Destinations

  • Where to Stay in Mombasa: A Guide to the Best Beaches in Mombasa

    Vika
    August 30, 2021

    Mombasa boasts some of the best beaches, not just the best of Africa but of the world. And despite its name "Kisiwa Cha Mvita" in local Kiswahili, meaning "Island of War", Mombasa’s beaches conjure a vision of endless white beaches and tropical paradise. And this certainly holds true!
    But where to stay around Mombasa - with 500 kilometres of beaches it is not always easy to find the best spot for you! To simplify your search and help make the right choice, we have written this guide to the best beaches in Mombasa.

    Best beach in Mombasa

    Not only are Mombasa’s beaches the ideal destination for sun and relaxation, but also the perfect base for a wide variety of water sports, and even whale watching! Thanks to its legacy as the largest port in East Africa, Mombasa is a cultural melting pot. British, Asian, Arabic, Omanis, Indian, and Chinese immigrants have enriched the city's architecture and cuisine, and many mosques and temples grace the city streets. And to top this off - Mombasa is located just a stone throw from some of the best safari parks in the world.

    Roughly, you can divide the beaches to the North and the South Coast. On the south coast of Mombasa, the beaches are lined with gorgeous palm trees and have incredible white sandy beaches. One of the most popular beaches throughout the southern coastline is Diani beach. Overall, the southern beaches offer more tourist facilities than the northern and are detached from the hustle and bustle of local life.

    The North Coast is located very close to the city - within ten minutes, you can immerse your feet in the sand. If you are keen to merge with local life - this is the place for you. Because of the proximity to the city, many locals visit the northern beaches. One downside is the persistent presence of the local beach boys - who are always ready to sell you something you need or do not need. Also, the beaches tend to be slightly rockier here than the ones in the south.

    NORTH COAST OF MOMBASA

    Nyali & Bamburi Beach

    The north coast of Mombasa is connected to the mainland by the Nyali Bridge, making it easily accessible and popular with locals. Nyali, Bamburi, Shanzu, and Kikambala are four beaches with big resorts and hotels, and, full of life - visitors to the endless white sandy beaches and residents below sea level. Just off the coast is a stunning coral reef that ranks the north coast of Mombasa among the most interesting diving sites. The reef (for now) bursts with life. Divers dive along the reefs, walls, and on the wreck of the MV Dania. At low tide, you have a fantastic opportunity to walk to the outer reef, which is truly a unique experience, and swimming and other fun in the sea are possible at all times, regardless of the tide. And there are plenty of water activities here, in addition to diving, snorkelling, and swimming, there are many water activities available here, so you can spend a day full of adrenaline.
    The magical beauty of the coast and the beach lull you to rest in between, and you can end the day by visiting one of the top restaurants in the area.
    Or visit the historic Nyali Golf Course, where all guests of the north coast hotels can play squash or tennis in addition to golf.
    So the north coast of Mombasa is suitable for everyone - you will find many activities there, and at the same time you will be able to lie lazily on the beach and enjoy the beautiful views while sipping on a delicious cocktail.

    Kilifi

    Just under a two-hour drive from Mombasa is the charming town of Kilifi, perfect for a relaxing holiday, as Kilifi, despite the bridge that greatly facilitates access, is almost overlooked on the tourist map. You will meet locals, mostly Giriama and Chonyi from the Mijikenda tribe, as well as a few tourists.
    The central part of the city is the Kilifi stream, and in its estuary, you can observe thousands of birds and other riparian life.
    The town of Kilifi is set on beautiful white sandy beaches - Bofa beach, which is considered one of the most beautiful, uninhabited towns along the Kenyan coast, lined with palm trees, and the smaller Shauri Moyo beach on the south side of Kilifi Creek, ideal for sunbathing or active rest while engaging in one of the water sports available. Kilifi lies next to important archaeological sites, and the ruins of two 15th-century Mnarani mosques are worth a visit.

