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Tag-Archive for "Diani Beach"

Highlights of 2009: Mombasa, Kenya Jan 29

This an excerpt from the Kenya Virtual Tour.
See Archives November 2009 for the entire tour.

Day 23: Journey’s End

2007_1107Kenya0300

On my last day in Kenya, I spent several hours sitting in the shade of coconut palms fringing the coastal beach south of Mombasa observing a constant stream of human and animal activity: fisherman, hawkers, acrobats and jugglers, camel drivers, and the curious local monkeys.

2007_1107kenya0312

Three men dressed in the traditional crimson garb of the central Maasai Mara plains walking down the beach caught my attention since they were obviously far from home and quite out of place. They paused long enough for me to capture their ethereal image in the shimmering noonday light. We were literally at land’s end. I was at my journey’s end and I wondered if they were too.

It was time to go home.

I had scaled high hurdles just to get to Kenya.

Was it worth it? Heck yeah! Would I do it again? Well, . . . let me check my Wish List.  The Spice Islands of Zanzibar, the Seychelles, Mauritus and Reunion – all islands off the east coast of Africa. And I know there are even more extraordinary experiences awaiting in Botswana.

Every serious traveler has a Travel Wish List. What’s on yours for 2010?

For more information, go to:
www.IslandGetawaysTravel.com

Category: Africa, Kenya  | Tags: ,  | Comments off
Day 23: Journey’s End Nov 30

2007_1107Kenya0300

On my last day in Kenya, I spent several hours sitting in the shade of coconut palms fringing the coastal beach south of Mombasa observing a constant stream of human and animal activity: fisherman, hawkers, acrobats and jugglers, camel drivers, and the curious local monkeys.

2007_1107kenya0312

Three men dressed in the traditional crimson garb of the central Maasai Mara plains walking down the beach caught my attention since they were obviously far from home and quite out of place. They paused long enough for me to capture their ethereal image in the shimmering noonday light. We were literally at land’s end. I was at my journey’s end and I wondered if they were too.

It was time to go home.

I had scaled high hurdles just to get to Kenya.

Was it worth it? Heck yeah! Would I do it again? Well, . . . let me check my Wish List.  The Spice Islands of Zanzibar, the Seychelles, Mauritus and Reunion – all islands off the east coast of Africa. And I know there are even more extraordinary experiences awaiting in Botswana.

Every serious traveler has a Travel Wish List. What’s on yours for 2010?

If you’d like to be added to my private invitation list for future getaways, e-mail me:
Jacintha@IslandGetawaysTravel.com

Category: Africa, Kenya  | Tags: ,  | Comments off
Day 22: Coconut Mocktail Nov 27

Turn around 180 degrees for an expansive view of a beach that seems as wide as it is long. Diani Beach stretches out to waves coming in from the Indian Ocean beckoning you into the warm water. The sand is firm and perfect for jogging but there’s little activity at this time of day. That will soon change.

2007_1107kenya02991

2007_1107kenya02981

 

 

 

 

 

 

The beach bar is just opening for business. A vendor is setting up racks of sarongs. A man strolls by with hand-woven hats. Another with bags for sale.

2007_1107kenya0337A hotel attendant walked by. Could he get me anything?, he inquired. Some of the resorts in the South Pacific offer fresh coconuts. I asked if they had any, not realizing that a staff member would be dispatched to climb a palm tree and fetch me a fresh green drinking nut. It was quickly sliced open and handed to me with a straw inserted. A perfectly refreshing coconut mocktail.

 

2007_1107kenya03221And then I met the resident colobus monkeys – inquisitive, mischievious and completely fearless. They alone provided hours of free entertainment. They would walk right up, look over you and your belongings and perhaps abscond with a small item left unattended.

 

My only regret is that I have only 1 day and 1 night here. Barely 24 hours, enough time to look around but not really do much.

I had brought a stck of small bills, 5s, 10’s, some 1’s, for tips. Both camps had staff gratuity boxes and driver/guides were given tips directly. Some companies offer ultra all-inclusive trips. Gratuities were not expected in that case.

I had a little money left. I was leaving the next day and I knew I would have some time at the airport. I wandered into the duty free store to grab some gifts and souvenirs. At the check-out counter, the cashier informed me that credit cards were NOT accepted, only cash. On the way back to the gate, I finally noticed the ATM machine with a very, very long line. How had I not seen that before? Now it made sense to me. Strcitly cash and carry.

I would arrive home with less than $10 U.S.

Category: Africa, Kenya  | Tags: ,  | Comments off
Day 21: Sands of Nomad Nov 25

Well, you know, The Sea Goddess must always gravitate to the sea.  Another short  flight from the Masai Mara takes us to a small airport near the coast, just south of the port city of Mombasa. 

I can feel the difference in the humidity. I can almost smell the sea salt. There is ocean nearby.

ocean front rooms

ocean front rooms

I promised you interesting places with character. No generic chain hotels. A few minutes drive brings us to the Sands at Nomad boutique hotel on Diani Beach. As we wind up the driveway through the coastal forest, our first view of the traditonal Swahili architecture is quite striking. 

