I have been to Mombasa on several occasions; visiting family, friends or just for fun on a holiday. I have had guided tours through the city, seen some historical sites (Fort Jesus in particular), gone for a swim in the ocean, visited marine park, been on a food hunt, rode a tuk-tuk for the first time, had long walks on the stone paved streets, shoe shopping the list is endless.
This is why I wasn't surprised when I hit Google search for "Mombasa activities" and had about 4,210,000 results. There is simply too many things that you can do in Mombasa but when I recently travelled there, it wasn't so that I could go about Mombasa town doing 'this and that' rather to rest in a beach resort in Nyali, watch time go by and let my worries sway.
Nyali Beach is an attraction in its own right and has won this year's Traveler's Choice Award. A clean beach with clear, powdery, white sands; sapphire blue waters with just the right balance of waves and breeze; perfect for lazing around on those white plastic beds under an umbrella, walking along the shore, wind-surfing or going for a refreshing deep.
This time around, I stayed at the Reef Hotel
The reef is not a luxury place and not a budget place either but is an absolute delight with great customer care and lots of activities to do or watch others do. The hotel has a special event every day after dinner and during the day they have an ‘animation’ team that is responsible of coordinating the games for both children and adults. There are over 180 pictures from travelers who have stayed at the Reef on Trip advisor and over 40 professional photos. I was happy with everything about it, the food buffets, the quiet surrounding, the staff and especially the serenity it commands.
5 things I learnt at the Reef that can make you a smart traveler:
- Even though the ‘All inclusive’ may seem like a bargain; for someone who doesn’t eat as much and doesn’t drink as much between meals leave alone doesn’t drink alcohol, it’s not worth it.
- Everything is negotiable, including the prices for the room; you will not get it unless you ask for it.
- The tours arranged by the hotel may be convenient and assuring but the private tour guides by the beach (beach boys) can offer a good deal and a great tour experience at a lower price if you are the type to take a leap of faith.
- Don’t feed the monkeys -- for your own safety.
- Respect the ‘No Smoking’ signs, your cigarette smoke can be enjoyable to you but is irritating to others. I was thoroughly abhorred by the people who kept smoking in the ‘NO SMOKING’ section.