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“Decent Backpackers' Hostel with potential to be better.”
Review of The Beach Africa

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The Beach Africa
Nairobi, Kenya
Level 6 Contributor
28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Decent Backpackers' Hostel with potential to be better.”
Reviewed 23 January 2012

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.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank STEFANILARDA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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22 reviews from our community

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English first
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed 26 September 2011

My sister and I went to The Beach Africa in February 2011 (we were in Kenya on business)as we heard loads about it. I have travelled all over the globe and stayed in all sorts of places, from the low cost no frills to luxury hotels. The Beach is a no frills place and they do not profess it to be any other than that. It is in a amazin spot, very tranquill and quiet, away from the hassle and bustle of traffic, crowds etc and has a great secluded beach with no annoying harassment from beach boys, part of the beach has coral but that helps with nature, load of wild birds and kingfishers and a safe haven for small fish, crabs etc. We were excited to try the seafood which we heard about, and had already priced up what it would have cost us in restaurants in Mombasa Island and some of the beach hotel restaurants and believe me it was just what we expected. We even went as far as ordering ourselves 2 starters and 2 main dishes each because it was so cheap and so fresh, the lobsters and prawns melted in our mouths. I would definitely go there again when we return in December to chill out and enjoy a fab meal. I would recommend The Beach anytime and even the locals love the place. I am lost at all the bad reviews and I have found that in the past years some travellers just like to moan and whinge about everything, i:e distance from the road, insects, the heat extra,you are in Africa not Europe and I must say there wasn't one taxi that did not know where The Beach was, it is a way to get there but was well worth it. The are many places that are a way away from anything like the game parks etc, would they whinge about that too.... I would say try it to make up your own mind.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank naylordyanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leamington Spa, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2011

I was travelling with as a group of four, and I can safely say that The Beach Africa was the worst place I stayed during my year spent in East Africa. The staff were slow and unhelpful, and the beds in the accommodation were extremely uncomfortable. The place was a real nightmare to find - one hell of a tuk tuk journey. The whole place felt dirty, an impression not dispelled by the stray cats EVERYWHERE. We were expecting a tropical paradise and what we truly found was a holiday destination from hell. My friends were awoken during the night by stray cats forcing their way through the windows, even after we blocked it off.
Admittedly, we weren't feeling optimistic from the word go because we were really struggling to find accommodation to match our budget and we spent hours trekking around in the rain, but for me, The Beach Africa is not even worth considering!

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank jmcgilvray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
thebeachafrica, Manager at The Beach Africa, responded to this review, 22 September 2011
The Beach Africa is for genuine Backpackers and not Hotel Wannabees. It is for those who want to break out of the normal wheel, and get back to the simplicity of life and its natural beauty.

The Beach Africa is, what it is. A beautiful African Village at the Beach, with all the simplicities of life. The Beach Africa is not listed as a Hotel, we are a unique Boutique Establishment that represents African Expression and Culture.
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Travellers are raving about these Mtwapa hotels

1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 5 June 2011

Awful place. Went here out of desperation after reading bad reviews but could not find any hostels: regret it terribly. Took ages to find, 3 taxi's, in a place so far away from anything we felt secluded. First impressions make it seem okay, but soon realise that with the many stray cats sitting around outside our room (3 of which forced their way through the net 'windows' whilst we attempted to sleep), and that the man who seemed most authoritative offered me weed within an hour that the place is not run properly. Went to bed early. Beach is horrible. Food is good but not cheap. They told us they had cheaper room when I called but then told us they didn't when we arrived. Beds are thin sponge mattresses, and they smell. We booked for 3 nights and left after the first. We're fairly tolerant seeing as we're on a small budget but I would strongly advise avoiding this place. There was one other person staying there, in the evening it turns in to a local bar which is all a bit seedy. Didn't feel safe. Dont go here.

