Water Excursion: Five Days, Five Coastal Destinations


My daughter Chelsea, 10, loves swimming. I decided to take it on my work tour of the Kenyan coast. We would both be doing a five day, five sea towns tour of the Kenyan coast. She could swim all day while I worked on a long delayed story.

We left Nairobi on Saturday at noon, and an hour later landed at Malindi International Airport. The heat hit us like a pugilist, and we were drenched in sweat from head to toe within minutes. A short taxi ride later we were at the Malindi Breeze Point Hotel.

Although it’s not a resort, it has a spacious family suite, reading nook, and 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 square to enjoy fried potatoes and sweet dumplings). That didn’t happen as Chelsea headed straight for the pool.

Our one-day stay took place at the villa of Canadian friend Kate Allison. The villas have a communal bar, fitness center, gym and of course the beach front. -west to Watamu. Our home was the Breeze Seaside Resort. It is a mixture of Spanish and Moorish architecture, with white rooms. There are two-story chalet suites on the grounds for those who want more space. There is a bar-pizzeria near the beach.

After swimming until about 2pm and a quick bite, I took the snorkeling to Chelsea. The only Monday blues here was the hue of the sea, where the coral is clear. The boat ride and snorkeling is the best value I have ever gotten at 5,000 Ksh ($41).


The one-hour Tuesday morning ride in a matatu (this shuttle service is the cheapest way to travel) brings us to Naivas Kilifi. We head 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 pool, which is arched by bridges and white flowers against a green backdrop, waving palm heads, and the open sea.

For me the highlight was the Swedish massage.

We left Wednesday morning and a matatu ride from Kilifi we were at the Severin Sea Lodge. As I sequester myself in the room to write, Chelsea sets off for an immersion experience in two different swimming pools (and later, I learn, the sea) with new friends Michelle from Germany and Michelle from Austria.

But all good things must come to an end, and mid-morning on Thursday we took an Uber to the Mombasa terminus to catch the 3pm train to Nairobi.

About Richard Chandler

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