    white sand beaches in Mombasa

    Watamu

    A good two hours drive from Mombasa, along the picturesque road around the Marine National Park and Watamu Reserve, stretches for about 7 kilometers a beach of the same name. The three bays, Watamu, Blue Lagoon, and Turtle with white sand, constantly kissing the turquoise ocean in a light breeze that just sways the tops of palm trees, are not only breathtaking but also full of interesting activities.
    Stunning coral reefs stretch out just off the coast, part of the Watamu National Marine Park Protected Area. Here are some of the most beautiful diving locations in the world, the desire of every avid observer of the underwater world.
    Something special are the mangrove forests and tidal wetlands on the mainland, where you will enjoy watching many different birds. Perhaps the most important are the nesting grounds of three species of endangered turtles, here safe from egg poachers. Injured or sick turtles have also found shelter, increasingly threatened by plastic that floats in the oceans and is often mistaken for food, or they get fatally entangled in it.
    In this beautiful and diverse environment, pursue your favorite water sport, or try something completely new.
    After a day full of adventures, visit one of the great restaurants in the evening or treat yourself to a glass of your favorite drink while watching the sunset on the beach.

    Malindi

    Not far from Watamu, another half-hour drive north, is the 13th-century Swahili city of Malindi. In an idyllic setting, this place offers historical and cultural monuments and attractions in addition to activities along, on, and in the water. The styles of various previous periods are intertwined with modern comfort in an excellent mix of cultural, adrenaline, and relaxation offers.
    You will probably start your vacation on the white beach of paradise and go swimming in the ocean first. But you will soon be tempted by some of the activities on offer. Let’s say scuba diving along the branching coral reef here, for the less active perhaps a glass-bottomed boat ride which also reveals a wonderful underwater world that you can enjoy without having to get wet.
    Once you have soaked up the sea and tested yourself in enough water activities, treat yourself with an explorative trip to the cultural and historical background of Malindi.
    Ancient buildings tell the story of the city. Among the traditional village homes and local shops, we find churches, a palace, and a popular tourist attraction, the Jumaa Mosque. Imagination will be stirred by the sinister ruins of Gedi as you discover, layer by layer, the story hidden in the remains of homes and other buildings.
    For the perfect experience, head northwest to the Marafa Depression, where the ground is split by jagged sandstone gorges. When you see it, you know why its other name is “Hell’s Kitchen”. For a perfect contrast, visit the Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve, where you can see several species of endemic vegetation, birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and insects.

    Island Lamu

    Founded in the 13th century, Lamu island has been continuously inhabited for over seven hundred years. It is proud to be one of the oldest and best-preserved remaining Swahili-tradition settlements in East Africa. It is a city and port just off the Kenyan shore some 250 kilometres north of Mombasa. It is also easily accessible by just a 40 minutes flight from Mombasa to the adjacent island of Manda.
    Nevertheless, a visit to the island of Lamu promises a break from the hustle and bustle and a rest in the most beautiful scenery, worth every postcard.
    If you are looking to stay away from anything too touristy or busy - and luxury facilities are not a must for you, Lamu island might be just what you are searching for. Slow visitors’ flow keeps this place filled with the charming flair of bygone times. The latter is emphasized by seeing locals riding donkeys to get around their daily chores - cars for personal use are on the island banned.
    Lamu Old Town represents the Swahili culture at its truest and finest - not a unique or single way of life and culture, but an ever enriched blend of traditions and cultures from whole Africa, Asia, and Europe. Walking the narrow streets among friendly and kind locals, visibly proud of their traditions, feels somehow surreal, like being a part of an exhibition - but amazingly fulfilling!
    The crescent-like southern shore of Lamu island's windward side is a long, long sandy dune. With no barrier reef to hold the waves, this is one of the few beaches in Kenya, where you can expect wind conditions to surf properly. Perhaps even hang ten! On the northeastern point of the completely uninhabited crescent, there’s this heartwarming, quite laid-back, artsy bohemian town of Shela. A completely different vibe as in Lamu Old Town.

    SOUTH COAST OF MOMBASA

    Diani Beach

    That is THE beach in Mombasa. Located 30 km outside of the city, the sparkling white sands and lush greenery of Diani are a fantastic material for films. It has been voted Africa’s best beach destination for the sixth time running since 2015 - there is simply no competition!

    The sandy beaches are wide, white and they stretch out as long as you can see. Beautiful coral reefs protect the beaches from heavy waves and offer fantastic snorkelling opportunities. You can also enjoy some great diving and plain old regular swimming here. It's also renowned for kitesurfing and deep-sea fishing.

