Before I start I should mention that this blog may be slightly biased because of Ocean Sole’s involvement with Kilifi. We care about this part of Kenya in so many ways, from our beach cleans to the support of Kilif’s local community and everything in between. Our coastal HQ is also in Kilifi too!
BUT there are really so many reasons you should visit this incredible town and I am going to tell you why and what you should do when you get there!
Kilifi is not the top of the list for most travelers when they plan a coastal getaway in Kenya, you might have heard of Diani and Watamu but I do hope this blog changes your mind and that you decide to pop into Kilifi for the day even!
Without further ado, let’s get into it:
Beaches - It seems fair to start with arguably the most attractive thing about Kenya’s coastline, its beaches. “Bofa” beach is Kilifi’s main strip of beach, with white sands stretching as far as the eye can see and crystal clear water lapping alongside it, it is really a sight to be seen!
The ocean is almost bathwater warm, which makes a nice change from some of the world’s more freezing oceans but don’t worry, it is still as refreshing! Especially when in the warmer months the temperature can reach up to 38 degrees!
We clean a part of Bofa beach every Saturday, so you will be happy to hear that there is little to no rubbish, but if you do find some please collect it and leave it somewhere for us to get off you!
Kilifi Creek - It’s hard to describe the beauty of Kilifi creek but I will do my best, try to imagine shrubby bush down to the beach on steep hills and sea that’s as flat as a millpond!
There are so many ways you can experience the creek but I would suggest booking a sundowner Dhow trip, you will sail around the creek on a traditional dhow, through the mangroves until you reach the island where you watch the sun go down with all your friends. If you happen to be on the creek during the October and November months, you will also be in for another treat. Nesting Carmine bee-eaters roost on the uninhabited island that you will Moore beside for your swim!
Activities - Apart from cruising around the creek on a dhow, the list of activities to do in Kilifi is endless! Here are some of my recommendations for both the adventurous and the chillers! Are you a keen sailor or maybe it’s been on your bucket list? Well, you can be sure to have an action-packed day at 3 Degrees South! You will be in good hands too, all of the instructors at 3 Degrees are RYA qualified and if you can already sail, not to worry you can rent any of their equipment by the hour. The activities at 3 Degrees don’t end there, why not have a go windsurfing or scuba diving!
Salties (which I will go into more detail about later on in the blog) also offers Kitesurfing lessons, or if you are a keen kiter, then here is the place to go! For some reason there always seems to be a good amount of wind in the afternoons here, making it a great spot for a kiter! They also offer very reasonable accommodation, so you can literally roll out of bed and into your kite gear!
Another one of the more popular things to do in Kilifi is fishing, so much so fishermen travel all the way to Kilifi to catch fish! You can easily book a boat upon arrival on Fishing Booker and spend the day in the deep sea with a trustworthy team and captain! The deep-sea off Kilifi promises Sailfish, Dorado, Yellowfin Tuna, and Marlin!
Food and Drinks - Kilifi has some of the best local and international restaurants (I promise this time I am not being biased) that the Kenyan coast has to offer!
For example, the newly opened Salties offers a new menu every day that changes depending on what’s on offer from their very own on-site farm!! A personal fave of mine is the sailfish tacos and for the veggies, their vegan buddha bowl is to die for! They make the best espresso martini I have ever had and with an extensive cocktail list, you are sure to find something for everyone! Salties also has cracking wifi if you are looking for a place to work while watching the ocean and of course tucking into a delicious meal!
If you are looking for some beautifully cooked seafood, I know just the place, Nautilus (they don’t have a website yet but I have added the link from Lonely Planet). You will be blown away by the views and the restaurant itself sits in the creek in a house on stilts! My personal fave from here is the oysters and chili prawns!
In Kilifi town you are sure to visit several delicious local restaurants, Swahili dishes being the first and if you are in the mood for some shawarma then you are in the right place! Just ask a taxi or motorbike driver for “Swahili dishes” or “the shawarma place” and they will know exactly where to take you!
So, I hope I have convinced you to come to Kilifi and I will say that this blog really is just the tip of the iceberg. Every time I go there I discover new hidden gems.If you would like to know more about where to go and what to see, why not reach out to us on Instagram or Facebook, I would be so happy to answer any questions!