Along 536km of idyllic East African coastline, white sandy beaches meet the warm Indian Ocean on one side and tropical wilderness on the other. Hiding underneath the Ocean’s sparkling blue water, brilliant coral reefs attract big exotic fish. This is Kenya; a country complete with stunning beaches, lush wilderness, fantastic wildlife and warm weather year-round.
All day long, visitors can bask in the warm sun or under the shade of beautiful palm trees. Kenya’s waters are perfectly suited for scuba divers and snorkelers who are able to get up close and personal to a myriad of colours displayed by the variety of marine life. Due to the minimal coastal fishing in the area, fish are able to grow to large sizes undisturbed, producing an aquatic life found nowhere else in the world. A leisurely trip on one of the dhows floating on the clear water offers glimpses of these exotic creatures from above.
Mombasa in the southern part of the coast is Kenya’s principal port and is bursting with colour, culture and history. The city is centred on Mombasa Island but extends to the mainland via bridges and ferries. Kenya’s coastline was once the traditional passage of the Arabian Spice Trade and Mombasa remains the coast’s centre of activity just as it was in the early days of trade.
The city’s historical architecture is interesting to admire and portrays the influence of the many cultures that have inhabited the town. Winding narrow alleyways take you past beautifully carved doors, overhanging balconies, quaint antique shops, and lavish art design. The mix of cultures and colours combined with the energy of bustling markets adds to the vibrancy of this cosmopolitan city.
30km kilometres south of Mombasa is the well known Diani Beach. A coral reef stretching offshore makes this spot ideal for snorkelling and Diani Beachwindsurfing, and beneath the water, shoals of fish swim through ancient wrecks waiting to be discovered. You are likely to spot turtles, mantas, barracuda and many other marine animals. Between January and March, whale sharks patrol the coastline.
Visitors can enjoy retail therapy at two shopping centres or, if you’d prefer to shop while lazing on the warm sand, beach vendors sell locally made items of clothing and other goods. Alternatively, visitors can learn more about Diani’s endangered black and white colobus protected by the Colobus Trust.
Situated on Diani Beach, spreading over 25 acres of lush tropical gardens and neighbouring an 18-hole golf course, Leopard Beach Resort & Spa provides guests with a choice of 158 colourful rooms with either sea or garden views. Rooms range from a standard through to Chui Class Cottages with their own gardens or patios and three luxurious villas with power showers and Jacuzzis.
The resort’s restaurants, each with their own look and speciality, produce tantalising aromas, luring guests from all corners. Guests can choose from the buffets and set-menus at Horizon Restaurant and Terrace, dine outdoors on Coco Beach or enjoy traditional African cuisine on the Nyama Choma terrace overlooking the ocean. Gaze down on pretty lily ponds from an elegant teak deck while savouring scrumptious seafood and Kenya – Leopard Beach Resort & Spa restaurantsgrills at the Chui Grill or if you’re a fan of Italian food, Pizza ‘n Pasta Tornati’s tempting meals will prove too difficult to resist.
After a full day of fun in the sun, what better way to wind down than taking time out to admire the breathtaking view soaking in the last rays of light? The elegant Mario’s Bar is carefully crafted out of mahogany, rosewood and teak and beautifully adorned with brass rivulets, twisted rope and bench seating, courtesy of a local Italian boat-builder. Or you can relax under the shade of sails at Marco’s bar outside, built on a coral cliff overlooking the resort’s multi-level pool and, of course, the smooth Indian Ocean.
Carved deep into the same coral cliff and beside the pool, live bands, discos and cultural performances at Mahogany Lounge and Disco will get your feet tapping and your hips moving in time to their rhythm. Also strategically situated in this area is the Poolside Bar which provides guests with thirst-quenching drinks in between sunbathing and swimming.
For restless guests seeking sports and activities, Leopard Resort has two floodlit tennis courts and an 18-hole golf course next door, and also offers volleyball, water polo, table tennis, gymnastics and aerobics. Water sports like diving, windsurfing, kite surfing, kayaking, snorkelling and big game fishing beyond the reef are all available, as well as trips on a glass bottom boat. Outdoor Water sports – Volley Ball, Golf, Snorkeling.
Alternatively, guests can make use of the fully equipped gym at the Uzuri Spa and Fitness Forest. Uzuri (‘goodness’ in Swahili) is surrounded by indigenous forest, making it a perfect location in which to rejuvenate mind, body and soul. Either alone or accompanied by your loved one in a double VIP room, guests can receive any of a wide range of international treatments. Massages are also available in the outside courtyard attached to each treatment room.
Couples visiting the gorgeous coast of Kenya might very likely be convinced that it is the land of romance. The resort is fully equipped to take care of you before or after your wedding, with its full wedding planning service and its honeymoon suite and private Jacuzzi.
If you’d like to venture a little further from the resort, many popular tourist destinations lie short distances away. The resort’s Adventure Centre can help with your plans, whether you want to take a peaceful dhow trip to Wasini Island or discover the historical Shimoni caves which were once home to smugglers and slaves. Kisite Marine National Park A trip to Kisite Marine National Park during which you have a good chance of being greeted by playful dolphins, takes you to reefs coated in 45 varieties of coral. This underwater oasis of colour forms one of the most complex eco-systems in the world.