If you can still remember my itinerary, then you know our next stop is South Coast. I hear people say it's the best place to be. Well, I am here to discover whether this is true. Travel with Eliud and let's unlock the mystery.
Having left Malindi, Amani Tiwi Beach Resort is out next stop.
We arrive at 3PM and are offered a hearty welcome. Madafu is our welcome drink.
Very cold and quenching, and I must say, quite apt for this weather. The General Manager, Mr. Aditya, comes to greet and welcome us officially. You can imagine the feeling of importance this gives us. He assures us of a wonderful stay. At this point, I feel like my holiday has just begun. We are done sipping Madafu and we are shown to the room.
Our jaws hit the floor. I am not sure where to start describing this room. It is quite spacious, has a sink and toilet close to the door, a kitchen and a sitting area furnished with two sofas, a table and a television. The sitting area has a door leading to the balcony. Here you get the view of the entire hotel, the beach and swimming pool. The balcony has two sun beds with a beach towel. Back into the room. The door leading to the bedroom is directly opposite the kitchen. The first thing you see is the bathroom. It has an overhead shower, a sink with a mirror and a bathtub. The bed is quite large. A spacious wardrobe, a television, a table with two chairs and a door leading to the balcony; Isn't that room what every holiday maker looks for?
If Aida had been uptight in the earlier part of this holiday, this room will make her loosen up. (useful tip for my ninjas our there).
This is our home for the next two days. I can't keep calm. After freshening up, we leave our room for the beach. We start walking along the edge of the swimming pool which is 165m long. I think the longest I have ever seen. This means that there is enough room to swim even if the hotel is fully occupied. As we take the stairs down to the beach, we can’t help but notice how stunning the view is. Our fellow holiday makers are enjoying the breeze, while lying on sun beds set under the groomed palm trees.
Boom! A restaurant at the beach. We head there for a drink. The waiters here treat us like VIPs. I ask for my favorite cocktail, cuber libre. A table for two, right at the beach, with my favorites person and my favorite drink; what more could I ask for?
The beach is clean and well maintained with no beach boys in site. The shade is plenty. Time flies when you’re having fun.. Quite contrary to the speed that time moves at when you’re in the office working. We decide to go back to our rooms and dress appropriately for dinner, but I must have had too much to drink because my vision is blurry and I can’t walk properly. Aida is kind enough to help me to our room and decides to let me sleep it off for an hour but when my inebriated state doesn't let up we resort to coffee. Turns out the movies don't lie to us because it works like magic. I can now walk in a straight line and talk coherently, the state I need to be in when I accompany my beautiful lass to dinner.
By the time we’re done working magic and prepping for dinner, it’s now 9:30PM. We are met by an ever smiling lady who escorts us and gets us seated. She serves us drinks and shows us where to start on the buffet. The variety at the buffet is amazing. Everything looks fresh. We serve ourselves as other guests are just chatting after having eaten. A few minutes later, a group of people emerge from the kitchen singing and dancing. I reach out for my phone and start filming. I’m telling myself, “Somebody is lucky. “They have a birthday today. Who is the lucky person?” At this point am standing up so as to get a clear view. Suddenly, they turn and start heading towards us. “This is interesting. The lucky traveler is probably behind me.” The dancing group suddenly stops at our table and surrounds us; making me almost drop my phone in surprise.
A lady in the group is carrying a cake, which she lays on our table while the rest continue to dance and sing a welcome song. Aida is equally as amazed as I am. She thinks I have something to do with this. It’s a very conducive environment to propose but I hadn’t thought that far ahead. Aida cuts the cake while they continue singing. We share the spoils with our neighbors. We have never experienced such exceptional treatment before. Lucky for me I’m gaining a lot of points with Aida. A voice from outside is calls out to guests to sit at the entertainment setting right outside of the restaurant. We join the rest while I sip on probably my last cocktail for the day. The entertainment is characterized by songs, various cultural dances and acrobats. We also get a chance to join the dance as we sing 'Jambo jambo bwana, habari gani? Mzuri sana......'
