From the bush to the beach! Sharing with all of you my experience staying at the hidden gem: Kinondo Kwetu.
After our safari adventures around Kenya, Alex and I decided to escape to the coast at Diani Beach as we could not finish our adventure without visiting one of the most popular beaches in Kenya.
This is actually my second time visiting this paradise since I came in November 2016. However my previous visit was so short that I couldn’t actually explore much around. So, I was looking forward for some beach days around this region.
About Diani Beach
Since my last visit this place have change a lot its one if the biggest growing industries in Kenya. Diani Beach is popular because has a long stretch of impeccable white beach, embraced by a lush forest and kissed by the most incredible turquoise waters that you can imagine.
What I like most about Diani beach is the mixed crowd: from party people, families, newlyweds, backpackers and even water sports enthusiasts.
How to get there?
There are many ways to get to Playa Diani:
Airplane: the best and fastest way. This is the option I took and theres different airlines from Fly Airlink and Jambo Jet. They offer flights from Nairobi to Ukunda (Diani Beach). The flight durations is one hour and the round trip cost can be approximately $100 – $150. However take note that there could be extra cost on check in luggage.
Train: you can catch a train from Nairobi to Mombasa that lasts 4 hours and a half. The cost is $10 for one way in basic class and $30 for first class. Suitcases have no additional charge. I will totally recommend doing this if you have time because I believe it’s a fun and adventurous experience. Please take in count that if you choose train this will only take you to Mombasa so you will have to take a taxi to Diani. Taxis are around $ 20- $ 35 and take about an hour.
Bus: of course you can take a bus and it’s the cheapest version, but the truth is that I recommend you doing this if your budget is low and you are very adventurous. The cost is 10-15 $ and this takes you to Mombasa and the durations its around 8-9 hours.
Our tour started at Galu Beach, the farthest end of Diani Beach south where the hidden gem Kinondo Kwetu is located.
Kinondo Kwetu is a boutique lodge created as your African home away from home that offers complete relaxation, completely “private” beaches (since the closest property is 2km), surrounded by lots of nature and landscapes that offer many adventures.
Each room and cabin has its own personalized charm, as it is furnished and decorated with crafts and antiques from the Swahili culture. Many rooms can accommodate more than two people. Alex and I stayed in one of the rooms facing the sea which in fact was the same room where the prince of Sweden stayed many years ago. I know… I know we sleep in the same bed but not together funny right?
Kinondo Kwetu has an excellent reputation for well-being, with a Finnish sauna, spa treatments, a yoga platform, a special meditation site on a nearby cliff and two swimming pools.
Food and drinks
The hotel serve three-course lunches and dinners in different places, on the beach in the shade of the trees or at night under the stars. All fresh fruits and vegetables are grown locally. Fresh fish and seafood come from their door-step the Indian Ocean gate.
All the meals that Alex and I tried were delicious and very mixed. We eat something different every time. From avocado salads, Greek salads, pizzas, organic coconut ice cream, fish, etc.
One of my favorite areas to have lunch was an old wooden boat that was converted into a private area to take meals. Decorated with colorful cushions that looked like it belonged to a very fun pirate ship.
What to do?
Kinondo Kwetu offers many activities to do. If you want complete relaxation this is an option but there is also the option to do many things.
Dhow Boat Experience
Without a doubt one of my favorite experiences since it is a super authentic experience in the Indian Ocean. Dhow is the name of the sailing boats that they use in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. In fact, these were the traditional boats that these regions used thousands of years ago as a form of transport and that today are still used by fishermen.
Alex and I had the opportunity to sail on this boat where Alex actually learned how to sail in this kind of boat. We were joined by 3 locals who took us for a ride around Diani where we swam, snorkeled to explore the beautiful marine life.
Picnic on the beach
Without doubt one of the best ways to enjoy an afternoon on the beach surrounded by lots of white sand overlooking the turquoise Indian Ocean while enjoying delicious fruits and snacks.
Kinondo Kwetu prepared this beautiful surprise for us and it was certainly one of our favorite experiences. In fact what make the photos more special and beautiful was our little friend and mascot of the hotel the beautiful Lion.
Horseback riding on the beach
I think it is a very common beach activity no matter what part of the ocean you are. Alex and I did a horseback ride at sunset hours and it was one of the most romantic and beautiful activities. Just judge the photos.
Campfire under the stars
There is no better way to enjoy drinks, snacks that include chocolate marshmallows with a nice bonfire on a warm night full of stars. Without doubt one of the best ways to close our stay in this hidden gem.
I want to thanks all the staff from Kinondo Kwetu for your amazing hospitality. To Ida and Jennifer for all your attention and make our stay much more pleasant. I love this place and I hope I can come back soon.
Denim Shorts: Forever 21
Off shoulder white top: Finders Keeper The Label
Basket tan bag: Sensi Studio
Multi color Scarf: Sarah and Sorrentino
Sunglasses: Ray Ban
Blue print bikini: Sarah and Sorrentino
Fuchsia printed dress: Show me your mumu
White maxi dress: Forever 21
Lace cream dress: Show me your mumu
Mesh black dress: Forever 21
Black one piece swimsuit: Jets Swimwear
Orange-coral bag: Sensi Studio
Kiwi straw hat: Caren Lola
Blue knitted cardigan sweater: Ralph Lauren