A newspaper manager had to run for his life as a massive fire broke out at his hotel on holiday.

Bharat Lukka had to outrun the flames engulfing the White Sands Hotel at Jangwani Beach, north of Dares Salaam in Tanzania, after a woman told him ‘Don’t look up - just run!’

The 58-year-old commercial brand manager for Newsquest south London, who had flown to Tanzania from Gatwick on August 29 with his friend Babu Limbachia, said: “I ran for my life. I’ve never run so fast in my life.

"The fire spread so quickly I didn’t have to to think. Instinct took over.”

Bharat had been sitting at a water fountain outside the hotel’s administration block when he noticed the heat because "the building above me was burning.”

As the flames spread across the administration block, Bharat and other hotel guests began to run down a nearby road that runs parallel to the resort to the beach.

“We ran about two miles and there were a lot of other people running with us,” said Bharat.

“A family with two very young children had just arrived at reception in a car and when they saw the fire, they sped away again.”

He added: “The worst part was not knowing whether anyone was trapped inside the burning building.”

According to reports in the local newspaper The Citizen, the fire raged for about four hours before a small fire on the grass on top of a wooden parasol nearby.

“I think a man had been putting something on a barbecue and the flames had gone up to the grass,” said Bharat. “At first, the fire looked controllable and the man ran to the fountain to get water to throw on it.

“But then the wind started blowing the fire spread to the building.”

He added: “I was looking down, not realising how quickly the fire had taken hold, when the woman came running up to me, a panicked look on her face, and told me to run. I could it was extinguished, destroying offices, the reception, restaurant, bar, kitchen, conference rooms and four guest bedrooms. It is believed no one was hurt.

Bharat, from Crawley, said he had visited a Hindu Temple just one day before the incident.

“I’m not a religious man but I think we were blessed by the Hindu priest.”

Bharat, who was born in neighbouring Malawi, was visiting the country for the first time in 45 years to attend the wedding of his friend’s daughter Heena Patel.

The wedding eventually went ahead in another part of the resort unaffected by the fire.