comprises of a wide range of habitats that support a rich diversity of wildlife and plants including coastal and marine prawns, shrimps, bivalves and fish, five species of threatened marine turtles and IUCN red-listed African elephant, Tana Mangabey, Tana River Red Colobus and White-collared Monkey. Over 600 plant species have been identified, including the endangered Cynometra lukei and Gonatopus marattioides. It also supports many tens of thousands of wetland birds and is internationally important for the survival of no less than 22 species of birds.
The Tana River District is home to a number of community groups, in particular the Pokomo, Orma and Wardei peoples. It is therefore a lifeline to some 30,000 farmers, pastoralists and fishermen as well as minority hunter and gatherer communities collectively called the Wasanya.
Location (2°27’S 40°17’E)
About 150 km due North of Mombasa and 50 km due South of Lamu, the Tana River Delta is best accessed by road (a 3 hour drive) from Malindi. There is an airstrip for private charters. The only available accommodation in this area is at the Tana Delta Camp, where boats are available for travel upriver. This is an excellent place for walking.
View Tana River Delta, Kenya in a larger map
At the old mouth Kenya’s mighty Tana River, Delta Dune lodge sits high atop windswept dunes. Nestled among the palms, Delta Dune looks out upon an unparalleled landscape – lush, wild and utterly unique.
To one side, Tana River winds slowly into the bush, a rare wetland home to hippo, basking crocodiles and rainbows of birds. To the other side of Delta Dune, deserted beachfront stretches for 50 kilometers along the Indian Ocean.
Each of the seven open-fronted Delta Dune cottages – built from driftwood and cooled by the ocean breezes – has a private view of this striking panorama, to be enjoyed from the veranda, sun-filled shower or enormous Swahili bed.
By day, guests race sand yachts, explore the shade-dappled creeks by kayak or simply settle into a hammock by the pool. In the evening, it’s time for a sunset river cruise, followed by cocktails and a candlelit dinner of freshly-caught seafood under the stars.