For adventure-seekers, nature-lovers, animal-lovers & those looking for memory-making family-time, this really is a Perfect Family Adventure … in Kenya.
It’s Brief This Time ;o)
I’m not going to bore you to death again with my endless adventure stories, my children not quite behaving as they should or my rather strong points of view of how the soft-furnishings should be; instead I’m going to present you with a photo collage of my new favourite Safari Adventure with Children, a handfull of days at Tumaren Camp (a fabulous little base camp for the fabulous Karisia walking Safaris), in Laikipia, Northern Kenya. I think this family safari is best summarized in the words of our children ‘that is my favourite and bestest camp we’ve ever stayed!’ Billy (our son), ‘me too’ exclaimed Zia (our daughter) … and we have stayed in 100’s folks, its what we do!! We truly had the most amazing time!!
Kerry, Jamie (the adventurous and super-fun owners) & the incredible Samburu guide that is Gabriel … & Tumaren Camp so very much for putting up with this mucky, mad, energetic, scalliwag family … you made our dreams come true!
Kenya, unlike Southern African countries, welcomes families travelling with young kids, with open arms. See more on this.
Tumaren Camp – For those looking to experience a real safari, in comfort! Tumaren offers so many incredible, natural activities giving a family the most incredible opportunity to bond and to form life-long memories together. The Area – is rugged, dry, dramatic and eye-poppingly beautiful. You’re here for arid lands, the unexplored territory, the real culture and real life, and that is indeed what you get. For those travelling to Kenya with kids – Do it, if there’s one thing you should do in life, come here for at least 3 nights, with your kids. I would even suggest two or three families. No Ipads, no TV, no shopping …. instead you will have time … time to chat, to sing, to have your meals under an umbrella tree in the bush, to walk, to ride camels, to rock climb, to watch the sun go down, to swim in the river, to see wildlife, to witness real Samburu culture … ahhhh heaven! Weather – warm days and mild nights. What to Pack? – A good camera and binoculars (even for the kids, it’ll help them get into it more). Layers … jeans and a warm jumper / jacket for the evening and early mornings and shorts and a t-shirt for the day. High SPF sun cream, hats .. and a big smilie face! Price – USD450 per adult, per night (before conservation fees) – this includes all accommodation, all food (really delicious food!!), all drinks, all fully guided activities (walks, camel safaris, rock climbing, river-swimming, cultural experiences … etc.). My advise – People go on holiday for very many different reasons, if you are looking to experience a safari how it always was, at an agreeable rate, but with all the luxuries you need (comfy beds, beautiful tented rooms, cold drinks, yummy bush food, great hosting etc.) Tumaren will suit you perfectly. How to Book it? Kenya is not a country gifted with ‘ease of booking via bookings.com or hotels.com’ its always best to use a trustworthy, knowledgeable company who can help you book. We suggest contacting eitherChania who can organise your entire safari from the minute you touchdown to the minute you take off! Or one of the incredible magicians at The SAFARI Company, who daily turn adventure-dreams into real-adventures!! Fancy finding out more about this rather special company?
To book a Family Adventure Safari tailored to YOUR unique & dynamic bunch click here!
The Pressure of Getting it Right! An affordable multigenerational beach holiday in Kenya … As someone who’s lived in Kenya all her life, someone who’s worked in the African travel industry for 26 years, who’s company specialises in family travel it’s up to me to book all our holidays …. this time it’s somewhere for my extended family’s summer beach holiday, again … again The Pressure of Getting it Right … is On!
Daily, I see more and more people looking to travel on a teeny, tiny budget, but expecting perfection in return. Trust me, some of my family (you knwo who you are 😉 is absolutely no different, ‘Chania let’s all go somewhere gorgeous on the beach; we have USD1 per night … how lovely, we can’t wait for amazing food and a beautiful place, with a gorgeous swimming pool, on the beach’ ….. seriously😳!
So on a mission I went, again. One of the lovely little Hidden Gems we use for our clients on a tight budget came up trumps! They offered my rather extreme family a wonderful rate … Diani Blue here we come.
