Aquatic excursion: Five days, five coast destinations


My daughter Chelsea, 10, loves swimming. I decided to take her along on my working tour of Kenya’s Coast. The two of us would do a five day, five sea town tour of Kenya’s Coast. She would get to swim all day as I worked on a long delayed story.

We left Nairobi on Saturday at noon, and one hour later we touched down at the Malindi International Airport. The heat hit us like a pugilist, and we were dripping with sweat from our heads to toes in a few minutes. A short taxi ride later, we were at the Malindi Breeze Point Hotel.

Although not a seaside resort, it has a spacious family suite, reading area and a private balcony, all for Ksh3,000 ($25). There are two swimming pools, one for adults and another for children.

We spent the night here, and in the morning we took a tuktuk to the Karibuni Villas in Mambrui, 30 minutes north of Malindi. A strict Muslim town, my friend volunteered to take us to markiti kula viazi na kaimati (Swahili for the market place to enjoy fried potatoes and sweet dumplings). It didn’t happen as Chelsea headed straight for the swimming pool.

Our one-day stay was at the villa of Canadian friend Kate Allison. The villas have a common bar, fitness centre, gym, and of course the beach front. The next day, we hired a private van for Ksh3,000 ($25) for a one-hour ride southwest to Watamu. Our abode was the Breeze Seaside Resort. It is a mix of Spanish and Moorish architecture, with white rooms. There are two-storey cottage suites on the grounds for those who want more space. There is a bar-and-pizzeria place by the beach.

After swimming until about 2pm, and a quick bite, I took Chelsea snorkelling. The only Monday blues here were the hue of the sea, where the coral is clear. The boat-ride and snorkelling is the best value for money I ever got out of Ksh5,000 ($41).

Tuesday morning’s one hour ride in a matatu (this shuttle service is the cheapest way to travel) gets us to Naivas Kilifi. We are headed to the Silver Palm Resort and Spa.

After a short tuktuk ride on the Mnarani Road to Bofa, we arrived at the Silver Palm. You can step out of your suite straight into the swimming pool, which is arched by bridges and white flowers against green backdrops, waving palm heads and the open sea.

For me, the highlight was the Swedish massage.

We checked out on Wednesday morning and one matatu ride from Kilifi we were at the Severin Sea Lodge. As I sequester myself in the room to write, Chelsea is off on a two different pool submersion experience (and later I learn, the sea) with new-found friends Michelle from Germany, and Michelle from Austria.

But every good thing comes to an end, and Thursday mid-morning, we took an Uber to the Mombasa Terminus to catch the 3pm train back to Nairobi.

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