The Kenyan Coast has some of the best hotels and fishing resorts on the Indian Ocean. Watamu is situated 80 kms to the north of Mombasa – Kenya’s largest port and second largest city. Watamu boasts the 7th best beach in the world, according to 'The Sunday Times'. The coconut palm-fringed, white sandy beach is protected by a large coral reef. The reef is one of Kenya’s showcase marine national parks and boasts a myriad of beautiful coral gardens and colorful reef fish.
Five kilometres south of the Watamu fishing village is Mida Creek. The creek is one of the largest inland tidal waters on the coast, surrounded by mangrove forests and is an important pelagic fish nursery. It is also the breeding and nesting area for many birds, among them are many migrants species that are regularly observed on the creek’s tidal flats.
The Kenyan Coast is reputed to have some of the best big game fishing in the world - Broadbill Swordfish; Black, Blue, and Striped Marlin; Sailfish; along with numerous other pelagics. It is internationally recognized that Kenya offers the best chance in the world of a ‘fantasy slam’ - five different Billfish in one day! There is a wide variety of angling, including overnight trips to North Kenya Banks for Broadbill, Marlin, ‘big tuna’ and Shark. Also on offer is inshore fishing for Marlin, Sailfish and many other game fish; fly fishing for the Sailfish, Tuna, etc; reef fishing for Trevally, Barracuda, etc; and bottom fishing for a multitude of species. The fishing season starts in July and runs until the end of April. The prime time for the ‘big Tuna’ is August to the end of October, Broadbill Swordfish and Black Marlin are caught all season, blues and stripeys in February/March and Sailfish are plentiful all year round. In addition, a multitude of pelagic and reef fish are abundant all year round.
On the landward side of Watamu is the Arabuko/Sokoke forest. This is one of the few remaining natural forests in the area and is host to many rare birds, elephant shrews and herds of elephants.
Just 20 kms to the north of Watamu is Malindi, a small town steeped in both early Portuguese and Arab history. Malindi is a melting pot of Arab, Swahili, Indian and European cultures. It's harbour is filled with both old world Arab fishing dhows and modern deep-sea sport fishing boats. Malindi too, boasts a popular marine reserve with beautiful white beaches.
Many of the resorts and hotels offer a host of activities such as deep-sea fishing, inshore fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling, windsurfing, ocean kayaking, kite surfing, water ski-ing, and mountain biking. There are also bird-watching excursions on Mida Creek, the Sabaki Delta and in the Arabuko-Sokoke forest. Also on offer, are sundowner cruises on old Arab dhows toasting beautiful sunsets over the water, with drinks and bitings in hand. For those who simply want to relax and enjoy an oasis of peace and tranquility, there are miles of white beaches to walk on, or, warm aquamarine-colored seas to swim in.
Lamu - take a step back in time
Lamu is a place like no other, a peaceful tropical island where life is lived at its own relaxed rhythm, but a place whose history is as mysterious and fascinating as the winding streets of its medieval stone town.
The island itself is a beautiful place of rolling dunes and endless beaches, where tiny villages nestle among coconut and mango plantations and lateen sailed dhows ply the waters. But Lamu’s real attraction is its Old Town.
The Old town of Lamu began life as a 14th-century Swahili settlement, but the island has seen many visitors and influences, including Portuguese explorers, Turkish traders and the Omani Arabs. All left their mark, but Lamu developed its own particular culture, which has ultimately endured.
Lamu’s narrow streets remain unchanged and in the markets and squares around the fort, life moves at the same pace as it always has. There are no vehicles on this island, and the donkey and the dhow remain the dominant form of transport. The people of Lamu are great believers in tradition and custom, and this is a strong society built on respect for the past.
For the traveller, Lamu is a hypnotically exotic experience, made even more enjoyable by the relaxed and welcoming attitudes of the locals. To visit Lamu is to enter another world, and the visitor finds themselves becoming a part of this world. Life slows down, and long days are spent strolling along the waterfront, exploring the town or relaxing on the beaches.
Dhow safaris can take you beyond Lamu into the surrounding archipelago, where isolated villages, ancient ruins, and a few luxurious and exclusive resorts lie hidden among the islands of Manda, Siyu, Pate and Kiwayu.
This idyllic island speaks to the heart and soul, and a trip to Lamu is a romantic experience that can become a lifelong affair.
Manda Bay, a jewel in Kenya's stunning coastline, is the perfect escape for families, honeymooners, and couples looking for the ultimate 'no shoes, no news' experience. The small boutique lodge located on the tip of an unspoilt, idyllic island in Lamu's archipelago where you kick off your shoes and enjoy simplistic beauty in palm-thatched cottages and open living spaces.