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27th May 2016 1:48pm | By James Clark
We recently stayed at the Ocean Sports Resort on the north coast of Kenya in a small town called Watamu. The tropical retreat was perfect for us with beach facing chalets, pristine gardens, a swimming pool, massage booth and roaming monkeys and other wildlife. Yes we were in paradise and had relaxation, sun and sea all planned out for our not so busy schedule.
What puts Ocean Sports above the others in the area (and there are quite a few) is it's appeal to locals and expats that hang out in the bar. If you're looking for some insider knowledge and tips on what to do in the area then the bar is a great place to head and get started.
Adventure seekers, singles, couples, families and let's not forget Watamu locals.
8/10 Watamu is a small town located approximately 105 km north of Mombasa and about 15 km south of Malindi on the Indian Ocean coast in Kilifi County. Mombassa and Malindi have airports served well by Kenya Airways. It's a beautiful and peaceful village with everything you could need; nestled between pristine beaches and a lush tropical forest between the Blue Lagoon and Watamu Bay.
The area is one of the coast’s least developed regions, but the getting away from it all feel factor is one of its major selling points.
The shoreline features award-winning crystal clear and warm water, white sand beaches and offshore coral formations, arranged in different bays. Watamu Bay was voted within the best three beaches out of 25 in Africa by CNN Travel Magazine.
The resort opens up on to the lush white sands of Watamu Bay. It's one of the best snorkelling and diving areas on the East Coast Africa and it's protected as part of the Watamu Marine National Park.
10/10 We were really impressed with the resort manager Florian and his team, all worked hard and were helpful, motivated and kind. We can say without hesitation that they were the best restaurant and bar staff we've experienced in years of travelling. A big thank you to Joseph who took care of us and ensured that we had everything we could possible want.
Ocean Sports Resort
Rooms and style
7/10 The accommodations come in beach facing self-contained chalet bedrooms, with own bathroom. Our large rooms was basically and nicely furnished with a large double bed and a net that a mosquito wouldn't have a chance of getting through, lots of clothing space and a shower room with a sink and toilet.
Ocean Sports Resort
The chalets were kept spotlessly clean by the chambermaids.
Every chalet comes with the added bonus of it's own outside porch area with a table and chairs, that is divided from your neighbours, enabling privacy if that's what you want.
Food and drink
10/10 Forget everything you've heard about African food, it's fresh, delicious and contaminate free. No stomach aches for us. We dined on fish daily; sailfish, wahoo and kingfish and managed to have a sneaky rare steak that melted on my tongue. Everything we tried here was top level.
Our advice, try the Ocean Sports Dawa; double vodka, lime, honey and crushed ice. In Swahili dawa means medicine. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
What's there to do?
Speak with the reception team to arrange snorkeling, deep sea fishing (they even have competitions running in Watamu), a Dhow Cruise and stand up paddle boarding. So that's the first week kind of taken care of, so what else is there to do I hear you cry? No worries on that score. Within the grounds of the Ocean Sports Resort is Aqua Ventures, which is considered to be one of Kenya's leading dive centres. Just check out the reviews on Tripadvisor if you don't believe us.
Aqua Ventures was established in Watamu in January 1990 by Steve and Helen Curtis. Steve is an ex-military diver from Zimbabwe and Helen from Kenya has been diving since 1989.
Aqua Ventures operates three diving boats and has a well equipped diving centre.
Today the centre operates three diving boats and has a well equipped diving centre with three compressors and over 50 sets of well maintained diving equipment and welcomes experienced divers and complete novices.
We completed a dive with Aqua Ventures, a must for everyone visiting the area. We saw metres of thriving coral reefs, eels, octopus, turtles and a multitude of tropical fish of various sizes and colours. The experience felt safe and we can't recommend it enough. We've even spoken about going back to do a PADI diving qualification.
You cannot visit Watamu and the Ocean Sports Resort without experiencing diving and some of the other great activities with Steve and Helen which include kayaking, scuba diving and cycling in the Arabuko – Sokobe forest.
There are enough activities in Watamu to keep you busy for a full two weeks.
Value for money
10/10 Great value for money accommodation, food, drink and activities.
Would you go again?
Yes, definitely. Do yourself a favour and head to the majestic Watamu Bay. We can't recommend Ocean Sports enough, it's the perfect place to relax and play.
How did we get there?
We reached Nairobi and took an internal flight to Malindi with Kenya Airways, the pride of Africa.
Kenya Airways has also partnered with JamboJet for a no frills option of travelling around Kenya.
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