From Shimba Hills, we made a quick drive through Ukunda and checked into the Diani Reef Hotel Resort & Spa (quite a mouthful, eh?). They greeted us with refreshing drinks and towels, and it was a pleasure to sink into their lobby couches, where they have an aquarium for a floor. Quite relaxing to watch fish swim underfoot as you wait to be checked in.
Once done with the formalities, the rooms were an even more welcoming sight. With amazing views to the white sandy beach, I was glad to have a cooling shower, and ready for the cycle through Diani with the Diani Bikes group. Since I don’t cycle, I ended up in the chase car, for which I was thankful afterwards. Given the earlier trek at Sheldrick Falls, the team was exhausted after going through the village. We had a chance to meet the locals, visit a local school, and even more interesting, a local medicine man, Dr. Musa (kutoka Diani, lol). He showed us his potions and treatments for an extensive range of ailments, including zile za roho. I think the team was more impressed, given the mnazi they had sampled earlier in the village.
From there we made a quick pedal to DRHR&S who had a good surprise awaiting us – a complimentary dinner at the Sake Restaurant, oriental style. We were fed sumptuously through a 7 course meal, and it was so filling, that they should have had wheelbarrows to push us out into our rooms. Slipping into between the cool sheets, with the AC on, and listening to the crashing waves was bliss, and I slept much like a contented cat (not a baby: babies don’t sleep much!).
An early morning call had me up at 5:30am to catch the sunrise and a calming stroll through the beach, having missed the morning walk while at Severin. The beach was calm and quiet, with a few people enjoying the sunrise and the warm sun on the skin. I find early morning walks nice and calming, and a good time to reflect on the day to come. For once though, I didn’t have a care in the world, and I just enjoyed walking and getting some exercise which served me well later, given the sumptuous dinner we had the previous night!
After a quick breakfast, we drove down through Kwale and towards Shimoni where an underwater adventure awaited us at Kisite and Wasini. Previous trips to Mombasa had me convinced that since I’m not a good swimmer, there’s a limited number of activities that I can do. It was a great surprise to find out that Charlies’ Claws team can take you out on a snorkeling adventure with a guide, all you have to do is be calm and let him guide you.
Snorkels, flippers and lifejackets donned, we dove into the clear waters at Kisite Marine Park, where our guide Charo was happy to swim pulling us with him (good thing water makes you weightless and buoyant). This was the most amazing day of the entire trip. I got to see the electric manta ray eel, a sea cucumber (who looks pretty much dead but isn’t, great camouflage), Nemo and his many cousins, a giant sea urchin who had me flipping my feet fast in an attempt to get away before it stung us, and a turtle. There is an amazing abundance of marine life underwater at the coral reefs, and it just goes to show you the gems that we have in the Kenyan coast. After this exhilarating encounter, we made our way back to the boat Tom Tom, and sailed down to Wasini Island. Charo and his colleagues had a sumptuous lunch waiting for us that was a seafood delight. Cracking the crabs was quite fun, though when Charo brought a live one to us, the crab didn’t seem too pleased and snapped his claws away in anger. Bellies full and with exhaustion setting in, we made our way back to the mainland at Shimoni and back to Diani.
The next stop was the magical island of Lamu! I couldn’t wait!
Read the beginning of our #TembeaKenya Adventure.
And the picture of our friendly kitty cat made it to Jaunted’s Travel Cats. 🙂
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