    And when the sun sets - there is again plenty to do here. Diani offers the best coastal nightlife on the continent!
    And, as a cherry on top, combining your unforgettable beach vacation with a safari adventure is a piece of cake - for the cherry to put on! Nearby Shimba Hills National Reserve and Mwalunganje Elephant Sanctuary are both only a little over an hour’s drive away.

    The best places to stay in Mombasa

    Further south are more secluded beaches, Galu, Gazi, where you can walk among the mangroves or visit the Kenyan Institute for Marine and Fisheries Research, Msambweni, and the islands of Funzi and Che Chale. These beaches usually offer a more exclusive offer. There are also Shelly beaches near the ferry and Tiwi bordering Diani and Shimoni near the border with Tanzania.

    Best Beaches in Mombasa
    Evidently, there is the perfect place for everyone! Contact us today and book your trip to Mombasa and the Kenyan coast.

    Diani Beach best beach in Mombasa

  • Latest Covid Entry Requirements Zanzibar

    Vika
    August 4, 2021

    Last update: February 2023

    Looking for the LATEST COVID ENTRY REQUIREMENTS to Zanzibar? Shadows of Africa has got you covered. With our team living on the ground, we are always aware of the LATEST COVID ENTRY REQUIREMENTS. For a quick overview, see below. Our safari experts are ready to give you tailored advice.

    Latest Covid Entry Requirements for Zanzibar
    IMPORTANT: TANZANIA HAS NO ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR TRAVELERS

    • As of February 2023 travelers no longer need a negative COVID-19 Certificate or vaccination to enter Tanzania and/or Zanzibar

    Shadows of Africa makes every effort to ensure the information below is correct at the time of sending: but please note updates may occur. So although we provide you with information on the Covid entry requirements, this is provided as a guideline only. Shadows will not be liable if any information regarding the entry requirements provided by us is incorrect. Kindly ensure you check the latest requirements before departure applicable to your situation.

    If you want to plan a safe and responsible trip to Zanzibar - don’t hesitate to contact us to start planning & dreaming.

    For the full document please click this link: Latest COVID requirements for Zanzibar

  • ’Join the Group’ - What Is It?

    Vika
    July 28, 2021

    In general, we can say that safaris are amazing & unforgettable, but also quite expensive. The 4x4 car hire, and high fees for the parks, make a safari more expensive than a regular holiday. When travelling alone or with 2 pax, these costs of the car can’t be shared with other people, and that is exactly the reason why we provide group safaris. Each safari vehicle has 6 seats - so the groups still stay very small - but at least you can share the prices of the car with fellow travellers to decrease the price by almost half.

    Why Shadows Of Africa?

    The high quality of your game drive is guaranteed:

    • Shadows Of Africa chooses the best camping accommodations, and you even have the chance to upgrade your accommodations for a small additional cost.
    • The cars used for our group safaris have the same luxury quality compared to the vehicles we use for a private safari - which makes Shadows Of Africa unique. Other companies might not guarantee WiFi, charging panels, or a fridge on board, while the Shadows vehicles have it all!
    • On top of that our guides are super experienced and you will know everything about wildlife and nature when you come back from your safari.

    When?

    From the 1st of August 2021 - we will provide a 4-day tour departing each Monday, and every weekend from Friday to Sunday another group will go on a 3-day safari.

    You can book your own seat - for only $690,- per person for the 3-day tour and $1000,- per person for a 4-day tour. Our departures are already guaranteed with 2 participants!

    The 3-day tours visits are:

    • Friday: Departure from Arusha to Lake Manyara national park
    • Saturday: Full day game drive in Ngorongoro Crater
    • Sunday: Game drive in Tarangire national park with drop off in Arusha

    The 4-day tour:

    • Monday: Departure from Arusha to Lake Manyara national park or Tarangire
    • Tuesday: Transfer through Ngorongoro conservation area, afternoon game drive in Serengeti
    • Wednesday: Full day game drive in Serengeti national park, afternoon transfer to the crater rim for overnight
    • Thursday: A morning descend into the Ngorongoro crater, after lunch transfer to Arusha.

    join-the-group-tanzania

    These tours are also doable when coming from Zanzibar! Shadows Of Africa can arrange flights for you that arrive in the morning on your first day of the safari, and return to Zanzibar in the afternoon on your last safari day.
    Prices depend on flight availability.

