Cape Town knows how to charm its visitors. Nowhere else…
Kenya was actually the first African country that I got to visit through my job as a flight attendant. I immediately fell in love with the beautiful scenery, the friendly and joyful people and the relaxed way of life. Every time I see the three letters MBA (standing for Mombasa, Kenya) in my roster, I am so grateful that I get to go back.
Most visitors who arrive in Mombasa either head to Tsavo National Park to go on safari there or for some relaxing beach time: Diani Beach or Bamburi Beach are among the most popular.
On my last visit to Kenya I was looking for an alternative and found a real gem: Watamu.
Watamu is a small, picturesque fishing town that lies on one of the most beautiful coastlines of the country. It features white sand beaches and offshore coral formations arranged in different bays and beaches and therefore it is no wonder, that this area has been rated third best beaches in Africa.
Despite being a true paradise, not too many people know about it.
If you arrive in Kenya by plane on an international flight you will most likely arrive at either Mombasa or Nairobi airport.
Watamu lies 105 km north from Mombasa and ca. 600 km away from Nairobi. By car you would reach Watamu in 2 hours from Mombasa or 8 hours from Nairobi.
I would recommend to arrange a transport with your accommodation as this would be the easiest way and hassle free. Taxis and buses are also available.
15 km away from Watamu is the city Malindi that has a domestic airport with scheduled flights to and from Nairobi, Mombasa and Lamu.
Watamu Bucket List – What to do:
- Kayaking in the Mida Creek
- Snorkeling or diving in the Watamu Marine Park
- Dinner at Crab Shack Restaurant in the mangroves
- Gede Ruins: a magical Swahili-village from the 12th century- can be combined with a visit to the butterfly farm
- Turtle beach is ideal for swimming and sun-bathing
- A stroll through Watamu village
- Deep sea fishing
- Arabuko-Sokoke Forest: one of the largest streches of Brachysteiga woodland on the eastern African coast, home to no less than six endangered species of irds, great for bird watching, lucky you can spot elephants, viewpoint
- Day trip to Malindi
- A visit to the turtle sanctuary
Where to stay:
In Watamu village or on the beach itself are a lot of hotels, guest houses or holiday homes that are available for rent.
When choosing our accommodation we were looking for a beautiful property, an excellent location right on the sea and a large variety of activities and excursions available.
We found all that in the Temple Point Resort and especially the location of the resort, which is situated on the beach, but also along the Mida Creek lagoon and only a short drive or bicycle ride away from Watamu village, making it the perfect place to explore the best of what this area has to offer.
On our arrival the staff greeted us with a large smile: ‚welcome home.‘ Those two words might be said quickly, but during our stay we soon realized that they were meant genuinely.
At the check-in we received our keys and someone guided us to the rooms where our suitcases were already waiting for us.
The resorts has 100 rooms, including double, two-bed and three-bed rooms situated in twenty bungalows all with either a magnificent view of the lush and green garden or the Mida Creek.
My room was very large and in typical Kenyan decor. It was furnished in a rustic style but featured everything that you would be looking for: TV, fridge, water cooker, air-con, fan, safe and mosquito net. WiFi is freely available in the lobby and for a surcharge also in the rooms (unfortunately that option wasn’t available during our stay).
My highlight of the room was the balcony overlooking the Mida Creek lagoon. With two sun chairs it was simply so inviting to spend some time there relaxing. A nice touch was also the fruit platter waiting for us upon on our arrival and the complimentary water bottles that got restocked every day.
Curious as we are, we went out to explore the hotel grounds. In the main house you can find the reception, a tour desk, a library, the Clubhouse Restaurant where a breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet is served. Outside on the terrace is the sunset bar where you can enjoy a refreshing drink in the evening and the panoramic view. The hotel has a spa, two large swimming pools, one next to the main building and one in a courtyard that reminded me a bit of the Tuscany. You also have access to their private beach.
For everyone who likes to be active during their stay, they have got you covered with great sport facilities. Guests have free access to their football field, beach volleyball site, tennis court and archery range. Equipment for a lot of other sports like pool, table-tennis is provided and also bikes can be borrowed free of charge which we happily tried in order to discover the resorts surroundings.
They also have a small gym, however the equipment wasn’t really up to date anymore, so we rather moved our workout outdoors to the trampoline.
Every day the hotel offers a changing program of activities and excursions around the area and they also arrange safaris to Tsavo National Park or Masai Mara on request.
During our stay it was low occupancy, therefore the animation staff came by in the morning and discussed with us the options that were available and asked what we would like to do and then arranged everything for us.
On our first day we joined a group on a trip exploring the Mida Creek by boat and kayak. We had lunch on a small island in the lagoon, where the ‚Captain‘ prepared a BBQ for us, while we got to enjoy the beach and a swim. The food was great: we had different salads, fresh fish and lobster, for desert fruit and cake was served.
After lunch we went back on the boat, from where we got to spot a lot of different species of birds and even saw a swarm of pink flamingos.
Together with one of the staff members, we got to paddle in a kayak around the lagoon for a while before we headed back to the resort. All together it was a very relaxing, nice day and we had a lot of fun with the group we were with. For them it wasn’t the first time to Watamu, they have returned every year for the past ten years to Temple Point Resort, because they have enjoyed the special atmosphere and the beautiful surroundings so much.
What you shouldn’t miss during your stay is to go on a dive or snorkel in the Watamu Marine Park. Despite that I was the only person who was interested in going snorkeling, they still arranged a boat excursion for me and brought some fruit and drinks on the tour. The water of the ocean was clear and warm and I spotted a lot of different fish while snorkeling.
On another day I went on a tour with one of the staff members to the nearby Watamu village and got shown around the picturesque town. We had a stroll around, went to the beach and watched the fishermen returning with their catch.
We were on full full board accommodation, so we got to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner from the buffet. Breakfast was sufficient, however we missed a little bit of variety throughout our stay.
Though lunch and dinner was really good. Everything was fresh and full of flavor. You could help yourself from the buffet and there was also a cooking station where meat, fish and pasta dishes were prepared in front of your eyes.
They had a lot of Kenyan dishes, Western and great Indian food (as the chef is from India) on offer.
Upon our arrival the chef introduced himself at the table and asked if we have any specific dietary requirements or preferences. My friend can’t eat dairy, so he created a dairy free desert for her and made sure that she got fresh coconut milk for breakfast, which we found very thoughtful.
They usually offer theme nights like Italian night or African night but due to the low occupancy we didn’t get to experience that.
If you are planning a romantic evening, the dinner in their honeymoon pavilion is the perfect setting. They decorated the pavilion very beautifully, lit up candles and prepared a menu for us.
If you want to eat out one evening don’t hesitate to ask the staff, they will be happy to assist, help you to find a restaurant and arrange the transport.
Temple Point Resort was a great choice for a relaxing holiday. What really made the stay special, was the caring and attentive staff who went out of their way to ensure that we felt at home.
The location, the food and the great excursions- all that was perfect. Only the facilities are in need of a small retouch.
Would we come back? Always.
Traveler’s Little Treasures was welcomed to Temple Point Resort as a guest, however my opinion is as always, my own.