When considering a trip to Kenya, it's pretty obvious that a proper African safari is in order. But when I took my first trip to Kenya 3 years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the beaches of Kenya's eastern coast are arguably even more sensational than its world renowned safaris. We wanted to share this with T's mom while she was visiting so the day after we returned home from Amboseli, we flew out to the coastal city of Malindi. There, we rented a car and drove out to a town called Watamu where T managed to find us a palatial beach house through Watamu Property Services. I had seen pictures of the house weeks before as our reservation was finalized so I knew it was going to be ridiculously beautiful... but I was still completely floored when we arrived on site. As far as I could tell, the house was designed for relaxation. In addition to the 4 gorgeously decorated bedrooms, every other corner of the house included plenty of spaces to lounge, generously decked with recliners, daybeds, and plenty of large, plush cushions. The house also included not just one but TWO pools with a personal chef ready to cook us up anything our stomachs desired. I've never felt so close to being as disgustingly rich as I did in our Watamu beach house.
Aside from the beautiful beaches, one of the reasons why we chose to stay in Watamu was for the Gede Ruins. Located deep within the forest, Gede was once a thriving Swahili town until it was mysteriously abandoned in the 17th century. It appears that little is understood about the city as it seems to be missing from any historical records. Only the remaining ruins and a handful of artifacts speak of their inhabitants and their astonishingly active trade industry. Pottery from China, scissors from Spain, beads from Venice... all provide testament to a seemingly cosmopolitan settlement. Our guidebook mentioned that since Gede was opened to the public in 1948, a fair number of ghost stories and tales have cropped up. This isn't hard to imagine as the ruins are hauntingly beautiful and especially as we were among the only people there... that is, aside from the gang of Sykes' monkeys guarding the silent grounds.