Snorkling with Italians

Trip Start May 03, 2011
Trip End Jan 31, 2013

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Where I stayed
Tiki Guesthouse

Flag of Kenya  ,
Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Watamu is a very funny and contrary place. It is a touristic destination and especially Italians are very fond of it. At the same time it is a real village close to the beach. A real mix of all kinds of things. I felt like I was the only tourist who was not staying in an 'all in resort' and also the only non-Italian mzungu….strange. Even when walking around the Kenyan people and children start talking Italian to me. They adapted to the situation and in order to make some money out of the tourists you have to know Italian since the Italians do not want to speak English or Swahili.

I stayed at Tiki guesthouse in the middle of the village which was nice because I like this kind of stuff. Just waking up and walking through the streets looking for some snacks. It is cheap and you support the people who really need it.

In the few days here I went for a snorkeling trip which was short but quite nice. But the main reason I came to this place was because of the Gede Ruins, one of the principal historical monuments on the Swahili coast. Hidden in the Gede forest there is a vast network of an ancient city with palaces and mosques. This city was built in the 13th century and served as a trading center and a city. There were about 2.500 people living in this city divided over 3 classes: the richest within the inner walls, the middle class between the two walls and the poorest outside of the wall without protection against enemies. Very atmospheric and definitely worthwhile to visit as you can see in the pictures.


Practical stuff

-          Tiki Guesthouse is a very nice place for 1.000 Ksh to stay. Don’t go with some of the beachboys because then you will pay more.

-          A snorkeling trip you can get for 2.400 Ksh including 1.300 Ksh park fees.

-          To go to the Gede ruins from Watamu just get on the matatutu for 40 Ksh and walk a bit to the site.

-          For souvenirs go to some small shops between Tiki guesthouse and the road to the beach. It is close to the Exim bank. I promised those nice ladies to promote them so here it is!
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