This hotel is small but full service. It offers a pool and jacuzzis, a pool bar, a beach bar, an alfresco restaurant , a spa, a dive shop and internet center. It had been several days since I was last able to check e-mail. The computers were very popular with the guests and seemed to always be in use.

interior view of suite

interior view of suite

The accommodations consist of rooms, suites and bungalows dressed in hand carved mahogany furniture and Swahili objets d’art,  the inspriation of designer and local artist Mario Scianna.

All the units are air-conditioned and I noticed mosquito netting for the first time on this trip. I wasn’t sure if it was for purely decorative or practical puroses until I found it lowered at night by the invisible housekeeping staff.

The beach front bungalows were all occupied so I was unable to get the manager to let me take a peak. Judging by the exotic exterior: the unusual domed shape, the thatched roofing and the curtained patio daybed, I’m sure it was equally lovely inside.

Throughout my journey, I had met many more European than North American travelers. Of course, it’s a much shorter trip for them. I was also fascinated to learn that most Americans rarely venture out to this part of Kenya for a coastal safari. Whereas British, German, French and Italian tourists frequently come for some R&R with sun, sand and sea.

Category: Africa, Kenya  | Tags: , ,  | Comments off
Day 22: Coconut Mocktail Apr 29

Turn around 180 degrees for an expansive view of a beach that seems as wide as it is long. Diani Beach stretches out to waves coming in from the Indian Ocean beckoning you into the warm water. The sand is firm and perfect for jogging but there’s little activity at this time of day. That will soon change.

2007_1107kenya02991

2007_1107kenya02981

 

 

 

 

 

 

The beach bar is just opening for business. A vendor is setting up racks of sarongs. A man strolls by with hand-woven hats. Another with bags for sale.

2007_1107kenya0337A hotel attendant walked by. Could he get me anything?, he inquired. Some of the resorts in the South Pacific offer fresh coconuts. I asked if they had any, not realizing that a staff member would be dispatched to climb a palm tree and fetch me a fresh green drinking nut. It was quickly sliced open and handed to me with a straw inserted. A perfectly refreshing coconut mocktail.

 

2007_1107kenya03221And then I met the resident colobus monkeys – inquisitive, mischievious and completely fearless. They alone provided hours of free entertainment. They would walk right up, look over you and your belongings and perhaps abscond with a small item left unattended.

 

My only regret is that I have only 1 day and 1 night here. Barely 24 hours, enough time to look around but not really do much.

I had brought a stck of small bills, 5s, 10′s, some 1′s, for tips. Both camps had staff gratuity boxes and driver/guides were given tips directly. Some companies offer ultra all-inclusive trips. Gratuities were not expected in that case.

I had a little money left. I was leaving the next day and I knew I would have some time at the airport. I wandered into the duty free store to grab some gifts and souvenirs. At the check-out counter, the cashier informed me that credit cards were NOT accepted, only cash. On the way back to the gate, I finally noticed the ATM machine with a very, very long line. How had I not seen that before? Now it made sense to me. Strcitly cash and carry.

I would arrive home with less than $10 U.S.

Category: Africa, Kenya  | Tags: , , ,  | Comments off
Day 21: Sands at Nomad Apr 28

Well, you know, The Sea Goddess must always gravitate to the sea.  Another short  flight from the Masai Mara takes us to a small airport near the coast, just south of the port city of Mombasa. 

I can feel the difference in the humidity. I can almost smell the sea salt. There is ocean nearby.

ocean front rooms

ocean front rooms

I promised you interesting places with character. No generic chain hotels. A few minutes drive brings us to the Sands at Nomad boutique hotel on Diani Beach. As we wind up the driveway through the coastal forest, our first view of the traditonal Swahili architecture is quite striking. 

This hotel is small but full service. It offers a pool and jacuzzis, a pool bar, a beach bar, an alfresco restaurant , a spa, a dive shop and internet center. It had been several days since I was last able to check e-mail. The computers were very popular with the guests and seemed to always be in use.

interior view of a suite

interior view of a suite

The accommodations consist of rooms, suites and bungalows dressed in hand carved mahogany furniture and Swahili objets d’art,  the inspriation of designer and local artist Mario Scianna.

All the units are air-conditioned and I noticed mosquito netting for the first time on this trip. I wasn’t sure if it was for purely decorative or practical puroses until I found it lowered at night by the invisible housekeeping staff.

 

beach front bungalow

beach front bungalow

 The beach front bungalows were all occupied so I was unable to get the manager to let me take a peak. Judging by the exotic exterior: the unusual domed shape, the thatched roofing and the curtained patio daybed, I’m sure it was equally lovely inside.

Throughout my journey, I had met many more European than North American travelers. Of course, it’s a much shorter trip for them. I was also fascinated to learn that most Americans rarely venture out to this part of Kenya for a coastal safari. Whereas British, German, French and Italian tourists frequently come for some R&R with sun, sand and sea.

Category: Africa, Kenya  | Tags: , ,  | Comments off