The adventure begun before we even reached the airport in Nairobi (to fly on the affordable Silverstone to Ukunda, Diani Beach). My parents reached the airport in good time; my sister, myself and the three kids didn’t. Traffic was in a gridlock and we were about to miss our flight. After calling the incredibly helpful and understanding Silverstone airline on numerous occasions, they informed us they couldn’t wait for us any longer, so we jumped out of the taxi; 2 adults, 3 kids, 100 suitcases, 200 beachbags, swimming noodles, hand boards, surf-boards, cuddly toys, beach hats, flippers and snorkles and we ran, along the main Nairobi road, we ran, we ran .. screaming kids, flipflips breaking, noodles flying away; what a sight it must have been, especially when the gridlock was released and all the traffic drove past us, including our taxi!
Anyhow, stiff from all the intense activity before our flight, we arrived to the caramel-warm air of Diani beach. Our rather characterful taxi met us and off we bumbled, a 5 minute drive to Diani Blue. 1st impression of the Blue is a beautiful forested and ponded area spotted with butterflies, sleeping monkeys, and beautiful tweeting birds skipping from branch to branch… pheow something for the bored and sweaty kids to do whilst we checked in! Then the view!!! The view through the Lamu doors on the most beautiful little swimming pool in the foreground and the aqua-seas in the background … yeay.
Diani Blue is indeed a charmingly small and exclusive (only 6 rooms) place lapped by the waters of the Indian Ocean; the love-child of a little boutique hotel and a relaxed barefoot beach-family who run it; the structure is elegance personified, the décor and atmosphere homey, relaxed and welcoming, located bang-on Diani Beach, which was recently voted the ‘Best Beach in Africa’ by the ‘Oscars’ of the travel industry: The 21st Annual Travel Awards.
We were shown our lovely little
air-conditioned or fanned (the choice is yours) Swahili-style rooms, with
lovely en-suite bathrooms (with showers) all overlooking the swimming pool;
perfect, absolutely perfect! Kids leaping on the beds whilst you’re trying to
find their swimming costumes, sun cream, hats etc. etc. and then we all leap in
the pool…. That was it, we were at the beach, heaven!
Our 10 days at Diani Blue were filled properly bonding as a multi-generational family, my parents, my sister, her boy, our kids and me ….. time together, a true luxury.
We all sat chilling and chatting, bickering & winging 😉 by the pool whilst the kids screamed around it (sorry!);
We spent time walking along the gorgeous beach, making sandcastles, playing beach cricket … trying to provide enough entertainment to stop the youth from bickering;
Surfing the crazily huge waves on belly boards; my 78 year old father was in heaven … finally two grandsons to muck around with, not two sissy daughters! Mum got tumbled a few times too .. hilarious memories that will last forever;
We went on an Ngalawa, Diani Blue’s traditional dugout canoe, to the sand-reef to find shells and urchins, to snorkel, to play French cricket;
We had a little bumpy camel ride up the beach;
We went on a Glass Bottom boat with the legendary John, who loves having kids on board, and they love him .. he teaches them all about marine life, starfish, sea urchins etc. etc.;
We visited the Colobus Conservation Trust to show the kids what people do, the lengths they go to in order to conserve the wildlife around us; pretty impressive;
We went to a back-packer joint to see Bushbaby’s coming in for their evening meal of bananas.
We mainly ate delicious food at Diani Blue, the restaurant is called The Edge … delicious, simple and traditional crab, lobster, fish, fish & more fish, samosas, salads (I suggest the ginger crab, the feta samosas, the self-saucing chocolate pudding … oh and the fish fingers for the kids) .. the menu was amazing, we could eat when we wanted, overlooking the beach and lapping seas and it was so damn reasonable! The only advise I give, is to order an hour before you need to eat, to avoid tears from hungry tummies. We also went out for some deliciousness:
We treated ourselves for my sisters birthday at theSails Beach Bar & Restaurant – Our personal favourite for a special occasion. Located on the beach front within Almanara Boutique Hotel & Villas, the modernization of the sweeping sails and curving beams create an ambience unparalleled on the east coast of Africa. The waiting staff are professional, kind and friendly, the ambience is friendly. As well as delicious, delumptios and heavenly fresh seafood, a selection of meat, salads and scrumptious treats for those with a sweet tooth… as well as being child friendly!!
