End of Summer Getaway Part IIII: Kenya

Fringed by white sand beaches and shaded by coconut palms, the Swahili coastline of Mombasa is the ultimate beach destination in Kenya. The easy journey to Kenya's second largest city is part of the reason it has become one of the best luxe beach spots in Africa, and the world. Nairobi locals take the quick flight to Mombasa for beaches, bars, shopping, and world-class resorts.

It?s nearing the finale of summer, and we?re itching to get out and have one final hurrah!  This week we will share our favorite weekend getaways and our tips on what to wear when you get there. Each day will showcase an easy jaunt from one of our featured cities. Relax, pack lightly, and enjoy the adventure.

 
Check out this week's getaways: Colombia, New York, and The Philippines.
 
Today's Getaway: Nairobi Mombasa
Fringed by white sand  beaches and shaded by coconut palms, the Swahili coastline of Mombasa is the ultimate beach destination in Kenya. The easy journey to Kenya's second largest city is part of the reason it has become one of the best luxe beach spots in Africa, and the world. Nairobi locals take the quick flight to Mombasa for  beaches, bars, shopping, and world-class resorts.
 
 
 
 
Shop
 
The city is full of markets and shops that have been operating in the same way they have for centuries. You can start in Diani Beach shopping center, where you?ll find a wide selection of African and international designers. The Kikoy Co. (a label that has been worn by Madonna, Brad Pitt, and Prince William), is your best pick for beachwear -- including the kikoy (an east African version of the sarong made from woven cloth), scarves, paper-bead necklaces, and beach-bags. For fair trade jewelry, Kazuri (Swahili for small and beautiful) has finely designed beaded necklaces, and bracelets. A visit to Diani Beach Art Gallery is worth the trip -- it sells fine African artwork including prints, canvases, sculptures and photography by artists from all over the continent.
 
 
For locally made handcrafts, Bombolulu Handicrafts on the North Coast and Akamba Handicrafts on the road to the airport are well-established shops. In the middle of Mombasa Island is Biashara Street and Mwembe Tayariis, where you can get an authentic Mombasa shopping experience ? you?ll find Khangas, kikoys and kitenges. This is also the best area to pick up some Maasai sandals or a shuka (the traditional red-chequered fabric worn by the Maasai tribe).
 
 
 
 
Stay
 
Sitting right on the ocean with stunning views, Serena Beach Resort and Spa has the vibe of a Maasai-inspired 13th century Swahili town. With unrivaled service, vast and lush gardens, a beach-chic pool (detox drinks included), fine dining, Maisha spa, and beach volleyball at lunch, you?ll find it hard to leave this first class paradise.
 
 
Nestled on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean, this exclusive boutique retreat hosts no more than eight people at once. With its owners living onsite, the thoughtful touches and warm atmosphere throughout this remote haven makes Tijara Beach a destination in itself. Its four luxurious cottages have handcrafted Swahili furniture, large decked verandas (you can step out from your bathroom), and uninterrupted views of the ocean. After lounging by the fresh water pool, you?ll enjoy a dinner of the local fishermans? catch of the day prepared by two private chefs.
 
 
Tijara Beach
 
 
Eat
Its reputation for the best seafood in Mombasa is well deserved ? Tamarind?s dining quality is unmatched in the area. Its flawless whole steamed crab is a Mombasa specialty and its waterfront setting overlooking the Old Town is unique for the area. For a delicious steak, Hunters Steak House (Executive chef Heinze Riegger boasts over two decades of Kenyan culinary experience) is a must-try and Il Covo on Bamburi Beach is a popular restaurant/bar/nightclub for a fun night out. Don?t miss the Nyama choma (barbequed meats), a Kenyan favorite, from street vendors. Other local favorites include succulent kebabs, and tikka grilled slowly in a clay Tandoor oven. For an evening cocktail, stop by Sheba Lounge -- a luxurious and fully enclosed rooftop penthouse lounge.
 
Beach
American-owned Amani Acre is a private beach with few tourists. Located on the Shelly Beach shoreline across from Likoni, Amani is a private escape from the pestering touts where you can relax and enjoy a view of the city from your loungechair. If you?re looking to explore the cliffs and rocky beaches, head to Kilifi Beach for the unusual black sand and picturesque rock formations in the ocean. Tiwi Beach, just south of Mombasa is another quiet retreat, and Watamu is good for spotting untouched wildlife. 
 
 
 
Do
Mombasa is a living museum of Swahili culture, and its surroundings are an ideal setting for adventure. Safaris are the perfect way to see genuine African landscape and wildlife, and the Portuguese Fort Jesus is a famous World Heritage site you can wander around yourself. 
 
 
 
What to Wear
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Indivie, Dark Oval Pendant Horn Necklace