The coast of Kenya is nothing like I expected. Nothing! But I had no idea what I was expecting – all I know is it excels every conceivable expectation.
As we drive along, we head in through a natural reserve and emerge right on the beach, I think how my perception of Kenya was so way off. This is an incredible place, and I just had no idea how amazing it is. My eyes have been opened to a land of wonder.
I’m greeted at The Sands at Nomad by friendly staff, adorning us with fresh flowers and a fruit drink.
As we head to our suite, a friendly Kenya is climbing a tree for coconuts. I quickly snap the camera and just manage to get the photo. This was not a posed shot, I was just there at the right second, and so I love it all the more. I’ve learned with travel to always have the camera with me.
We are staying in an upstairs massive Ocean View Superior Suite, and I feel the sea breeze as we head up the stairs. I stop and rest and enjoy the view from outside our room. I notice I am a lot more relaxed in Kenya than I have been for a long time. I love Kenya. I love the people, and I love so much more about this land.
We head in and Explorason is pretty excited. ‘Karibu Nomad’ is spelled out on our bed in toothpicks, and two little soapstone statues are left as gifts for us. It is a nice touch. We collect small statues from each country to adorn our world Christmas tree, so these will be perfect as a reminder of our time at The Sands at Nomad in Kenya.
Our room at The Sands at Nomad is filled with African artifacts, and so we sit and rest and enjoy a fresh fruit platter the staff brings for us.
We have a hot and cold drinking water “on tap”, and there is a refrigerator, but we are warned to keep the windows and doors closed in the day, or the baboons may decide to come in and are smart enough to open the refrigerator and help themselves to the contents.
We have selected The Sands at Nomad because we have decided to educate Explorason using world-schooling, and we are in the midst of a natural reserve – a place where the bush meets the beach.
We have organized for a biologist to come and take Explorason for some ‘one-on-one’ time. But that is not until Friday, so we have a spare day here first.
We head to lunch which is down by the Diani Beach area where we sit with a backdrop of the purest Ocean setting I have ever seen so far on our world travels – Diani Beach.
After lunch, I’m asked if I can take photographs of a wedding later that day. It is probably the most original wedding I have ever been to. I’ve never seen a camel as the bridal vehicle before! Gives a new meaning to ‘getting hitched’.
The start of the wedding was Maasai’s singing, yelling, and jumping as the lovely young bride and her father walk down the snow white sandy aisle.
To the right, a Kenyan choir starts to sing, and they stop under a flower arch. It is just stunning, and I wish I could all the fabulous photos I took up in this article. I found myself lost in time and really enjoying the service.
The sun was setting by the time I returned, and Explorason was excited to have a bath. He is too old for bathtub photos I am now told!
It is quite a large property, and we soon are heading off to the main restaurant for dinner, via the pool area. I’m pleased to have some new clothes that we bought in Nairobi. One thing I find is travel makes for a really repetitive wardrobe, but with our random acts of kindness, we can give away clothes to the locals who are as delighted as we are that we have made a purchase of new items.
No sooner had we sat down to dinner, and Explorason gives a bit of a squeal – I thought he had pinched his finger in the chair, but no – he had discovered they served Sushi – yes – Sushi in Africa, and he is beyond thrilled.
I fact it seems that Sushi becomes the evening meal each night, and the lovely staff joins in the fun as they serve us. (Must say, I love their traditional attire too).
We seem to be having early nights lately. I find I am getting up early for either a walk on the beach or a time of peace and quiet with a cup of coffee watching the sunrise.
But Explorason is going through a bit of a growth spurt, so it is off to breakfast before I know it. I adore the wooden refrigerator cabinet they have here at The Sands at Nomad. Each side is a myriad of little doors. A delight for a child who loves to explore – now he is exploring food, and there are so many doors to choose from! In front of that is a table of fresh juices and a section of teas.
And if that isn’t enough, Explorason now discovers bacon. Until now he hasn’t liked it at all. Now he is addicted. I personally love a cooked breakfast, plus I love the fresh fruits too.
After breakfast, it is time for a swim, and the pool is VERY unique. It has a center tunnel under the center atrium, about a meter under the water. The kids love swimming through it to the other side.
All that swimming and it is time for a chocolate milkshake! Take a look at the detail of the sun garden umbrellas – they are lined with African fabric, and I love the old dhow boat behind too. A little while after this photo we saw a mamma Colobus monkey with her time baby scoot right by. It was so lovely.
That afternoon we discovered the good old fashioned Afternoon Tea. The English traditions remain quite strong in Kenya, and we have encountered this before, and we love it. A traditional tea or coffee and cake, and we are served overlooking the pool. It was a quick refreshment because we had something special happening next.
Esther was here to give us a world-schooling lesson. The Sands at Nomad offers their guests a guided nature walk, and so we had signed up. It was wonderful as we walked through the massive bush area from the main road that is an expanse that stretches right to the beach. It is the largest privately owned natural reserve on the coast.
I was so enthralled with what we were learning, I had the camera on the wrong setting!
Our guided walk was full of information – some we later learned the locals did not even know. We learned about the Colobus monkeys; the vegetation, and so much more.
Legend has it if a local walks seven times around the Baobab tree that they will change gender. This brought on quite a lengthy conversation.
Then we learned about the Neem plant. We found out how to make the liquid the locals drink to prevent malaria. We heard all about local herbal remedies too. It was just the best couple of hours, and very, very educational too. I tried it a few days later, and oh my, it is really bitter, but they say two cupfuls last 6 months as a natural repellant.
In fact, when we returned to The Sands at Nomad, I bought a couple of cakes of the soap the locals made that Esther was selling.
It has the Neem oil in, and we hope it will work against the mosquitoes too whilst we are here in Africa, even though we do take the anti-malaria medication each evening.
As the sun sets, we return to find one of the staff running us a warm jacuzzi bath on the balcony. He has candles set, and a lovely drink each waiting for us.
Explorason jumps in!
I hand him the camera, but being nearly dark it was rather hard to get a good photo.
I guess I felt rather pampered. So I wanted to share the special moment with anyone who ever dreamed of sitting and watching the day coming to a close and going out over the Indian Ocean.
This has been a magical few days of staying in a really lovely place on the Indian Ocean – where The Bush Meets The Sands.
We are off to another of their properties soon – and staying on an island – I can’t wait to share it with you. It will be another great time where we incorporate world-education, fun and travel, and a little luxury too.
Website: The Sands at Nomad
Bookings: Click Here to book online
P.O. Box 5066 – 80401 Diani Beach South Coast, Kenya AFRICA