Well Technically 2 Nights in Nairobi and 7 in Watamu…
When people asked me what I was doing over the December holidays and I excitedly told them I was going to Kenya, they immediately assumed I was going on a safari in Masai Mara. This is obviously so understandable as I frequently travel to Zambia and love being in the bush. However, we went to the coast of Kenya for an incredible tropical holiday. Also I know I’m late with this post. However, once we got back from Kenya, it was Christmas and then New Year’s Eve weekend so I was getting back into the swing of things.
Getting There – 1 Night in Nairobi There & 1 Night Back
Actually getting to Watamu from South Africa is a bit tricker then we had liked. So we decided since it was a vacation, to break up some of our travel time and make a night out of it in the capital, Nairobi. It’s a quick flight (just under 4 hours) but since our other flight to Malindi was at a smaller airport, we spent the night at Trademark, an urban business hotel in Nairobi and central to both airports. While I didn’t get to spend time in Nairobi, it was great to spend the night at Trademark and get ready for us to hit the coast the next day.
Our trip back to Nairobi included a night’s stay at Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport, which I can also highly recommend. The service and the room were fantastic plus the breakfast service starts super early so you can grab a delicious cappuccino and something small to eat before you fly.
ps: I saved all my highlights from Kenya on my Instagram page here.
Watamu, north of Mombasa, is a small coastal town in Kenya. Watamu – means “home of the sweet people” in Swahili. Think sandy beaches and beautiful coral gardens. It’s basically paradise for this mermaid-at-heart girl who loves the ocean and loves fishing. Once we landed in Malindi, we drove through to Watamu for our adventure to begin! Our accommodation sat just off Turtle Bay Road outside Watamu village. It’s known for Watamu Marine National Park and Reserve, which has 3 bays: Watamu, Blue Lagoon and Turtle. Conservation of this area is a big thing which I absolutely appreciated.
Family friends of ours had told us about their stay at Hemingways Watamu a while ago and we knew it was exactly where we wanted to stay. It’s a short ride from Malindi airport to the resort and we were greeted with some freshly squeezed orange juice. The beautiful hotel sits right on the beach, it’s absolutely mesmerizing when it’s high tide and it looks like you can step straight from the path into the ocean. The staff are so friendly and made us feel so at home immediately.
We had the most incredible view from our Deluxe Ocean View Room which you can see in the photo below. It was just divine to sit on the balcony and enjoy the sight of the sea right in front of us. The rooms were gorgeous with coastal themed décor. It sounds petty but there were no slippers or bathrobes which I found strange for such a luxurious hotel, plus I assumed there would be so I didn’t pack any of my own.
Moving on though, the hotel offers an incredible variety of food in a buffet style each morning for breakfast and for dinner. Each night the menu changed which was exciting. I obviously indulged myself of fresh seafood every night! My only gripe was that they were very strict with the times of eating so you often felt pressured when they came to your table to tell you that you only had “7 minutes left of the buffet”, it’s just not ideal when you are on a relaxing vacation.
What We Got Up To
Those that know me, know how much I love swimming! You’ll also note that I love fishing, so this truly was the best type of holiday for me. When I wasn’t in the pool, I was swimming in the sea. This even included a snorkeling trip. I mean, how could you not? And when I wasn’t swimming, I was fishing. It was actually the first time I had ever been deep-sea fishing. It was so cool. We used a charter company called Sirai Sea and they were unbelievable. The boat was so luxurious and beyond comfortable. The crew on board were the best, so full of knowledge and celebrated each catch with you. I can highly recommend them!
The one day we decided to head to Lichthaus for a late lunch after a friend recommended it. What a cool place! I do recommend either making a booking or getting there earlier as by sunset it is packed. Rightly so, with it’s cool vibe and stunning views. While we were in Kenya, it was the final of the World Cup so we popped off to the resort next door called Ocean Sports Resort and it was an awesome atmosphere to watch it there. I would actually even like to one day stay in their beach house that’s available.
When can I go back? No, seriously, my family and I never actually anticipated how much we would fall in love with the area and how much we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Apart from traveling to Zambia so often, this was my first international post-pandemic trip. Man it felt good to be on a big international plane again. There are some more areas of Kenya we’d also like to explore and we’ve even discussed staying in more of self-catering house kind of accommodation. Let’s hope I get to visit there again soon! Have you ever been to the coast of Kenya? Or Kenya in general? I’d love to know.