The most common question lingering in travellers’ minds is, can you traverse the Kenyan coast on a budget? The simple answer is Yes, you can!
With proper organisation and prior planning, you can actually spend time in all the major coastal towns from Lamu to Watamu, Kilifi and Mombasa in North Coast and Diani in South Coast for as low as $40 per day, covering accommodation, meals and transport.
Begin your holiday at the coastal town of Lamu, a World Heritage Site known for its well-preserved coastal culture. Though there may be a number of flycatchers gathered at the bus station, getting a contact person will save you the drama. Take a ride in a motorised boat from the mainland to Lamu Island, about 20 minutes away.
Take a stroll on the pristine beaches in Lamu, visit Shela – where Jim Morrison is said to have written one of his famous songs back in the 60s – make a dhow cruise to Manda Island and have a glimpse at how life was in the 17th century.
Visit the Museum to connect with the historical attachment here after which you can check into a local restaurant and enjoy sumptuous coastal dishes. Contact Sleepout Kenya to find great Lamu accommodations to suit every budget.
From Lamu, you can catch a bus to Watamu, about four hour-drive from Lamu mainland. Once again, there is a wide variety of accommodations in Watamu on our website on Sleepout Kenya.
On arrival, take a visit to Gedi Ruins after which you can watch the last family of flamingos remaining in Kenya at Mida Creek.
A trip to one of the few remaining natural forests, Arabuko Sokoke Nature Reserve, may prove fruitful for conservationists while a visit to Watamu Turtle Watch Rehabilitation Centre may be quite educative.
Check into a local restaurant and enjoy some of the well-cooked Swahili dishes including biryani, pilau, or Mahamri. Stay at one of HGTV’s Extreme Home’s of the World – the famous Watamu Treehouse.
Kilifi just like an hour-drive from Watamu and a quick stopover can be perfectly slotted into your itinerary.
A trip here will not be complete without taking photos next to Musafir, a 70 foot dhow built by a bunch of friends interested in traversing the world.
Mombasa is merely an hour and a half from Kilifi and stands as one of the biggest cities at the Kenyan Coast – both in population and size. Book your accommodation in Mombasa on SleepOut.com.
Ride in a TukTuk to the Old Town and get a better understanding of the way of life of the early Arabs. The rustic buildings standing firm against a changing tide of modern architectural structures, the Swahili accent renting the air and food vendors by the road, are evidences of the unfading ancient Arab influence once exerted in Mombasa.
Visit Fort Jesus, the ‘Elephant Tusks’ along Moi Avenue, the famous Nyali beach or Pirates beach and spend a few hours at the night at the city’s popular joints as you interact with the friendly locals, sip Kenyan brew and enjoy African music.
Photo : The Shaza Resort, Shanzu.
A trip to the coast is not complete without visiting Diani, two-hour-drive from Mombasa. Diani is not as populous as Mombasa though the rare site of Makuti-thatched mud houses, popular joints selling mnazi – a local brew made from coconut palms – and the heavy Swahili ascent will excite you. Various accommodation options are available on SleepOut.com.
So awesome is Diani Beach, that it won Africa Leading Beach Destination at the World Travel Awards for two years running – 2014 and 2015.
You can enjoy water sports like snorkelling, boat riding, swimming and fishing. Then wind your trip with a taste of local food and a night out, to party like a ‘Coastarian’! The best part is that you can now enjoy direct flights to and from Diani. This is great if you don’t want to take the ferry.
Cover photo : Baobab Beach Resort, Diani.