Why now is the time to tick off your coast holiday

Lone windsurfer took up the challenge at the South Coast's Diani beach waters. [Maarufu Mohamed,Standard]

The weatherman has predicted more rains along the Kenyan coast. But do not cancel any plans yet just because of inclement weather. In fact, this season might just be the best period to dash to the coast. As one sage put it, don’t wait for the storm to pass but find a way to dance in the rain. We bring you 10 reasons why such a holiday should be on the cards.

1.  Lower rates

Like any other business, vacation subscribes to the rule of supply and demand. Booking a hotel during the high season will cost you an arm and a leg. However, the so-called “low season” will get you deals that will even surprise you. And now is the time. Don’t be too shy to haggle for a pocket-friendly deal. 

2. Less crowded beaches

During the warmer holiday season, our beaches resemble political rallies. Kenyans from all walks of life descend on the beach like moths to the fire. There is hardly any space to put your foot. But if you go now, you will have the beach all to yourself.

3. Enjoy extra hotel facilities

You can schedule any rainy episodes for indoor play as you make the most out of the hotel facilities.  Almost every hotel at the coast has those health corners that vacationers rarely visit.  Take advantage of the foul weather and extend your time at the spa, gym, or the game room. There is nothing more relaxing that spending hours at the steam bath while letting your mind wander. Your body will thank you later.

4. Cheaper transport

While I doubt if the SGR will lower the fares just because it is raining at the coast, other transport providers may be willing to go a cent lower and get you to the coast. Kenya has a number of low cost airlines that ply the coastal route daily. The planes need to be full for them to make decent returns. Check with Jambo Jet, Safarilink, Fly540, SAX, Silverstone among others for the best deal.  

5. Time to explore the food scene

The culture of eating out has caught Kenyans by storm. The coastal region has new and exciting eateries waiting for your discovery. Don’t get stuck up in your hotel because of the weather. Explore nearby eateries for that traditional meal that will satisfy your craving. In any case, eating can be done indoors.

6. Kite surfing season

This season brings with it more wind along the coastal belt. If in Watamu, this would be the perfect season to get some adrenalin rush through kite surfing. The more the wind, the more the thrill. Even the high-end hotels in Watamu such as Hemingways that organize for such activities have packages that may just be within your reach.

7. More than just the beach

To many Kenyans, a holiday at the coast revolves around the beach. Unfortunately, this notion blinds them to other fun-filled activities in the region. For example, did you know that Arabuko Sokoke Forest along Mombasa-Malindi road is the largest and most intact coastal forest in East Africa? It contains 20 per cent of Kenya’s bird species, 30 per cent of the region’s butterfly species and many rare and endemic wildlife species including the Golden-rumped Elephant-shrew, Sokoke Bushy-tailed Mongoose and Ader’s Duiker. Watamu too has the historical Gede Ruins while the Hell’s Kitchen at Marafa is an hour’s drive away from Malindi.

8. Finish that book

There is nothing more relaxing than reading a nice book with the sound of the rain and crashing ocean waves as the backdrop. You can also enjoy reflective interludes staring at the rain pouring into the ocean. You have no reason not to finish that gripping read you bought ages ago.

9. Connect more with loved ones

Are you among those immersed in daylong activities during your previous visits to the coast that you hardly have time to connect with your travelling companions? Well, if raining outside, this is the time reconnect with your loved ones. And there is no better time than to fall into the arms of your significant other than in the chilly weather.

10. Still warmer than inland

All said and done, Kenya’s coast is still warmer than freezing highlands.

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