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Kilifi: Six attractions to look out for

By Vivianne Wandera | August 8th 2021

Kenya’s coastal region is a favourite for many a traveller; local and foreign. And this is for a good reason. However, travelling can be costly, and has kept many a potential holiday goer at home. But this need not be so. One can travel and have a good time and explore the region on a budget.

This writer was in Kilifi and its environs and picked up a few things you can do, some quite comfortable on a lean budget.

Visit the Watamu Marine National Park and Reserve

Located in Watamu, the marine park is a protected area conserved and managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service. The waters have about 250 different species of fish and between the months of November to March, one can get the rare chance to see dolphins.

The entrance to the park is Sh100 per person, and a boat ride into the waters to see the marine life is Sh1,500 per person. A sunset cruise will cost you Sh2,500, where you will be taken to a remote island and enjoy some seafood and a magical sunset.

For those who love snorkeling, you will be in for a treat as you can see different species of sea animals including zebrafish, parrotfish, and even turtles.

Visit the Arabuko Sokoke forest

The Arabuko-Sokoke forest is managed by the Kenya Forest Service and is the largest and most intact coastal forest in East Africa. It has about 20 per cent of Kenya’s bird species, 30 per cent of butterfly species and 24 rare and endemic birds, mammal and butterfly species.

While there, one can see rare species like Golden-rumped Elephant-shrew, Ader’s Duiker and the Sokoke busy-tailed mongoose.

Clarke’s weaver is only found in Arabuko-Sokoke and another area further north of the forest in the whole world, making it the only bird species found in Kenya only. One can take a walk, drive, have a picnic or cycle around the forest.

The best time to visit the forest is early in the morning or late afternoon, while the best time for bird watchers to visit is from dawn to 9am.

Visit Love Island

Many people are familiar with the TV show Love Island, but most do not know that a trip to the seven islands at Papa Remo beach will give you the treat of a lifetime as you will get to see a real-life love island.

Sitting among the seven islands, the island was given its name because it forms a pool in the shape of a heart when there is a low tide. A trip to the islands is free but one has to take a short hike up the island to get a better view of the pool.

Getting across to the island is easy during low tide as one can just walk there, and the entrance to Papa Remo beach is free. While here, you can get the rare chance to see starfish.

Watamu Snake Park

Snakes are not exactly my kind of thing but for those who love adventure and taking risks, a visit to this snake park could be fun for them.

The entrance fee is Sh1,000, which affords one the chance to see the different types of reptiles kept at the park. If you are feeling philanthropic, you can donate money to go into helping rehabilitate the snakes.

Learn how to surf at Salty’s Kite Village

With beautiful tropical waters and great waves, what is better than a kite surfing lesson? Located at Bofa beach, one can either rent the kite surfing equipment at a fee or book a lesson with a kite surfing team in the village.

The prices for the gear rental are based on how many hours one wants to rent the equipment, starting from one hour which will cost you Sh8,500 for the kite and board.

Watch the Sunset at Lichthaus

There is only one sunset that matters, the one by the ocean. The sunset bar sits where the Indian ocean flows into the Mida creek and has the best sunset views. One has to book a reservation to get space and it is six people per table.

The best time to arrive is around 4pm for you to catch the sunset. Entrance is free but one has to buy a meal or a drink, and children are allowed.

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