The North Coast is known to have pristine fringed beaches, enthralling history and natural beauty. This is according to the Kenya Tourism.
Most of the local and international tourists know of Watamu Marine national park or the Vasco da Gama Pillar. For a history buff like yours truly, the Gede, Takwa, Vuma and Nabahani ruins would be more than enough. Although I would throw in the Marafa depression, Vuma cliffs and the Lamu fort, which houses a collection of Swahili poetry.
The only memory I have of the north coast is Mambrui town.
My family has a tradition of travelling to the coast or other parts of the country every December. This time round, we decided to visit Kilifi County, which is also located in the North Coast.
As usual, the ladies in my family travel by plane and the men by road. It takes around 7 – 8 hours to get to Kilifi from Nairobi, that is, if you leave by 6 am.
Travelling by road is fun, if you’re lucky, you will see wildlife feeding along the road. The only sad thing is the newly constructed railway track has blocked the scenery.
Before the Mariakani road was upgraded, most travelers would first head to Mombasa town, then use the Nyali/Malindi road to get to the Bamburi, Mtwapa, Kikambala then Kilifi.
Lucky for us the Mariakani road was fully tarmacked. Using that route saved us from the Mombasa town traffic. If you’ve ever visited Mombasa you know what I mean.
Once we reached Mariakani our family driver informed us that it was his first time using that route. I decided to use Google Map. Now, if you are an Airtel user, you can forget browsing or streaming. The most the network had was 2 bars. Thank God for dual sim phones, Safaricom came to the rescue. I was able to guide the driver all the way to the Resort.
Katoa Resort, Kilifi
Once we reached the Kilifi bridge we saw boats, dhows and the beautiful Kilifi Creek. The last time I visited the coast was in 2011, you can imagine how I felt seeing the ocean.
It took us 15 minutes to reach the Katoa Resort. While offloading the suitcases, I could hear and feel the cool ocean breeze and the sound of waves hitting the corals. I was so glad we finally reached our destination.
The manager of the resort introduced us to the staff and gave us a quick tour. The resort has several houses within the compound, each with a beautiful view of the ocean. We stayed at the main house which was much bigger.
After that, I had a quick shower, wore my beach shorts and walked around the private beach. The last time I took a vacation was in 2011. Now, here I am at beach resort with an ocean view. I was very happy.
For the next 3 days we stayed at the resort, eating, swimming, playing board games and sleeping until Boxing day.
I occasionally drove to the Tuskys supermarket for some supplies. To my surprise it wasn’t fully stocked. To make matters worse, it did not have a butchery. All they had was frozen mince meat, chicken and sausages. No fish! Lucky for us the chef at Katoa resort introduced us to a butchery 5 minutes from the supermarket.
All the rooms have a view of the ocean, good pressure showers and excellent air conditioning. If you felt like swimming, you could either go to the beach or the swimming pool.
The staff at Katoa Resort were professional and friendly. My family and I had an amazing vacation.
My sisters were tired of eating in and proposed we have lunch at the Silver Palms Resort which was a few meters from our resort.
My first expression was, “Wow! This is so beautiful!”. Yap, it had a stunning Swahili architecture. The outdoor seating was under the Palm trees.
We had a quick lunch, took some few selfies and went back to Katoa Resort.
On the 29th of December, we decided to have a candle lit dinner here. Silver Palms knows how to treat their visitors and I loved the experience.
Mnanari Sunset Boat Ride
My mother organized a 2-hour boat ride with the local captain called Issa. I have been to several boat rides, this was epic. Especially, with the sunset.
Some of us decided to swim while the rest took pictures/videos of the sunset. When looking at the sunset, the land had this silhouette effect. It was an amazing experience.
Kilifi is not that developed compared to Mombasa but it has a lot of potential.
The Kenya Tourism Board is constantly promoting it but you have to make the decision to go there.
It’s been 6 weeks since I was last there and I miss it dearly. I highly recommend you visit it.