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Kenya's eastern coast borders the Indian Ocean, making the numerous tourist resorts and beaches which are scattered along the coastline some of the most inviting in the world. Situated not more than 10 miles to the north of Kenya's Mombasa Airport lies the stunning, white sand resort of Bamburi Beach.
It will take you approximately 11 hours to travel, via charter flight, from the UK to Mombasa. Once you arrive, taxi transfers to Bamburi Beach, taking a little over 20 minutes, are available at the airport terminal. However, many who travel to this resort choose to do so on a typical package holiday, where transfers – in a welcoming air conditioned coach - will be included. That said, if you prefer to do things under your own steam, car hire is readily available at the airport. Provision of your own car will give you much more freedom to explore, rather than simply being tied to organised excursions, but with roadways being uneven and often unpredictable, particularly 'off the beaten track', it is well worth considering the hire of a 4x4.
First impressions of Bamburi are certainly picture postcard, with endless white sands, palm trees and calm, clear, almost too blue waters lapping the shore. As with any beach resort, Bamburi is a haven for water sports – sailing, diving, snorkelling and kite surfing are just some of the delights on offer for the more energetic holidaymaker. The resort lies close to some spectacular coral reefs, making it particularly appealing for snorkelling, whilst scuba divers can take a trip down to the wreck of the purposely positioned MV Dania, teeming with local marine life.
If you can bear to tear yourself away from the miles of peaceful shoreline, pleasure cruises are available for a truly relaxed view of the stunning vista. Alternatively, if you are visiting during December to March, you will find this is big game fishing season, when you may want to take your chance to try and land the big one - or at least have a chance to be able to tell everyone back home about 'the one that got away'!
If you are travelling with children, a trip into the Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve is a must. Glass bottomed boats provide a seemingly never ending spectacle of coral reefs, sea turtles and almost inexplicably coloured fish and sea life.
Should you prefer terra firma, approximately five miles from the resort is Baobab Farm, where you can experience the Baobab Adventure – a series of nature trails, game farms and wildlife sanctuaries. Children and adults alike will love the opportunity to get up close – although perhaps not too personal - with giraffes, hippos, ostriches and even crocodiles. Those prepared to venture somewhat further during their stay should consider the option of a safari trip. Heading inland will bring you to Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks, some of the largest game viewing areas in the world. Also easily accessible is the world renowned Masai Mara.
With no specific seasons such as those of the western hemisphere, temperatures in the area range, on average, between 20–35 degrees, making it a good all-year round resort. Do bear in mind, however, that the rainy season takes place between March and May and this is generally not a good time to visit if you are planning on taking a safari during your stay.
If all you really want from your trip is a little relaxation coupled with a spot of retail therapy, then at Bamburi Beach you will find it all. A purpose built tourist resort, there is no end of restaurants – many with an emphasis on locally caught fish produce - bars and shops to entertain you. Many hotels contain local craft shops and there are always beach sellers on hand to offer locally produced souvenirs and curios. Credit cards are widely accepted across the area, particularly within the larger establishments. There are cash machines available but these are generally only in the major cities, so it is most advisable to take travellers cheques, which can be cashed at banks and hotels.
Travel throughout the area is via taxis and minibuses. Locals refer to the transport as 'matutas' and they are one of the most popular forms of transport over short distances and between cities - although it is recommended that you do not use them at night. Train services also operate but are generally very unreliable and offer little in the way of comfort or dependability.
Visas are required for all visitors to Kenya and are obtainable via most travel agents. It is also advisable to seek advice on the appropriate inoculations prior to travel. Immunisation against typhoid, malaria and yellow fever are generally recommended, as of course is the provision of suitable medical insurance.