Edit Blog Post
Published: March 7th 2011
I've just spend a great week in Congo sharing great moments and receiving great news from all over the world. As usual, I'm doing a little stop-over on my way back home. This time, it is Watamu, Kenya. I want to bring one day Leslie and Tiffany with us for a nice safari combined with some nice diving for Leslie (will happen hopefully one day to Tiffany too). I have already done the loop NgoroNgoro-Serengeti-Zanzibar, so my aim for this little 4 days trip is to check how Watamu rates compare to Zanzibar.
I was first supposed to fly from Nairobi to Malindi. Malindi is a small airport only 25km from Watamu. Well...too easy, Kenya Airways cancelled my flight and I ended up being re-routed to Mombasa. Don't ask me much about Mombasa, it was already dark when I landed. The good news is that Kenya Airways did pick up the bill for the taxi, for the 90 minutes drive to Watamu. Not bad as this is an easy 80 euros one way, and not many option beside the taxi to get there.
It actually took me few days to figure out if I like the place or not.
The reason for this was very simple. 90% of tourists here are italians, mainly on all-inclusive holidays, but they are still roaming all over the place. With those comes all the touts, these are worst than vermin roaming the same beaches. The next thing was diving is nice, but nothing amazing. Well, Tofo, Mozambique was 10 times better!
So here are few details first of my stay. I stay for 4 nights at Tembo Village. It's a small scale hotel on the wrong side of the road, meaning no direct access to the beach. But...because of that, it's way cheaper, 40 euros for my room including a huge and nice breakfast. The place is run by Bettina, a german lady who is doing a great job. They may have 14 rooms, but I had the place for myself. Would come back with the kids tomorrow for a nice family stay.
The diving...I dive with Aquaventures, they are based at Ocean Sports Resort. Here you are in Brit land...and honestly, it did feel way better than the italian invasion. I dive with Dominique, a local divemaster. Great guy. Was unlucky to do a dive with a young divemaster in
training...well, not sure where she is in her training, but not my cup of tea.
Watamu has been advertised for whalesharks. Forget about it, that's the past. Not much in big stuffs. In 6 dives, I saw a small shark and a turtle plus 2 rays! It's easy diving, warm water, good visiblity...and lot's a fishes, but nothing impressive. Keep in mind that this is a good place to do an open water and I would have no problems to bring Leslie here. So nice stop for 3 days of diving, wouldn't stay a week diving here.
And as usual...when you want to judge a dive site, look at the blogger 10 best pics...if he tells you how great the place is and the pics are below average, he is either a very bad photographer, or most likely, the diving is just pretty average! So Watamu for diving...nice, but nothing to cross the planet for!
Next the food! Well, tourism is geared toward all-inclusive. I found a nice little (and new) restaurant in the village call Mami. Great pizzas, nice pastas. This place is so full of italians, so if you like good pizzas, you'll be in
heaven! But I could find only one restaurant outside Tembo village. They are few more places, but all were really empty. You may guess what come next, I didn't have much seafood here. Rule for seafood, you need to have enough customers to justify the fresh fish all the time! Pizza it was, fish it wasn't. I also had few dinners at Tembo Village, nice food but more customers would mean more fresh food and more diversity. If you want great food on the Indian coast, head straight to Mozambique!
Than the beaches...they are pretty nice. I'm not much of a carpet taking the sun, but I enjoyed long walks everyday. The slight problems is all those young local men roaming the place trying to sell you something. Well, good news, first I'm not Italian...second...when asked where I'm from, my answer and a big lie...Nairobi, and suddenly these guys just leave...fast...
Next, men who have low or no abilities to seduce any decent woman do end up on planes to South East Asia. Seen it all over, you know what I mean. I had heard of women going to Kenya for the same reasons, but never did actually
witness it. Well, it's done, woman do travel for sex too...and they come to Kenya to find their fix!
Enjoy the pics. I still don't know if I prefer Zanzibar or Watamu. I'm sure if they did ban all-inclusive, and if the place was a little more "international" (aka not only italians, and here they do not have any idea how to dress)! The place would be way better.
But the beaches are beautiful, the diving is nice, the pizzas where amazing...and prices just right. So who know, cast your votes!
PS. Last Sunday while having a BBQ in Congo with friends, the Presidential Palace in Kinshasa ended up under100 rebels attack. This is technically called a failed military coup attempt. We did continue with the beer that afternoon. I was also back today to Cairo. How sad, tourists have already come back, touts too, I missed my Cairo of the 22nd of February, when I was the only traveller around.
The next 4 entries will be each in a different country, but each next to the sea...so more to come in March! For me, it's back to my lovely family tonight!
Tot: 2.393s; Tpl: 0.052s; cc: 13; qc: 28; dbt: 0.0282s; 2; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb