Local cuisine. Common snacks to find outside of coconuts and fresh fruit which are plentiful would be MUHOGO. This is a Cassava piece cut up with lemon and chilli. It is pretty dry so you may want to sauce it up or have it with a drink.Halua, dates.
Mshikaki-barbeque on a stick
Pilau, Chapati, chicken tikka, Swahili bread, mchuzi,
Great restaurants worth checking out: Tamarind in Nyali (They also have a really cool must try “Pirates of the Caribbean” kinda boat that sets off for dinner at sunset and is very well set for the couples and friends aboard ready to wine and dine the evening away. They have a live performance and serve seafood,salads and a never-ending gorgeous view of the island facing the Indian ocean. Truly a magical experience. Do grab your friends and make lasting memories.)Mikaye, Yulz aquadrom also in Nyali,Ali Barbours cave in Ukunda-unique,in an actual cave, The Moorings in Mtwapa.
Explore old town Mombasa, check out culture and buildings. Fort Jesus has been preserved for historic purposes and a quick visit there is a great way to catch up on the local vibe. Right outside there is nearly always a football game happening by the beach and friendly people cooling of in the water, parts of old town are also just a street away with restaurants serving a variety of local meals at very affordable rates. For an even more authentic experience of coastal Swahili culture. Head up to Lamu or ‘Amu’ as some still call it. The islands sign is the red circle with a white circle and a coconut inside it as seen in the picture below. Let locals explain the meaning as you take in views that are out of this world. NB There are no cars in Lamu: you will meet loads of donkeys in old town. Get henna tattooed on you. Learn and use the basic phrases as a form of courtesy. Jambo/Habari Asante. The basis of the culture is very respectful.
LAMU is a gorgeous cultural hub consisting of islands, more and high Muslim population reserved therefore better with company if you were looking to bond with others. Not highly advisable to do as solo FEMALE traveler but still doable. You will get more attention though doing tours around there. Hotels are very secure and so are the top rated home stays, Swahili syle villas you will fall in love with. Most of them with traditional architecture tending to have 4 floors .Its very fascinating how much culture h Also what is great and unique about this area is that you can get a chef to come to your home stay/Airbnb and plan meals for you from seafood to whatever preferences you agree on at an affordable rate. There is also the option of requesting a masseuse to come by these houses for a personal session. Plus side you get to support local. While the population doesn’t consist of big drinkers, the area harbors an interesting floating bar you may want to check out. An annual dhow festival has been held since this area was declared a heritage site by UNESCO it has seen to it to preserve the dhow sailing culture, traditional dances,a game of bao you may want to challenge yourself to (also referred to as gololi in some areas) Henna tattooing and a Swahili food bazaar. As there are no vehicles in this area donkeys are sighted all over and naturally there are donkey races held. Exciting fact for cat lovers, for some reason there are cats all over this place. There is no place to easily blend in and experience culture as fast as you will here.
GREAT EXPERIENCES AND THINGS TO DO:
Go to Florida because everyone does it at sunset and yes ,it is not suggested in any travel guide but it is ‘a thing’ Swahili people love. And YES the sun sets behind you but it is a gorgeous place to unwind and absorb the history of the area. Observe how real Swahili people end their day. Also have a coconut and try the ‘KACHIRI’ –THE cassava chips.
Visit turtle conservation. You may get to see the cutest thing ever, baby turtles getting released.
Go swimming with dolphins. No one gets tired of this. Possible in Malindi, Lamu and South coast in Wasini.
Go whale watching in the south.
Grab your snorkeling gear and swim with the ‘fishies’ literally everywhere. You will spot so many species of the underwater world unique to this area with bonus of maybe some dolphins/turtles/octopus swimming next to you.
Adrenaline junkie? Go skydiving /swim with the sharks
Enjoy a wake-boarding session. This is possible at just about all the beaches. The water sports centres will be able to organize your turn or make a referral.
Go diving. It will be good fun
Try a night dive. The experience is unreal and different from your day time diving. Which are equally amazing but night dives have a special feature
Dive close to the marine park, gives more access to the aquatic animals preserved there and makes it easier to spot most of the species in the area.