    I want to book my seat

    If you want to book one of our safaris or you have more questions about this safari, you can contact us by email at info@shadowsofafrica.com or you can send a WhatsApp message to +1 585 213 5821

    More specific info needed about the tours? Visit:
    Three Day Northern Circuit Special
    Four Day Tanzania Express Safari
    Calving Season Safari - Five Days
    Safari from Zanzibar - Mikumi Day Trip
    Safari from Zanzibar - Mkomazi Day Trip
    Safari from Zanzibar - Selous Day Trip
    Safari from Zanzibar - Saadani National Park - Day Trip

  • Latest Covid Entry Requirements Uganda

    Vika
    July 21, 2021

    Last update: April 2022

    Looking for the latest covid entry requirements to Uganda? Shadows of Africa has got you covered. With our team living on the ground, we are always aware of the latest covid entry requirements. For a quick overview, see below. Our safari experts are ready to give you tailored advice.

    Latest Covid entry requirement summary:

    For fully vaccinated travellers:

    • NO requirement for a negative PCR test done on arrival
    • NO requirement for a negative PCR test for departure.

    Travelers with partial or no vaccination will be required to present a negative CPR test done within 72 hours of travel.

    Travelers below 5 years are not required to present a negative PCR test on arrival or departure.

    The Ugandan government is taking the safety and health of our travellers seriously, and has implemented regulations that will help make it possible for everyone to enjoy a safe safari. Uganda has been lucky enough to be a safe destination to visit and these new measures will ensure it will continue to be so.

    If you want to plan a safe and responsible trip to Uganda - don’t hesitate to contact us to start planning & dreaming.

    For the full document please click this link: Full Ugandan travel advisory

  • Latest Covid Entry Requirements Kenya

    Vika
    July 21, 2021

    Last update: March 2022

    Looking for the latest covid entry requirements to Kenya? Shadows of Africa has got you covered. With our team living on the ground, we are always aware of the latest covid entry requirements For a quick overview, see below. Our safari experts are ready to give you tailored advice.

    Latest Covid entry requirement summary:

    • All travellers who are fully vaccinated are exempt from the requirement of a PCR test
    • All travellers arriving in Kenya must have a certificate of COVID-19 vaccination.
      The following categories of travellers are exempt:
      • Below 18
      • Travellers with medical conditions precluding vaccination
      • Travellers who have recovered from a Covid-19 infection
    • All documents have to be uploaded pre-travel into global haven before boarding: https://globalhaven.org.
    • All travellers will be expected to fill out the traveller's locator form and submit before travel to https://ears.health.go.ke/airline_registration and thereafter submit daily health information for 14 consecutive days.

    If you want to plan a safe and responsible trip to Kenya - don’t hesitate to contact us to start planning & dreaming.

    For the full document please click this link: Kenyan Ministry of Health

  • Latest Covid Entry Requirements Rwanda

    Vika
    July 21, 2021

    Last update: October 2022

    Looking for the latest covid entry requirements to Rwanda? Shadows of Africa has got you covered. With our team living on the ground, we are always aware of the LATEST latest covid entry requirements. For a quick overview, see below. Our safari experts are ready to give you tailored advice.

    Latest Covid entry requirement summary:

    • Covid-19 testing is no longer a requirement prior to boarding a flight to Rwanda. However, regular Covid-19 testing is encouraged.
    • The Passenger Locator Form is no longer a requirement before departure
    • An additional Covid test is no longer required upon arrival at Kigali International Airport
    • Certain meeting venues and national parks require Covid-19 tests. Testing is available at health facilities and other designated sites for 5,000 RWF (or US$5) for rapid antigen tests, and 50,000 RWF (or US$50) for PCR tests (required for all visits to primates in Volcanoes, Nyungwe and Gishwati-Mukura National Parks). Rwandan citizens pay a subsidized cost for PCR tests of 30,000 RWF (or US$30)
    • A Covid test is no longer a requirement to depart Rwanda by air. However, Covid testing (at own cost) is available for all travelers whose final destination requires one at health centers and other designated sites

    The Rwandan government is taking the safety and health of travelers seriously and has implemented regulations that will help make it possible for everyone to enjoy a safe safari, as well as protect the endangered primates. Rwanda has been lucky enough to be a safe destination to visit and these new measures will ensure it will continue to be so.

