Chole Mjini was never meant to be a tree house hotel, and it isn’t. It is a castaway fantasy, a jungle island retreat appealing to a specific kind of person; one who appreciates a return to simple luxuries that reawaken the senses, rather than the predictable comforts of room service and air conditioning. Chole Mjini tree house resort has six treehouses and one ground house.
Each treehouse is equipped with one or two stories, creating varying views of the ocean and bay surrounding the island, large “throne-like” beds, a hammock, relaxing area with a bench or couch, private bathing area and open-air showers. Each treehouse took from six months to a year to complete because they were built completely by hand, using traditional tools and utilizing materials sourced only from traders living on Chole. Each tree for poles and planks was cut by hand, sawn into planks by hand in a saw pit and transported to Chole by dhow, cured for at least twelve months and then ripped and planed by hand.
Built high up in the canopy of a huge and ancient baobab (that apparently thinks it’s a mangrove, growing as it does with its roots in the sea), tree house hotel number one (“MOJA” in Bantu) is popular because of the views of the sea out to Kinasi Pass – over the mangroves, enchanted by fireflies at night – and the spacious deck that wraps around the tree. Sometimes guests of this tree house hotel have other inhabitants, such as nesting Fish Eagles or Kites, sharing the baobab. It is the only treehouse of the Chole Mjini tree house resort, that is built on a single level, with only the one king-sized bed.
The shower, built in a bamboo thicket, is a guests’ favorite.