Jesse, Claire and I have just returned from an amazing trip to Tiwi Beach on the Kenyan Coast.
Jesse and I have been going to Tiwi Beach for years… Back in the day, when we used to have R&R breaks from field work, we would pack our car and go camping on the beach at Twiga Lodge. While we still love camping, we have fallen in love with a new spot at Tiwi Beach…. Sand Island Beach Cottages.
Sand Island is truly paradise on Earth, with eight cottages situated right on the beach. The cottages are simple, beautiful and comfortable. Sand Island is self-catering, so you must bring your own food. But you can easily hire a cook for 700 KSH per day who will do all the cooking and clean-up in your kitchen. Fresh fish is available daily from local fisherman who have set up a small shop at the edge of the beach.
What I love most about this place is the cottages’ proximity to the beach. This means – no packing a beach bag! When you’re traveling with kids, you’ve got to pack tons of stuff to carry along – water, snacks, blankets, shade, etc. Not at Sand Island. You just walk down to the sand for a play, or down to the water for a swim. When you’re done, you just head back up to your cozy, shady verandah for whatever you need. If you’ve ever lugged a heavy beach bag AND a toddler through sand, you’ll know why this is such a bonus.
But really, our favorite thing about Sand Island? The Starfish Gardens. Seriously – AMAZING.
We took a small dugout canoe for a ride out to a very special reef, teeming with colorful starfish. Our guide helped us walk around and collect starfish of all different sizes and colors, surrounding us with the beautiful creatures. Kids can play with the starfish, something that Claire particularly loved.
Our guide also taught us all about starfish – what they eat, how long they live, how they move, and how they mate (wink wink).
There are many reasons we keep going back to Tiwi Beach after all these years. It really is our favorite place on the Kenyan coast. We love that it’s less crowded than Diani, Watamu and Malindi. We love that it’s so close to Mombasa. We love that there are no “beach boys,” and very few people harassing you to buy stuff (and those who are selling items on the beach leave you alone after a simple “No, thanks”). And, we love the sunrises…
What’s your favorite beach destination?