Malinde, Kenya, paradise in africa....
We landed in Mombasa, which is a 'rustic' airport, but fairly efficient getting through immigration and customs quite quickly. Once we had found our tour company which was to take us to Turtle Bay at Malinde, we were set!
The part of the journey through Mombasa was quite interesting with masses of traffic consisting of hundreds of Toyota mini-buses all crowding the roads with a minimum of traffic 'decorum'. The buildings along our route were a mix of older buildings and half completed structures interspersed with modern edifices built by multi-national corporations. As we got to the outskirts of Mombasa it was getting dark so all we could really see was the huge gates for various holiday resorts and beach clubs.
The road from there was tarred but very potholed and made for a bit of a rough ride. I had heard the road was quite well known for accidents!
The journey took about two hours and we were quite relieved to drive into the grounds of the Turtle bay resort.
The staff at the resort were exceptionally friendly and saw to it that we were shown our rooms quickly as it was quite late, telling us we would have an orientation with the tour company representative the following day to tell us how everything worked and what amenities as well as entertainment was available to us.
Our room was clean well furnished and quite spacious, looking out onto Palms and Frangipani trees.
The beach was quite a few kilometers long with sand like sugar and small waves as it was protected by reefs.
Our accomodation was full board including alcohol - local brands only which was fine - and with set meal times including morning and afternoon tea with light meals/snacks as well.
There was a Dive center attached to the resort run by a German family.
The equipment was in good condition although we only hired tanks. They were a PADI dive centre and offered diving instruction and certification as well as hire of windsurfers and kayaks and canoes.
We had excellent dives, chugging out to the dive spots in a old but well maintained wooden boat. Each buddy pair had a dive master who showed us all the creatures of interest and made very sure we not only were safe, but were not harming the reef in any way (poor buoyancy etc). When we surfaced the little things they did were excellent, handing out ear drops to expel water from our ears and slices of coconut to 'refresh' our mouths.
We saw dolphins on the surface several times.
The water was warm in January at about 25 or 26 celcius. Calm sea and vis was usually at least 15 meters up to 20 or 25 meters.
We also did one night dive were we saw, amongst other sea life, Spanish Dancers, lots of VERY active plankton-like creatures and phosperesence, we turned off our torches and watched the luminous trails left in the water by any movement - it was quite magical.
Overall the diving was good, the dive center owners and staff couldn't have been more friendly or more helpful and we will definitely go back for a wonderfully peaceful holiday. This is also an ideal place for beginner divers.
I recommend the location!!!