We went toThe Sands at Nomad Beach Bar a few times, a wonderful beach bar, on the white sands of Diani Beach which wonderful pizzas, great Japanese, other seafood and non-seafood choices and a great ice-cream bar. Super Child friendly with a lovely little natural play area for all ages .. huge Connect 4, huge Tumbledown etc. loved this.
We went to Piri Piries Bar & Restaurant – a really lovely little café, restaurant and bar, very popular with Diani expat residents. Their menu is wonderful, serving seafood specialities, delicious meat dishes, vegetarian options, I loved the ploughmans and the huge selection of salads! They also offer amazing coffees and cocktails. Plus they had a great little playground for littlies.
We even went to the Colobus Shade – is a proper local restaurant owned by some Diani fisherman… get brave!🐙 There is nothing fancy or chic, but a great experience. It is reasonable and the fish platter or the plain fish, calamari and crab is fresh & delicious!
What a time … what special, precious time. We loved our relaxing stay at Diani Blue, we had a perfect time. The food amazing, the service slow .. but once Coastitus sets in, you don’t notice.
For value for money, you simply can’t beat it! Even if it may not have been as fun for them as it was us (Zia may have discovered some scissors … and a mosquito net and a bed-sheet and decided to see how they all worked together!!! The guilt to this day is unbearable, especially as they still haven’t sent me a bill! Sorry Diani Blue .. again!! I am waiting.
The guilt is still there, but I do believe Diani Blue & I pulled it off. It’s an awesome little place, a perfect place to bond with your family, it suits all generations and it doesnt empty your bank account. We had amazing food and a beautiful place, with a gorgeous swimming pool, on the beach ….. seriously!
Of course if this gorgeous place is enticing you ….. have a little look at this wonderful family itinerary or any of our other amazing itineraries, that are all reduced in price at the moment!!
Practicalities: Diani Blue – Is a personal, relaxed little beach place …. rather more an AirBnB than a lodge, but with the luxury of a beach-side restaurant at your fingertips. Diani Beach – Recently voted the ‘Best Beach in Africa’ by the ‘Oscars’ of the travel industry: The 21st Annual Travel Awards. A flawless, long stretch of white-sand beach hugged by lush forest and kissed by surfable waves, it’s no wonder Diani Beach is so popular. This town/stretch of beach scores points with a diverse crowd: party people, families, honeymooners, backpackers and water-sports enthusiasts. Only one warning here, beware of high, high season as the beach can become a little busy. For those travelling to Kenya with kids, and grandparents – If you like to spend time with your kids, rather than palming them off onto a kids club; do it, it will be the best bonding experience, you can chill by the pool or do all the fun activities we did .. and they cater for kids perfectly here. For those who live in East Africa – go as a family or get a couple of families together to fill up the place (6 rooms only) and GO!!! You’ll have an incredible time…. and their resident rates are appealing! Weather – of course it depends on when you travel, but generally warm days and warm nights with a gorgeous sea-breeze … delicious. What to Pack? – High SPF sun cream, hats, swimmers and light clothes to go for your excursions (respecting the coastal Arabic society)….. If you can why not squeeze in the odd body board? Price – Between USD85 and USD115 per person per night, Bed & Breakfast. Contact us to book! My advise – People go on holiday for very many different reasons, if you are looking to spend quality family time, relaxing but with something rather fun to do each day, please do come here!
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Find out about our family safaris that we have put together, for you, as a result of our adventures.
De-stress, Unwind & Reconnect at Almanara … and breathe!
De-stress • Unwind • Re-connect • Breathe … with your family, without breaking the bank?! It does exist. Yup, a glorious week, or two ;o) at #Almanara Luxury Villas on #DianiBeach in #Kenya is the ideal place to chill, play & laugh. Your own private villa with your very own chef, butler and maid, the most delicious food in the world, a kiddy-friendly swimming pool and the worlds most beautiful beach ... and breathe.
