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Southern Palms

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London
posts: 2
reviews: 2
Southern Palms

We'll be staying at the Southern Palms in October. Is it safe to walk outside the hotel grounds? as we are wanderers and like to explore.

edinburgh
posts: 1,360
reviews: 93
1. Re: Southern Palms

Having just returned from Southern Palms for the 32nd time I can assure you that it is perfectly safe to go out and wander about.

Just outside the gates there is a terminus for the matatu (bus) which can get crowded but costs 20KHS to go to Barclays Centre - bank etc.

There are bandas with beach boys across from the hotel but I have no problem with them. ( I know most of them and it is good to have a chat and banter with them.)

This time a local friend arranged a Tuk Tuk for me to get around which is cheaper than a taxi and the guy will take you anywhere you wish.

You can also walk to Moiz boutique which sells everything under the sun but if going to Ukunda which has a local market I would advise taking a couple of locals with you and do not carry valuables.

I can PM you the number of my local contact who works on the beach.

Edited: 4:44 am, June 22, 2011
London
posts: 2
reviews: 2
2. Re: Southern Palms

Thank you so much for the prompt reply. I now feel more relaxed about the trip as I was a little unsure of the do's and don'ts.

South Wales
posts: 263
reviews: 43
3. Re: Southern Palms

I got seriously ripped off by one of rthe guys selling wood carvings across the road from the entrance, oh well you live and learn!!

edinburgh
posts: 1,360
reviews: 93
4. Re: Southern Palms

As you have been out before I find it surprising that you 'got ripped off'.

Are you not used to bartering?

The guys obviously have to make a profit but as you should know they start off with a high price and then negotiations begin.

As I have a banda on the beach which I built for a guy for a living I know the cost of items but don't buy anymore as my house is too full with carvings and the weight also adds to the baggage for coming home.

I have now started a collection of malacite which I buy at the airport.

What on earth did you buy that was so expensive?

Edited: 7:29 am, June 23, 2011
Augsburg, Germany
posts: 1,664
reviews: 5
5. Re: Southern Palms

Hi,

an important point - do this only during daytime. During day time you can walk and feel free considering the typical behaviours. But during night time be careful and use a taxi if you are going out - not by feet even if it is a short distance. Also don`t take a matatu after getting dark - most times they even stop driving during night times.

Bye

Chrissy

South Wales
posts: 263
reviews: 43
6. Re: Southern Palms

I bought at the airport last time. I bought a 12 inch teak giraffe for 2,500 shillings whle for 3,500 shillings I could have bought a 21/2 ft teak giraffe in the hotel shop for 3,500 shillings. I know a living must be made but this is why people wont buy. I was also asked would I give some money before I left the area.. When I go next time I wil make the time to go Akamba workshops and avoid buying anything from beach boys or anyone else.

edinburgh
posts: 1,360
reviews: 93
7. Re: Southern Palms

I was actually meaning day time Chrissy but having been out so many times tend to forget that taxis should be taken in the evening.

To the OP Ali Barbours restaurant is lovely to go to and reception will arrange for their coach to bring you there and back.

We tend to find that after dinner there are shows on and as Southern Palms is quite far away from a lot of activity we are happy to watch the shows.

We do sometimes go across to the Green Palm opposite Southern Palms as the security guards can see us and what is going on.

Matatus from Ukunda and to Southern Palms stop at 11 pm but it is not recommended.

Edited: 10:12 am, June 23, 2011
shamba25
posts: 202
reviews: 6
8. Re: Southern Palms

Yes agree perfectly safe to get a Matatu during the day , but also to walk out as well ,but taxi at night - But it is also safe to go to Ukunda on your own/couple without need of a local, in fact go for a coffee at Rongai at the junction, watch the world go by & see how many 'tourists are out on there own' as in anywhere in the world just dont flash the cash day or night - Agree ,barter with the beach boys,( & some shops) they always charge a very high price at first, in the hope you wont know any better - nice try ha ha, Just think if your happy with the price that you have barterd, then no harm done - But agree going to Akamba workshop is well worth a visit where you can watch items being carved before yours eyes, but also see this art being pased onto the families. Interestinly the 2nds that dont make the grade are bought by the beach boys/shops around Mombasa/south, north side to sell on. The shows at the Hotels are very good & support the locals, but the same show is repeated more or less in your 2nd week - So it is worthwhile being 'brave' cough- & venturing outside your hotel at night - there is life beyond Southern palms - or any other hotel ha ha - Mmm interesting that someone that has been 32 times to the same hotel has only just discovered using a Tut Tut !!! & they have bought a Banda, they choose to buy at the airport, where there is no bartering( the weight is still the same, if you buy near Southern Palms or airport!!!) & it does NOT support the local community around Southern Palms/Diani - Agree Ali Barbours is good for a special treat, but you will be looking at English prices £50 for two people, food with drinks, but there are many other ,better places to eat along the beach with excellent food & or so better prices, service & Atomesphere (waterlovers, Sands at Nomad & Kenaways) In short its not as scarey or danerous as you may be lead to belive , move out of your hotel, take the time to talk to the locals & listen, if you have any doubts, they are there for a reason, - play safe, play cool but most of all realax take a chance & enjoy your holiday. - single female -

edinburgh
posts: 1,360
reviews: 93
9. Re: Southern Palms

Shamba - I think you have misread my post.

I AM WELL AWARE OF TUK TUKS being used for many years!!!!!!

And we have used them often as well as taxis.

I have bought so many large carvings that I have no more room for them in my house.

It was easy to get through custums in the 90's with large pieces but if you take a six foot giraffe it will be weighed with your hold luggage and will have to pay excess.

I actually do barter at the airport and brought home a lovely malacite bowl well down from the original cost.

10. Re: Southern Palms

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