I recently concluded my visit to Beach Africa where I stayed for a couple of days because i wanted to experience the African village culture. And it's precisely what i got.
The location is wonderful & view of the beach is priceless. The hostel is part of the Maweni fishing village in Mtwapa where one can interact with the local fishermen & experience the day to day lifestyle of local fishermen & villagers. What i liked about the place is the remoteness from Mtwapa town but close enough to other popular beaches like Bamburi, Shanzu. MBA town etc.. The hostel has cabins (or rooms), some of the rooms have treehouse on top. There are dormitories & a camping ground too. However the camping ground is directly opp. the communal shower/loos. Unfortunately, the shower & sink waste water is "spilled out" into open just outside the camping ground which smelled quite bad, almost sewage like.
All rooms (except for one) overlook the beach so you can catch the sea breeze thoughout. Quite useful at night since the rooms don't have fans or electricity. Sleep quality is average because the beds in the rooms are made of concrete slabs with very thin mattress. I got a better quality of sleep on a sisal matt (mkeka in swahili) which i bought from town for a few bob. The dormitories have "hammock style" wooden beds which are also quite uncomfortable to sleep on. The tree houses are nice enough to sleep but no place to keep valuables.
The restaurant serves delicious food which takes upto 30-40 mins to prepare. The long wait can get annoying especially in the mornings for breakfast.
The food menu is varied which includes seafood, snacks, meat, pasta & veg. Prices are quite reasonable. I highly recommend the seafood especially the fish. If you fancy dining out in Mtwapa, i highly recommend Eagles Nest, Tamu Tamu & Mumtaz Cafe.
The beach is wonderful for swimming, particularly the right hand side. I was fascinated by the size of beach area for swimming. This is to say, from the shoreline to the reef (or deep sea) is at least a km or 2. The deep sea reef somehow impedes the high waves from reaching the shoreline. So what you have is very, very large area of swimming in relatively stagnant water (with mild waves) during high tide times - quite amazing !! I was fortunate enough to witness a baby tiger shark being caught in the fishermans' nets. As for the cats, they got there because the fisherman clean the fish @ the beach. They gradually moved into BA to become permanent residents. Worry not as they are only few in #s. In one way, the cats serve a useful purpose to keep the tree snakes at bay. The hostel is quite secure since it is surrounded by fishermen village.
Beach Africa has the potential to be much better such as providing better beds for sleeping, sunbeds to absorb some tan & of-course to re-route the waste from wash rooms to underground instead of out in the open. I wish the owners would also prohibit the consumption of "Miraa", "Mnazi" (local palm wine) & "Ganja (Marijuana)" at the premises. This would certainly restrict the local regular riffraffs from visiting the bar @ night & on weekends thus restoring some integrity.
There are other bagpacker hostels at the coast like Malindi, Tiwi & Diani. Each has it’s own pros & cons. And it’s upto you to weigh out all the options & decide what exactly it is that you are looking for in a simple beach holiday. At Beach Africa, you are practically as close as you can get to the beach. Beach Africa offers a unique beach holiday experience & target clientele being the "bagpackers". It kind of grows on you & over time you slowly start liking the place. It’s suitable for staying for a few days – a week at the most.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This place is for everyone who wants to break out of the normal wheel, to come back to the simplicity of life and its natural beauty. Overseeing the Indian Ocean, at the entrance of a Mangrove creek, surrounded by a local Fishermans village & historical sites, away from the rest of the world, the Beach is hidden and wants to be discovered. Stranded here, those moments of life one spends at the Beach become timeless. The Beach Bandas are built in a unique African style, the meals are freshly prepared on a local charcoal grill, and if someone wants to break out for a nightlife session, Mtwapa itself is a young and hip town, that offers many interesting places... It should be noted that the hostel and its amenities are no longer associated with the "BAR" these are shortly to become 2 separate co-located business's. However, guests at the hostels will be most welcome in the revised bar. The proposed name of the bar will be Sunset Havana, partially due to superb views and ambience. Clearly major changes will take time, but be assured of revised (downward) prices and standards of cleanliness and friendliness ... more less
- Also Known As:
- The Beach Africa Hotel Mtwapa
- The Beach Africa Mtwapa, Kenya