    Note: Tourists are required to take a PCR test 72 hours prior to visiting a national park (except for Akagera). Tourists visiting Akagera are required to take a rapid antigen test, available at numerous walk-in clinics in Kigali (RWF 10,000). No tourist will be admitted to any national park without a valid negative test result.

    If you want to plan a safe and responsible trip to Rwanda - don’t hesitate to contact us to start planning & dreaming.

    For the full document please click this link: Latest Rwanda Travel Advisory

  • Latest Covid Entry Requirements Tanzania

    Vika
    July 21, 2021

    Last update: February 2023

    Looking for the LATEST COVID ENTRY REQUIREMENTS to TANZANIA? Shadows of Africa has got you covered. With our team living on the ground, we are always aware of the LATEST COVID ENTRY REQUIREMENTS. For a quick overview, see below. Our safari experts are ready to give you tailored advice.

    LATEST COVID ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR TANZANIA
    IMPORTANT: TANZANIA HAS NO ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR TRAVELERS

    • As of February 2023 travelers no longer need a negative COVID-19 Certificate or vaccination to enter Tanzania and/or Zanzibar

    Please be reminded to check the regulation of any country you might be transiting in.

    Shadows of Africa makes every effort to ensure the information below is correct at the time of sending: but please note updates may occur. So although we provide you with information on the Covid entry requirements, this is provided as a guideline only. Shadows will not be liable if any information regarding the entry requirements provided by us is incorrect. Kindly ensure you check the latest requirements before departure applicable to your situation.

    If you want to plan a safe and responsible trip to Tanzania - don’t hesitate to contact us to start planning & dreaming.

    For the full document please click this link: Latest COVID requirements for Tanzania

  • Saadani - Perfect for a Short Safari from Zanzibar

    Vika
    July 1, 2021

    The only place in east Africa, where the beach literally meets the bush is Saadani national park in Tanzania. You can have an early morning swim, go for a game drive after breakfast, and sip on a cocktail while observing the fishermen preparing for the night out on the sea. A fantastic blend of leisure, pleasure, and action!

    Short safari from zanzibar saadani

    While relaxing on the beach don’t act surprised, when animals come for a drink in the nearby waterhole. Or when they just stroll past your towels, checking your reaction carefully with the corner of the eye.

    Visiting Saadani is also a great way to combine your Zanzibari vacation with a thrill of a real safari. Give it a day and have a lifetime memory! Departing from Kendwa daily early in the morning, a two hours long boat ride will bring you to the shores of the Saadani national park. Daily flights from Zanzibar are also available. A fantastic day in the bush, supported by a picnic lunch somewhere in the middle of nowhere and finished with an invigorating swim in the ocean - certainly something to consider!

    saadani national park

    What to expect on your short safari in Saadani?

    A 1.100 km² of grassland, mainly plains, in-between acacia thickets, semi-arid land. Beautiful palm-fringed beaches continue through mangroves that form a kind of border into the wilderness.
    Usually, you can expect to see giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, reedbucks, waterbucks, hartebeest, wildebeest, vervet monkeys, yellow baboons, red duikers, the endangered Roosevelt’s sable, many different bird species, and much more. For example, green turtles, since this is their major breeding site in Tanzania. Or hippos and crocodiles, especially if you opt for a boat trip on the river Wami.

    safari from zanzibar saadani national park

    When to visit Saadani National Park?

    A visit is always a good idea, except perhaps in April and May, when the weather is really wet - this is the peak season for the rain. But immediately after, in June, July, and August, when there is still much water in the hollows on the plains and the animals linger around, the sights are amazing. Just as beautiful in January or February. Visiting from September to December won’t leave you short of experiences, spotting animals will just need a little more effort from your guides.

    saadani national park

    Expert tip for your short safari from Zanzibar

    Saadani National park offers an insight into different habitats and therefore puts a variety of wildlife on display. Avoid the heavy rainy months of April and May, the rest of the year is great for visiting . Combine it with beach holidays, either on definitely underrated Tanzania’s mainland coast or on the famous Zanzibar.

