All posts filed under: Travel

Mafia Island

We like to do trips for our birthdays. We’re more about experiences than presents. It’s how we roll. This year, for my birthday, it’s how we dove. We went to Mafia Island, Tanzania. It’s a remote island that’s sort of part of the whole Pemba Channel. You get there via Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar. The island is very eco-friendly, but we did manage to stay at one of the few places (maybe only place) with air conditioning. Say what you what. I like toilets and air conditioning. (There are a lot of mosquitos so air conditioned rooms allow me to sleep. Otherwise I will be bitten to death.) The air conditioned place, Mafia Island Lodge, is a bit run down. It’s fine. I’d say average food. Service was good. The rooms were…okay. We had to change rooms because the first room had a broken air conditioner. Besides climate control, the other reason we picked the lodge is because Mafia Island Diving is there. They are an amazing dive shop. Organized. Professional. Really nice. They …

Review: Voi Wildlife Lodge

On the way to and from Watamu, we stopped in Voi. We wanted to take a break and make the drive a bit easier. We chose Voi Wildlife Lodge as the place to make our stop. Big mistake. I don’t want to go into too many details as I don’t want to relive it. However I can tell you this: Service was terrible on the way down. Their excuse was that no one was really around and so there was less staff. Service was terrible on the way there. Their excuse was that the lodge was full and thus very busy. Food was barely edible. We reserved and paid for an air conditioned rooms. We did not get one either time. Didn’t get any real answer as to why either time. The fan in the room didn’t help as the bizarre mosquito netting somehow blocked the air flow at the top. There is no safe in the room nor are there adequate locks. There is no Do Not Disturb sign so you can’t even request …

Christmas at the Coast

This past Christmas was our second Kenyan Beach Christmas and it was a good one. We drove down, which was fine but we wouldn’t do it again. We did a lot of diving with Aqua Ventures, which was great. We stayed at a lovely house, which we would do again. It was really nice to have the space, not to mention the access to the beach and privacy that the house provided. We had a cook, which made things so much easier. We could get up, have breakfast made for us, go diving, and be back for lunch. Then we relaxed the rest of the day. The featured image for this post is from our private, little, shaded beach lookout point. Our cook, David, got whatever we needed (mostly fresh fish and vegetables). We did a little bit of shopping at Blue Marmalade, a local grocery store that has most of what you’d want. (We drove down with our own alcohol.) We ate in mostly but did go out for a couple meals. Christmas Dinner …

Driving to the Coast

Once again, we spent Christmas in Kenya. I’ll write more about the holiday itself in an upcoming post. This post is about the drive down. J. had gone via car with his family when he lived in Kenya in the 1980s. This was our first time driving together and it was his first time driving the car down himself. We researched it. We got lots of advice. We were prepared for everything. Mombassa Highway is a decent enough road as far as how well it’s paved. The issues about driving it have to do with traffic and idiot drivers. Luckily, we made it without a hitch. Much of that is luck. We didn’t have too many idiot drivers in the way. There weren’t any big accidents. But part of why the drive went well was planning. First, we left early, just as dawn broke. We wanted to beat the traffic. The two places where there are major chokeholds are Athi River and Machakos. Leaving super early really helped because we beat the traffic. Once we …