When I was planning our recent safari-based trip (see AFRICA - SHOMPOLE, SINGITA, FARU FARU, KICHWA TEMBO BATALEUR CAMP) I already knew from experience that going on game drives is hard work; you actually need to recharge your batteries afterwards to make the trip feel like a holiday too.
I decided to book 4 days of chill out time at the end of safari to enjoy another side of Africa. In the Said family’s case, our preference is always proximity to water so my mission was to find two idyllic beach resorts.
During my usual research I came up with two standout retreats that could logistically work into six days. ALFAJIRI gave us the polish of unbeatable, by-the-beach chic, along with a Robinson Crusoe island experience off the coastline of Zanzibar MNEMBA ISLAND.
There is little to see online when researching properties like these in Kenya. One either decides to punt on the experience, or make a call direct to the property and speak to the owners or managers, and find out more. In this instance I called Alfajiri’s owner, Fabrizio Molinaro.He spoke with such passion about ALFAJIRI that I knew we would love what he and his wife, Marika have created.
We arrived at Mombasa international airport, from ZANZIBAR (a modern airport, with plenty of ATM’s to draw local currency). We were met by a lovely man called Douglas, who was to drive us the 1 ½ hours to Alfajiri. Douglas has the classic warmth that makes traveling amongst the Kenyan people such a pleasure. We felt quite safe on the roads, as we were in a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
The drive to Alfajiri which is located on DIANI BEACH, Mombasa requires by-passing the town of Mombasa, and then crossing the LIKONI RIVER by a barge or better described as a large ferry that transported cars, trucks and commuters in vast numbers across this 200 metre span of water.
It was quite a spectacle to see commuters in such large numbers - workers, woman and children, families…all converging on the ferry to make this short trip across. When we reached the other side, the city of Mombasa faded away, and is replaced with a true country feel. Makeshift stores on the road selling fruit and vegetables. People waiting in long lines to catch buses to their homes. What fascinated Sheira and Zoe was the ability for the woman to balance their shopping wares so well on their heads!