Why do we do it to ourselves? We get into such a pickle … over life … high expectations and over-commitment at work, looking after our homes (& building a new one in our case), organizing special occasions for loved ones, doing a blog (!!), grocery shopping, school runs, trying to spend time with a couple of little people … oh did I mention trying to put on matching shoes?
OK so, our wonderful travel company The SAFARI Company has taken off into orbit this year. Along with being completely thankful for this miracle, my levels of stress were floating dangerously around orbit too … until the sweetest email was ever received ‘would I like to stay at Almanara Luxury Villas with my family?’. Somebody stop me! Would I be able to relax & unwind?
A short hop from Nairobi on the lovely Safarilink airline …. Driving up to the the entrance to our very own villa (about a millisecond from the nearest airport, Ukunda), set among the most beautiful, tropical trees and shrubs and being greeted with the ‘smiliest’ faces you did ever see, a delicious swimming pool winking at us and a beach so white, a sea so turquoise … I wanted to cry with joy, I could finally unwind.
As soon as we were introduced to our most delicious, spacious & cool villa, our delightful team and once we placed our order (yup, whatever we wanted … in the world!!!) for supper, we couldn’t have reached that beach fast enough. I forgot beaches & seas of this colour actually existed outside the world of photoshop. As soon as we hunkered down for some serious sandcastle building, the Almanara beach attendant brought us a box of beach toys for the kids and some freshly squeezed juice; hell he even offered to play with them if I wanted to relax on a beach bed … I had landed in heaven.
Three days of wave diving in the warm seas, sandcastle building, crab racing, walks on the snow-white beach, shell spotting, swimming in the pool, chilling in the sun, eating, eating and a little more eating, I thought life couldn’t get better … when the in-house reflexologist popped over to our house and offered for the services of the maid to look after the kids whilst I had a head massage and some reflexology. Relax, unwind & back in heaven.
I feel it is only right to expand on the food as this is such a crucial part of ones enjoyment at Almanara. Honestly some of the best food I have ever had .. ginger crab, delicious salads, grilled lobster, vongole, oysters, crispy seaweed, freshly caught fish, fish & chips followed by mouth watering home made coconut ice cream … either in our villa or the glorious Sails restaurant overlooking the beach … ah yes and were you wondering what the kids ordered when offered anything in the world .. pizza … and pasta! Definitely messed up on their upbringing.
Almanara Luxury Villas – Will forever remind me of being able to unwind and recoup, even in the possession of two toddlers. The location is out of this world; the concept is excellent so a family can enjoy their time without feeling guilty when disturbing others. The owners and management are absolutely charming; the staff are kind, professional and excellent… and you can actually 100% relax. We will be back. NB. There is also Almanara Boutique Hotel … which is a beautiful boutique hotel in between the villas and the beach, this is for those who would like to have a perfect beach holiday without kids … magnificent and highly recommended. Diani beach – Diani beach just cant help itself when it comes to winning ‘best beach in the world’ awards, it is a beautiful, wide, long white beach with beautiful shells and turquoise seas … this little part of it is even better than that. For those travelling to Kenya with kids – Do it, stay at Almanara Luxury Villas at the end of your safari, so that you can get back home refreshed and ready to tackle the world. For those who live in East Africa – get a couple of families together unwind and GO!!! You’ll have a scream. Weather – It’s beautifully warm just about all of the time. What to Pack? – High SPF sun cream, hats, swimming costumes, sarong/Kikoy and light clothes for the day. Mossi repellent, long trousers, skirts and shirts for the evenings… and light pijamas. Price – From USD310 per person per night!!! Complete bargain. This includes just about everything!! Full board accommodation, yes, your gorgeous private villa, all your delicious food; soft drinks, beer, house wine; your personal staff. It even includes luxury airport transfers and chauffeur services in the Diani area. My advise – People go on holiday for very many different reasons, if you are looking to spend some valuable family time on a beautiful beach, with yummy food, these villas will suit you perfectly.
Or if you would like to stay in a calm boutique hotel overlooking the Indian Ocean, with no screaming kids, stay at the hotel.