The North Coast is another distinct tourist destination. It stretches from Nyali to Kilifi Creek and includes areas such as Bamburi, Shanzu, past Mtwapa Creek, Kikambala and Kilifi. Long stretches of idyllic beaches that are fringed with swaying palms, casuarinas, oleanders and frangipan make the North Coast, a unique and fascinating stretch of Kenya’s Coast. The North coast boasts of numerous attractions which include a twelve hole golf course at the Nyali estate, squash and tennis courts in most hotels. A variety of speciality restaurants and superb hotels along the beaches provide high quality and luxurious services to visitors. The Mtwapa creek with its abundant birdlife and the Bamburi nature trail are a must for nature lovers.
Kiwayu, on the edge of the Indian Ocean, is a place to disappear into the restore your soul. Miles of deserted beaches with soft white sand and soothing sound of waves will soon awaken the senses and lead you back to nature’s eternal rhythms.
Across the dunes lie the Dodori and Boni Game Reserves and many miles of unspoiled Africa. For centuries this was a calling point for the Arab dhows which traded in ivory, carpets and carved Zanzibar chest s between Arabia and Mombasa and on to Zanzibar. Here sailors have always been assured of a warm welcome and a safe anchorage, a tradition that continues to this day.
Lamu archipelago with its magnificent old houses and narrow alleys that have defied the passage of time, delicate wood craftsmanship of yester year, numerous mosques and a thriving Swahili culture is an ideal resort for those who like going down memory lane. A visit to Lamu takes one back through time to a way of life that has remained unchanged for the last six hundred years. Time tends to standstill when holidaying in Lamu. Little has changed and one can capture the ambiance and mystery of one of the trading posts of the East African coastline that has persisted for the last seven centuries.
Lamu archipelago is the Venice of Kenya as it is linked to the mainland and to the three other smaller islands of Kiwayu, Manda and Kiunga by waterways. The great author, Earnest Hemingways had made his home in Lamu and most of his writings were inspired by this fascinating Island. The Maulidi festival that takes place in Lamu and most of his writings were inspired by this fascinating island. The Maulidi festival that takes place in Lamu soon after the Muslim holiday of Idd il Fitr, draws pilgrims from Africa, Asia and Middle East and is one of the attractions that should not be missed. Other attractionsworth seeing include a visit to the mangrove swamps and the Lamu Museum. Donkeys are used as a mode of transport on the Island since there is no motorized transportation.
Malindi and Watamu Tourist Resorts
The coastal resorts of Malindi and Watamu are renown for accessibility, beauty and diversity of marine life which lives just off-shore on Baracuda, North Coral Reef, Turtle and Whale Islands.
Malindi which lies a few Kilometers north of Watamu is the oldest of Kenya’s beach resorts. The sands are golden but the attractions centre on mini surfing and tranquil township with its mosque minarets and composed people. The town is a labyrinth of alleys, courtyards and gardens dating back to the 12th century. Here, time stands still and centuries of civilization have not altered the courtesy and the charm of the local people. The indomitable spirit of intrepid sailors of centuries gone by, such as Diego Amerigos, Christopher Columbus and Vasco Da Gama, who set out to discover new territories as well as find a passage to India is kept alive by the Vasco Da Gama monument at the Causarina point.
Malindi and Watamu Marine Parks and Reserves were the first ever marine parks and reserves to be established in Kenya. Both were opened in 1979. The coral reefs are home to over one hundred and forty of hard and soft corals. The reef plays a central role as a biodiversity stronghold as it provides ideal breeding grounds for fish and other marine life. It also forms a vital barrier against the marauding sharks common in the deeper waters.
Gede ruins, a few kilometers from Malindi houses the ‘Golden Era’ of the Islamic culture. The ruins which were mysteriously abandoned in the 17th century, Lamu Islands, the Arabuko Sokoke forest, the Portuguese chapel and the Mamburui village offer excellent opportunities for excursion from Malindi and Mombasa.