Friday, April 3

Escaping to Kinondo Kwetu

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I had been wanting to get to Kinondo Kwetu, Diani Beach many times, but for one reason or another it did not happen until this past December. I had heard that we could look forward to discerning standards – not least the food – and it lived up to it in every way.

We arrived on Airkenya’s morning service and were quickly whisked to Kinondo Kwetu, about a 20-minute drive to the Galu Kinondo Beach. Driving into the property you see horses in their paddock – riding on the beach at moonlight is a reality here.

We arrived to a very warm welcome from Kimana (one of the managers), literally stepping out of our vehicle into warm sinking sand. She briefed us on the amenities of the property while we sipped a fruit cocktail: the pools, the bar, the beach, the cliff-top; no forms to be signed; eat pretty much when and where you want; and the briefing was done: it’s all very laid back and relaxing.

With two young children, our cottage was closest to the main guest area and within close proximity to the beach and swimming pools. The coast doesn’t get better than in December when you are sweating in the shade and the only complaint is that the pool is far too warm to swim in: no one to blame for that!

I have learnt to pack all swimsuits on top because the moment we arrive, the girls are screaming to get changed and jump into the water! Once in, they almost don’t get out of the water – pool or ocean – until we leave! The team who take care of us are wonderful and the all inclusive package that Kinondo Kwetu offers is well worth it: food, cocktails and wines are all superb.

One of the many treats for us was “lunch on the boat”: a dhow on the beach, which has been converted into a dining area with table and benches. It was such a treat to have lunch in it and we were lucky to get two lunches served here. I can only imagine that when the property is busy there is a booking sheet for this experience.

There is so much for the family to do, including canoeing – which my husband and girls did one morning – and their Hobie Cat boat brought back childhood memories for my husband. We all enjoyed the boat cruise one morning with the wonderful Captain Vuyaa Panda, he took us out to one of the sand banks at low tide for a swim in crystal clear turquoise shallow water. It was an amazing experience, with fisherman passing us by in their Ingalawas (traditional fishing boat) and showing their catch of the day to my daughters’ fascination.

There is a stunning almost unspoilt beach to enjoy at Kinondo Kwetu. I hadn’t seen so many seashells on the beach since I was a child: a treat for us this holiday. Life on the beach must be pretty fantastic, as witnessed when we met Fred, the owner, who gets out on his Hobie Cat like most people would a bicycle. His son and young family live on site and what an amazing way to grow up. Home school in the mornings and the beach their play ground in the afternoon, with lots of experiential learning to boot.

Even on holiday, their wonderful “secret” cliff-top exercise deck boasts the most spectacular views of the ocean it makes getting a workout feel like an indulgence: callentics and yoga never felt better. A glass of chilled sparkling after to help unwind.

We had the good fortune to spend almost a week at Kinondo Kwetu, we left relaxed and revitalized, we got completely absorbed in beach life at Kinondo Kwetu. We kicked back and immersed ourselves in everything the property has to offer. A wonderful beach break, with a great team who go out of their way to make your stay fabulous.


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