  • Stayed May 2011
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Helpful?
1 Thank Poppyhanton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mombasa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2010

BEWARE: I never review on these sites usually but today's developments have forced me to do so and I no doubt expect a response from the owner who I've been in a shouting war with this morning (yes, as a customer). To put things blunty, I was robbed as I slept there. I rented one of their tents (after the mosquito nets being torn in a dorm room) and at 6am heard a rustling at my tent and it was the 'security guard' unzipping my tent to ask why my bag was outside. I had no idea why it was and after a frantic search realised my video camera had been stolen, unfortunately a very new HD one. This then turned even worse as after explaining to the owner I hadn't actually used it at the hostel he immediately told me it wasn't stolen at his hostel even though my bag had been taken outside and opened in the night. He aggresively told me I must have had it stolen before. His basis for this? Because my laptop wasn't stolen too. This could have been feasible if it wasn't for two facts: First, I had my bag with me on my lap the whole time to the hostel and second, as the security guard kept telling him, my bag wasn't outside at 3am but was outside at 6am. The owner just refused to believe it was stolen there implying that I was the one who moved my bag outside in my sleep! Then, after a shouting war, only because of his denial and aggressive stance, I went to the police station and processed my report, went back and the owner refused to listen to me, not one ounce of sympathy or offer of help, just mad accusations.

All that aside, on the good side, the bartender was a lovely chap. On the down side, it's in the middle of nowhere with a bumpy 20 minute bike ride to get there, the beach is hardly the white sands they picture it to be, the food and drinks are nearly 5 x more than local prices and the obvious negative is the lack of safety as anyone from the beach can access the hostel. I'm sorry if this review sounds bitter and harsh but I'm still in post-robbery stage!

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank traveltravel1177
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
thebeachafrica, Public Relations Manager at The Beach Africa, responded to this review, 27 September 2010
The Taccusations regarding the robbery statet here are not correct, as per police statment.

Fact: the customer last remeberd seeing his camera at the border of tanzania while in a bus. He could not recollect wheter he checked in with it.

Fact: All his other valuables [ money, passport, laptop, etc.] were safe. Even though he forgot some of his computer accesories and money in the bathroom, these items were found and returned to him by the staff

Fact:. It is unfortunate that he blames the establishment for his recklesness and carelessnes, the statet points in the report are untrue as the police who we called upon to investigate were also very uncertain of his statement.

He stayed for 5 nights without any complaints in the establishment, and he made the discovery of his loss on the last day.

The Establishment within 5 years of Operation had only 1 incident of robbery, whereby the guest took a [ local guest from outside] in his room against our advice.

We wish to clarify that all our guest are informed to keep there valuables at arrival in a safe, that we have 24 hr Securety and the place is very safe, and becauze of the large international clientle is patroled by the Kenyan Tourist Police..
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London
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2010

The hostel was nice enough. We booked a taxi pick up which the owner Doreen had said was a free service but when our bill arrived, she had actually charged us 3 times the local price of a taxi travelling the same distance. Also, there is a "security guard" on-site who was acting very strangely and stood by the door of our room whilst we were getting dressed. He still wouldnt move when we asked him to. Be warned, this is VERY basic (no hot water or power)

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank fw777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
thebeachafrica, Doreen at The Beach Africa, responded to this review, 23 April 2010
It is unfurtunate that there was misunderstanding, as per a standard e-mail that is sent to all our guest that require transport - the price is not a hidden cost and made available to all. It is a standard charge of 25oo/-. As we are a hostel/ camp lodge and not a Hotel who offers this service for free, we leave our customers always the option. We were not made aware of the behavior of the guard and would have liked to prevent the problem that you 've experienced. As we always advertise the beach africa is a camp lodge, hoStel, camp site, we do provide power, security lights, music etc. yet our clients also experience the traditional and natural living. A Parafin lamp is provided for the room, and a cold shower during the hot and sunny time.
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Additional Information about The Beach Africa

Property: The Beach Africa
Address: Maweni Beach, Mtwapa 80109, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Mtwapa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Mtwapa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 12
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

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