Dive at a wreck site, the deeper you go, past the reef and what the aquatic environment offers the more you appreciate the dive and higher the chance to spot rare.
Not an experienced diver? Get your license and open your eyes to a new exciting world.
Give paddle-boarding a chance. Yes some people think its lame but only until you try it. Best thing again is your location. Most of Kenya’s beach is surrounded by a natural reef so it is safer to enjoy the waters between shore and reef without fear for sharks. You can also paddle all the way out to the reef edge to spot some little sharks there.
South Coast, Diani, Malindi up north and Nyali area are geographically well situated and they experience just the right amount of wind for kite-surfing and wind-surfing. Get active and enjoy what the winds have to offer by having a kite surfing or windsurfing session. Renting the equipment is pretty affordable. East Africa is also a cheaper destination to learn the sport so why not satisfy the adventure crave and learn how to fly a kite or maneuver your windsurf . These are such fun , rewarding and exciting water sports that not only give great body gains after but also access to the surfing community and experiences you will cherish.
Grab a jet ski head out and have a blast!
You are in a tropical paradise based along the equator. The great thing about this destination is that the ocean water is nearly always lukewarm, sometimes warm like at sunset or chill in the morning but never ever cold that you would end up freezing. Whatever you decide just get your ass in the water. Lay in the water in a floaty if you must,or be a mermaid.
Another great advantage of this location is all the naturally occurring fruits you have access to . Pineapples, coconuts, watermelons,grapes,Mangoes, passion fruit, plums,apples , Avocado, the list is endless. Let your body benefit from all these healthy tropical fruits while they are easily available to you and cheap compared to most of the world. The time to detox is now.
BE KIND TO THE OCEAN. The changes in the natural ecosystem in this area has vastly affected the ocean world here. While there are still beautiful coral to enjoy snorkeling around ,it is disappointing to learn of the degree to which turtles and dolphins in particular have been affected in this surrounding. It Is hard enough already that the get hunted during fishing expeditions.
South Coast is the least populated area compared to the main island, but even then I’d suggest hiring a bike to ride by the beach. Its easier to get lost on the main road and the motorcycles and public transport vehicles will get in the way of a calm relaxing ride. Diani and Galu area have a wide land mass during the day so the tide goes out, the sand is white, grounded and without coral. You get to see people enjoying kite-surfers and wind surfers. Local fishermen draw in their catch and enjoy the tranquil environment. However the water borders some beach houses and hotels at sunset so stay closer to your residence as it gets dark.
Go jogging or take a relaxed stroll at sunrise. The beaches are an empty heaven at this time and the sky simply put-is a work of art that changes by the minute. It is the perfect time to reflect and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings as you wish with no interruptions except maybe the other early riser working out. Take a moment to meditate if need be. Getting up early will be so worth it.
It a bit of a little empty heaven and your Instagram will thank you for all the sky-porn shots you get.
Go Dancing. You are in Africa. The motherland of all things cultural and shaking your body naturally follows, so do not hold back. Let your body find its rhythm and enjoy yourself. No one really cares what you do. You get bonus points and praises though if you can pull off an African move.
Visit the National park in Diani,Ukunda. Need a different environment? Want a little escape from beach life? You can cross to Ukunda and enjoy a morning safari. I cannot stress enough how much of Africa s wildlife is growing endangered and all the development surrounding parks and natural habitats of our wildlife is contributing to a disruption that this land may never ever recover from again. Go experience nature in its most raw form or what’s left of it before its too late. And please DO NOT LITTER. The lions, Zebra and Elephants you meet will appreciate it.
Observing wildlife doesn’t float your boat?
Lets see, maybe a little hike in Shimba hills will satisfy your craving for gorgeous landscape and unending views of nature unfolding that are only spoiled by the elephants herd crossing a distance away. While Shimba hills can have sightings of some wild animals and gorgeous views, you also enjoy an amazing feeling of being outdoors and a satisfaction your body will thank you for.
And most importantly, let yourself unwind, relax and make some friends. After all, Hakuna Matata.