    Safari saadani national park

    giraffe in saadani national park

  • Your Guide to Visit East Africa This Summer

    Vika
    May 27, 2021

    Travelling to East Africa this summer - a great idea and a wise conclusion!

    To realize your great idea support your wise conclusion with updated information on pros, cons, and of course the latest Covid regulations. Daily updated and thoroughly checked information will surely help you to get an informed decision.
    Pros surely include fewer visitors, curious animals, a higher standard of service for a lower price, easily maintained social distancing, and more profound contact with nature.
    Cons may be different Covid protocols when entering each country.

    1. Tanzania


    The undisputed queen of African safaris, Tanzania, is home to the Wildebeest Migration for ten months of the year, it is where the World Heritage-listed Ngorongoro Crater shows off the unique wildlife, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest mountain protrudes from the average, and the gorgeous island paradise of Zanzibar is being caressed by the sea.
    One of the advantages is "front row seats" for the great migration spectacle - dare to fight the croc for its bite? Pre-covid times witnessed rows and rows of cars waiting to catch a glimpse of nature's wonders, now great views are on display.

    Covid-19 regulations:
    All travellers are now required to show a negative PCR Covid-19 test certificate not older than 72 hours. Upon arrival, all travellers will be subjected to rapid Covid-19 testing. The cost of this test is 25 USD and will be paid by the traveller on location. You are required to fill in the health form, available online, before travelling.

    2. Rwanda


    This green heaven in the heart of Africa invites with its unparalleled treasures. Gorilla and chimpanzee trekkings are always on the top, you can spot all of the big five here, and don't forget the amazing birdlife as well.
    Volcanoes national park, Akagera, Nyungwe, or the newest Gishwati Mukura national park all have lots to offer, Lake Kivu shares a different perspective, just as a visit to the sombre Rwanda Genocide Museum in Kigali.

    Covid-19 regulations:
    All arriving travellers are required to have a negative PCR Covid-19 test certificate conducted within 72 hours before departure. Before arrival, you are required to fill in the Public Health Passenger Locator Form online and attach the PCR certificate. All passengers are required to stay 24 hours in quarantine, while passengers from India are required to complete 7 days in mandatory quarantine upon arrival at a designated quarantine hotel at their own cost.
    All travelers departing from Rwanda must test negative for Covid-19. A PCR test must be performed within 72 hours before departure. The Covid-19 test is not mandatory for accompanied children under 5 years.

    3. Uganda


    No country in Africa can offer quite what Uganda does: world-class gorilla and chimpanzee trekking, terrific game drives, all big five, bustling birdlife, and the majesty of the mighty Nile.
    Winston Churchill fondly called Uganda The Pearl of Africa, and we certainly agree with that sentiment, adding our cognition - Uganda's wild charm and variety of activities make it a great place to plan a safari.

    Covid-19 regulations:
    Arriving passengers will be subject to temperature checks and will be screened for infectious diseases by the Port Health Authorities. If a passenger shows signs or symptoms of any infectious disease they will be taken by ambulance to a local isolation center to undergo a COVID-19 test at their own cost. Test results will be returned within 24 to 48 hours; passengers will be expected to remain at the isolation center until the test results are returned. Passengers coming from India or being there less than 14 days ago, are not permitted to enter Uganda. Passengers from certain countries will have to undergo PCR testing on the border /airport at their own costs.
    Departing passengers are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate, issued no more than 120 hours before travel. The 120 hours begin on the day the sample is collected for testing.

    4. Kenya


    Often referred to as "Africa's safari capital", home to the world-famous Maasai Mara and hosting the famed Wildebeest Migration in August and September as well as boasting the best views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Kenya is also an affordable and well-developed tourism market that is great for families or people traveling on a budget. Many different options to choose from in every rank, for every taste.

    Covid-19 regulations:
    All arriving passengers must take the PCR test 96 hours before departure from the first embarkation point and present the negative test. You must complete the “Travelers Health Surveillance Form” online before departure.
    Currently, flights from the UK and India to Kenya are suspended until June 2021.
    Passengers who have been to or transited through India in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter Kenya.

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