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Kipepeo Beach Village Dar es Salaam Reviews
Robinson Crusoe Experience Sep 09, 2011
Having arrived in the early evening at Dar es Salaam airport, we were in need of a place to stay. We had a few ideas and Kipepeo Beach on the South Coast was a possible choice. Kipepeo Beach Village was listed in the Frommer's guide and we decided to get a taxi there, which turned out to be rather expensive (~$50). Dar es Salaam traffic does not exactly run smoothly and you have to cross a Ferry at Kigamboni to get there. This takes a considerable amount of time until we reach our destination.
Nevertheless after what seemed like a couple of hours, we arrived at Kipepeo Beach Village. It was hard to tell what the place was like in the dark, but we were all tired and went to inquire about a price. They have huts we can stay in that sleep 4 persons. Well, we are two persons with a child & myself in addition, so this sounds fine. I suppose the price is not fine at $110 for our group, but we are all too tired to haggle really, and as far as we can tell with the dark, in the middle of nowhere. We considered a shed/barn with no shower for a bit, but decide the hut (with shower) is better in the end, shared though it is.
The huts are open-air chalet style, balanced on stilts toward the rear end, where the outside deck is located. The bathroom is located on the ground level and stairs lead up to the sleeping room. The upstairs room is spacious and has a row of beds along the front wall with ample mosquito net covering. To the rear wall, it opens to a deck to outside. It is just some simple doors made of wooden stick and covered with curtains, very rustic and simple. In a sense, it's rather like the Robinson Crusoe experience I suppose, but there is electricity and hot water for the shower. This was a bonus I didn't expect actually.
We didn't discover the rest of the establishment until morning. The place is quite charming actually. Palm trees swaying in the breeze, the smell and sounds of the Indian Ocean and thatched roof huts, banda's and such dotting the sand covered grounds. I think we were all reasonably pleased where we had landed, although we did think the price was a little high considering where we very far off the beaten path. Still, for the rustic experience and natural beauty, it was probably worth it in hindsight.
There is quite a nice beach area with good views here for swimming and such, and it was not crowded with people. In fact it was rather isolated and quiet here, and a decent place to relax away from it all, so to speak. The central area of Kipepeo Beach Village is like a small village, in fact, with various thatched roof buildings containing a bar, restaurant and game areas. Surprisingly, wi-fi was available for free. Well, all-in-all, if you are looking for a place that has the feel of being away from civilization and enjoy a rustic Robinson Crusoe like experience, then I can recommend this place.
My rating is probably 3 stars for comfort, but 4 stars for experience. This is one of those places that is hard to rate 1-5 stars. It depends what you are looking for and the expectations you have. The price, while not overly expensive, did seem high for what we expected. The beer and food is a decent price, and the quality is fairly good. The rustic surroundings and accommodations are dependent on taste. Some advice on transport we learned while staying there. Take a car or auto rickshaw to the ferry, cross yourself at Kigamboni, then find transport again once you are across. This works going to or from the Kipepeo beach area. It's a much cheaper option, and a bit of fun in adventure too!
Part of the Under African Skies (Sep. 5-19, 2011) travel blog
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