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Malindi or Shimoni for 2 nights?

Hong Kong, China
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Malindi or Shimoni for 2 nights?

We are a couple planned to travel to Kenya coast area for 7 nights. We are spending 5 nights at Diani Beach and would like to spend two nights at another location.

We like diving and was wondering if we should spend the two nights at Shimoni (1 hour drive from Diani) or Malindi (2.5 hour drive from Diani). It seems from tripadvisor that Malindi is more developed and has more activities to offer.

PS: Is the Watamu turtle watch good to visit at this time of the year?

Thanks alot,

Brian

London, United...
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11. Re: Malindi or Shimoni for 2 nights?

Brian, That is a pretty broad question, in what respect?

Nairobi, Kenya
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12. Re: Malindi or Shimoni for 2 nights?

Watamu & Diani is quite different in many ways. Watamu is a small fishing village with a very decent, clean beach. As far entertainment is concerned, not much to offer. Few handful of bars, restaurants & shops. Whereas Diani is more developed, more hotels, more bars, niteclubs, eating places.

If you are looking for a quiet beach holiday, if you're not "outgoing type", The Watamu fits the bill.

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13. Re: Malindi or Shimoni for 2 nights?

Stef, I could hardly be called a shy, retiring, wallflower and I love Watamu, but you are spot on. It is a place for people who don't like the madding tourist crowd, but are prepared to put up with boring Fisherman, who think you are interested in what they nearly caught that day!!

Mombasa, Kenya
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14. Re: Malindi or Shimoni for 2 nights?

I just wanted to add on to time of travelling. There is no way Malindi is 2.5 hours even from Diani, let alone Galu. Although the road is good these days, traffic is really bad. Consider spending around an hour from Galu Beach to the ferry, then the ferry crossing itself (it is a short sail but the queue can be unpredictable), depending on the time of the day Nyali bridge can be a problem, and then it is another at least 2-2.15 to Watamu or close to 3 hours to Malinidi.

Then, on the way back, you have to make it for 8 pm flight, you have to be at the airport at 7 pm, and take at least 3 hours to be on a safe side to reach the airport (traffic jam on Nyali bridge or any unexpected hold up on the way - it is a single carriageway with one lane in each direction). So you are looking at leaving Watamu latest at 4 pm for a good 160 km or so drive to the airport. Granted, from Shimoni or Galu you would have to go to the airport also 2.5-3 hours before your are due there (3.5-4 hours before the flight), but the distance is less and the chances of something going wrong are less too. Maybe I am over cautious on the timing to the airport but I have seen too many cases of people not making it on time. Anyway, think if all these hours going from A to B is worth it.

If to choose between Malindi and Shimoni, I would go for Shimoni. I would however consider Watamu, but for at least 3 days based on the distances and transfer time. Or just stick with Diani/Galu :) In Diani there are two good diving bases: Diani Marine and Diving the Crab, they go to different dive sites and you would be able to see different things even if you do dives with them on different days. Turtles are nearly always seen in Kisite (your Charlie Claws or Pilli Pipa day trip) and I have seen turtles on my dives off Diani most of the times as well. In August turtles are generally seen here even within the reef (we have seen some the other day) as the temperature of water is good for particular algae which they eat and they come close to shore on the high tide to feed.

Enjoy your stay on a beautiful Kenya coast whatever you decide to do!

Larissa

Tijara Beach Hotel

Amsterdam, The...
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15. Re: Malindi or Shimoni for 2 nights?

I second Larrisa. Take note of the ferry traffic jam too!:-/

Hong Kong, China
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16. Re: Malindi or Shimoni for 2 nights?

thanks guys.

due to the intensive travelling we will drop watamu and stay either at shimoni or diani instead.

London, United...
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17. Re: Malindi or Shimoni for 2 nights?

Brian,

I will think of you during my Quad Bike Safari!!!! It really doesn't matter where you relax, as long as your Tusker is cold!

Enjoy.

18. Re: Malindi or Shimoni for 2 nights?

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