Kinondo Kwetu, Kenya

An idyllic spot on Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast

This charming beach lodge, tucked away on Gala Beach on Kenya’s south coast, is a wonderful spot for a pre or post safari stay, with quite enough to entertain for a beach holiday in its own right. There is some excellent deep-sea fishing at certain times of year.  

Relax or explore – there’s plenty of both 

If you tire of relaxing by the pool or snoozing on the Indian Ocean shoreline, there are plenty of activities to choose from. Guests can try their hand at kite surfing and scuba diving. There are snorkelling excursions, and kayaks and paddle boards on which to explore. There are two pools, the smaller of which is adult only. With a nod to the owners’ Scandinavian heritage, there’s also a sauna – one of very few in Kenya! There’s a small gym, tennis court, and yoga platform, and although no spa as such, a range of spa treatments can be organised. The property has its own stables with horses and rides to suit both experienced and less advanced riders. Offsite, guests can visit Kaya Kinondo, the first Mijikenda sacred forest to open up for controlled eco-tourism on the Kenyan coast. It’s a place to discover beautiful trees, monkeys, spectacular birdlife and the spiritual rituals of the local communities.  

The Pemba Channel is within striking distance and is one of Kenya’s best deep sea fishing spots. Sailfish and marlin fishing is good between December and March and it is possible to arrange for a professional guide and boat for the day to target these exciting fish. 

Barefoot luxury at its very best  

The Swedish owners have created oodles of character with local artefacts adorning the main areas and guest suites. There are plenty of quiet nooks to relax with a book or drink, a lovely bar and well filled library should you run out of reading material. A mix of one and two bedroom cottages are scattered through the gardens with further accommodation in the beautifully airy Mama Taa villa, and Mama Tina Villa which connects to the main area. The elegantly appointed rooms have plenty of open space with either a terrace or verandah, en-suite bathrooms and air-conditioning. Some have a separate space for children and others connect to a second room so there are plenty of options for family travellers. Alex House is the most recent addition and ideal for those looking for a little extra privacy. This private villa accommodates up to four adults and three children with four air-conditioned bedrooms and two bathrooms. There is a private pool and private dining can be arranged.

Kinondo Kwetu can accommodate just over 50 guests, but even when full the property retains a calm, quiet atmosphere. Meals are served on the beach or by the main house, with lunch and dinner in a different location each day. The food is delicious, with freshly caught seafood prominent on the menu.

Peacefully remote, yet easily accessible 

Kinondo Kwetu sits on a 16-acre site at the far southern end of Diani Beach and is distanced from its neighbours by a rocky bluff. Ukunda airstrip is a 25-minute drive (the last ten or so along an un-made-up road) away and is served by regular flights from Nairobi. Mombasa International Airport is around two hours by car (although it’s wise to allow longer for an international flight). 

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