The Mida Creek is always buzzing with a host of watersports and activity, but it tends to serve as the ‘city’ limit for Watamu. Anything south of Mida Creek may as well be Kilifi for the majority of people visiting Watamu, and in between the two towns, there really is not very much in terms of accessible tourist accommodation, just the odd hidden gem you hear about through a friend. This all changed in a last minute search for a New Years house, by some friends and I. We found Nyumba Kavunjeni. Not easily accessible, with challenging coral tracks, a lack of sign posts, no other houses around (just a small fishing village), and no sight of the house until you are at the gate. On a public but very quiet secluded beach, Nyumba Kavunjeni is a gem, in its own right.
Owned by expatriates, the house was recently built in the traditional Swahili style that many houses along the Kenyan coast are. However, it never seems to have been “lived in” and hence, whilst incredible beautiful, it’s hard to make sense of how they used the space.
The house has everything a place at the coast needs: big kitchen, pool, large bedrooms, spacious airy rooms, access to the beach…how the various aspects of the house tie together, gives you the impression that something doesn’t quite fit.
The space was perfect for our requirements though. A beautiful setting, secluded and away from the New Years madness that we all wanted to escape. More than enough space to have a party for ourselves and far away from Watamu that during the day, we could do as we pleased with no interruption. Being in a remote location, we all expected that something or the other would go wrong, and we had some moments: bricks set on fire from the coral quarries around the house on New Years Eve, gave the impression that we were all going to burn, along with the quarries and, the lack of water for our last day at the house. These were all minor issues in the end, as we all ended up having an awesome New Years and great time in good company.
Supply runs were not easy! Driving back to Watamu can get tedious and tiring along the narrow bumpy roads, something we didn’t account for. Be sure to come ready with all your supplies for your stay. It’s a getaway that takes you far away from that hectic atmosphere the coast can become at that time of year.
If you want to go, make sure you use the directions provided by Nyumba Kavunjeni, much easier that a GPS, as one of the vehicles in our party found out.
For more info on Nyumba Kavunjeni and more like it, visit: www.bunsontravel.com