We spend our second day at the beach. We decide to go for a beach walk. Here we meet Toyota. He is a beach boy who picked that name because of his love for the Toyota car. He tells us more about Tiwi Beach and what we can see. He takes us to a place where corals have created a map of Africa. It is a swimming pool inside the ocean. People diving and swimming, but am scared to try it.
According to Toyota, there are so many activities one can enjoy here. Boat riding, deep sea diving, snorkeling, Marine Park tour, deep sea fishing, and beach walk during low tide to see corals among other things. Life can never be boring on this side. Unfortunately, we do not have the energy to do any of these activities, so we get back to the hotel and spend the afternoon relaxing.
After breakfast on the third day, it is time to say goodbye. I walk to the reception to pass my regards to Mr. Aditya. He was just coming out so we meet at the reception. He is happy to hear about my experience. He can't keep calm and he offers us free transport to our next stop, Diani. For sure, this is a place I would n’t mind coming back to again and again. The best part is that it's very affordable at safirinasi.com. Mr. Aditya's driver is so friendly and patient. He drives us to Diani and upon arrival offers us some warm towels. We are amazed. After wiping, he offers us a bottle of water each and asked to carry our bags to our room. This is…different..
We are at Mzima House, Diani Beach, a state-o--the-art facility. Just what you need if you are looking for exclusivity and quietness. The facility has two apartments, a large well-manicured ground conducive for weddings, the main house and a cottage. Between the apartments and the main house is a beautiful ground. After the main house as you go to the beach, there is another large ground with nice grass. If one is planning to have a beach wedding, this is your point of reference.
Ms. Mercy is the manager here. She is my long time friend. She welcomes us warmly and we spend time catching up. She then takes us on a tour of the facility. I learn that the apartments each have their own swimming pools as is the case with the main house. This means that there is enough freedom and privacy while swimming.
There are only a few guests around. There is a lot of space and it feels like a home away from home. I can kick back and unwind. I can loosen and be myself. Isn't this what every holiday makers yearns for?
The cottage at the beach is booked and the main house is being prepared for other guests coming in. So we stay in the apartment which has two bedrooms. One of the bedrooms has a double bed while the other one has twin beds. There is a spacious sitting room with a set of sofa sets, a flat TV screen, and a balcony with a clear view of the ocean. It has a fully equipped kitchen as well. This is will be home for the next two days.
The idea here is to use the two days relaxing and re-energezing. I feel like this should have been our first stop because this place requires my whole energy, but then again it's the most romantic and beautiful memory I want to keep.
Lunch and dinner is served at the main house where the kitchen is. The table is set at the pool side with a breathtaking view of the ocean. Just what the doctor prescribed. The beach here is amazing. Probably this is the reason why it's voted among the best in the world. It's the cleanest, and most activity filled beach I have ever seen. Here we walk towards Neptune Hotels and then back. We mingle with the locals, buy madafu and play beach football.
I am at the beach the next morning to catch the sunrise. The experience here is out of this world. The beauty, the way those rays strike the water and reflect towards me, the feeling that God is so near, the fishermen starting their boots to go fishing, the mzungus doing their morning run and the shells swept to shore by the waves. The feeling is magical. I sit down alone and meditate for half an hour.
The entire day my mind is fixated on the sun. And you know what? I can't wait for the sunset. Believe you me, I make it to the beach on time to just feel the thrill. I regret not taking a boat ride which would have given me a nicer view of the sunset.
Back into the house, John our waiter has prepared us some dinner. This time, he decides that we will eat from an elevated sitting place. It is furnished with couches and a table.
He spends some time with us and entertains us with stories. The chef is five stars. The exceptional meals complement the amazing facility.
At this point, reality starts to hit me. Tomorrow I have to be in Nairobi. I don't want to leave this place. I am saddened because such places and experiences are hard to come by. Unfortunately, I do not have a choice. I have to say goodbye to Mzima House, to Diani and to the Coast of Kenya.
Here are some few observations I took home with me:-
-When you stay in a nice hotel, there is no time to go partying
-Planning is everything
-You can get a long holiday with minimal budget
-A good traveller creates his/her own memories and experiences
-Travel is life and to Travel is to live