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Coastal Beach

The Island has a tranquil and sleepy atmosphere, making it a delightful place to relax and enjoy the spectacular set, sweeping beaches, rolling sand dunes and warm Indian Ocean. The ocean continues to play a vital role in the life and livelihood of Lamu, and old-style sailing dhows abound. A trip on one of these wooden boats offers a highly calming way to explore the area, travelling to neighboring islands and fishing villages.
Snorkeling is outstanding in the waters off Lamu and the surrounding archipelago, which teem with lively marine life. Diving is becoming progressively popular here, and many excellent sites remain relatively unexplored.
Over a thousand years of East African, Omani, Yemeni, Indian, Portuguese and Victorian British effects have all left their mark on Lamu Island, in the architecture, the language and the very spirit of the place. In bustling Lamu Town, winding alleys lead past the intricate carved doorways of white stone houses, some of which are truly majestic and still home to the very wealthy. And, because the alleys are too narrow to be negotiated by cars, the modern world has had little visible impact on this historic town.
Life seems little changed since Lamu was a busy port town in the 14th century, donkeys remain the favored local mode of transport, and the streets are lit by lanterns after nightfall. Spices and the smell of grilled food scent the air around the markets, mosques, museums, fort and ancient houses, and exploring Lamu on foot or donkey is a treat for all the sense Sitting at an open-air restaurant by the water and watching the world go by is an irresistible past-time. Fishermen haul their catches ashore, locals walk or ride by, and donkeys carry their cargo. Shopping for local woodcarvings and curios is another enjoyable experience.
About Manda
The airstrip for Lamu Island is on Manda Island, and visitors reach Lamu by boat. Manda itself is also fascinating. Huge baobab trees dominate the skyline, and the ruins of Takwa, a 16th-century Swahili settlement can be found after negotiating a thick mangrove swamp. This Island has been visited by Arab traders in their dhows for centuries, lies in calm inshore waters on a long protected beach of white sand. There are creeks and other tiny islands to explore, and big game fishing can be arranged.
About Malindi
Malindi is a small town which is famous as the best spot on the Kenyan coast for surfing. Many other doings in Malindi also revolve around the sea, and glass bottom boats take tourists out to the coral reefs of the Marine National Park. Malindi is also a key spot for deep sea fishing. Barracuda, marlin, tuna and hammerhead sharks are all caught here, and there is a fishing centenary in October. Northwest of the town is the unique series of remarkable sandstone gorges that form the Marafa Depression, popularly known as Hell’s Kitchen! A boat trip into the winding channels of the mangroves and estuaries of Mida Creek is a captivating way to spend half a day, and a visit to the crocodile farm or snake farm also entertains.
Watamu
Green turtles, unique coral gardens, the Gede Ruins – the Watamu Marine National Park & Reserve has it all. The park is part of a complex of marine and tidal habitats along the Kenya’s north coast with rich and diverse bird life, fish, turtles and dugongs. Visitors can enjoy the white sandy beaches, snorkeling, water skiing, windsurfing and glass bottomed boat tours.
About Mombasa
Warm Azure Ocean, swaying coconut palms on white sandy beaches are to be found in the Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve. The park lies between the Mtwapa and Tudor Creeks and its blue waters are ideal for wind surfing, water skiing, snorkeling and diving. They also provide a home to a colorful variety of marine species including crabs, starfish, stone fish, cucumbers sea urchins, corals, turtles, sea grasses and interesting migratory birds including crab plovers.
“The Sable Antelope Paradise”
As one of the largest coastal forests in East Africa after Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, this reserve is rich in flora and fauna and hosts the highest density of African elephant in Kenya. Other animal species found in the area are Sable antelope, elephant shrew, bushy tailed mongoose and other small mammals like fruit bats. The forest is an important bird area and is endowed with forest birdlife while the grasslands hold localized species such as red-necked-Spur fowl, Croaking Cisticola and Zanzibar Red Bishop. The scenic Sheldrick Falls and the dense Mwaluganje Forest are also found here along with four campsites.
The wide grasslands, hills and valleys and thick forests of the Shimba Hills National Standby are a sharp difference to the arid, flat plains of many other of the Kenyan parks. Much of the Standby has beautiful views over the Indian Ocean, as Shimba Hills lays less than 50 kms from Kenya’s coast. In spite of this proximity to the ocean, it lacks the coastal region’s tropical climate; at up to 500m above sea-level, the air is cool and refreshing.
Elephant, giraffe and buffalo all live in this tranquil spot, along with rare roan and sable antelope, black and white Colobus monkeys, warthogs, and serval cats. Bird lovers can spot prosperity of species, including woodpeckers, sunbirds, honey guides and turacos. The area is also botanically rich, with two of most beautiful types of orchid in Kenya found here, and more than 250 different species of butterflies live in the rainforest. Also found within the forest are the remarkable Sheldrick Falls, which are over 25m high.
The Shimba Hills are home to the Mijikenda, including memberships of the Giriama, Duruma and Digo tribes. Central to these peoples’ captivating culture are Kayas – elevated forest glades that once held sacred objects – and two of these are located within the Reserve.
Contiguous Shimba Hills is the Mwalugange Elephant Sanctury, linked by a game corridor and run by the local Duruma people this is a fine example of wildlife and people working together. The Duruma whose small holdings used to suffer destruction by elephants now receive income from the sanctuary (which is partly fenced, so protects their crops). The Mwaluganje River runs through the sanctuary and though small, this is a very scenic area with the Golini escarpment in the background and large baobab trees dotting the landscape
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