swahili beach resort, diani. mombasa

“..A fantasy tropical paradise where there’s nothing but good; magical sunsets, flowers, lots of fragrant fresh fruit, and (imaginary) live performances from Cesaria Evora, Lianne la Havas and Jessie Ware”.

Take me back already, please?

 

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Well, it’s been a while since I shared  on this space. I get overly critical of what material to put up on my blog, so I tend to slack on my blog posts. If you, however, would like to keep up with my adventures on a daily, feel free to follow me on my Instagram. It’s my happy space 🙂

Between running around for months to complete my final year project (which I’m happy to say I finished and did well alhamdulilah), and a cleansing month of fast and prayer (Ramadhan) I didn’t have much time for fun or recreation. A few weeks in Mombasa at my grandmother’s were more than welcome; I had longed for the sea, it always gives me a sense of renewal.

I can’t find the words to describe how I felt when I got to The Swahili Beach Resort, but I’ll try. Excited. Hopeful. And very much in my own dream world – a fantasy tropical paradise where there’s nothing but good; magical sunsets, flowers, lots of fragrant fresh fruit, and (imaginary) live performances from Cesaria Evora, Lianne la Havas and Jessie Ware.

Prior to the brief evening at the resort, I’d spent the majority of my morning and afternoon with friends and family at Amani Tiwi Resort. Catching up, eating, laughing and taking long, peaceful strolls by the beach. See, the thing about hanging out with loved ones is they get you. Even with your annoying paparazzi habits, they will still tolerate you and even think of more things to do that fit in your description of ‘fun’.
So they suggest, how about we leave early and explore Diani. They (obviously) didn’t get any objections from me.

We first stopped by Congo Beach (will share that adventure in another post) and then stopped by Swahili Beach Resort in time for afternoon tea.
As a (recent graduate) architect, I had been aware of the design of the resort for years; Its characteristic cascading pools and whitewashed buildings, heavily influenced by Swahili architecture, and the designers’ application of symmetry as a theme in design.

What you don’t see is the feeling the spaces invoke on the user, the effect beauty has on a person. The way the spaces flow into each other, the way views are strategically framed to the ocean and public spaces. The smoothness of the floors and walls. The rippling sound of water in the vast (yet unimposing), domed central space. The beautiful furniture and its placement. The urge to want to stay in this space, forever. Ah. I almost had to be dragged out. If there’s anyone thinking of spoiling themselves and taking a trip to Mombasa, this place is a must see ❤

I hope you like the pictures, I took them all on my camera phone and edited them on the VSCO app. Catch up soon?

Fatma.

Road Trip: Tigoni, Kiambu.

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If you follow me on Instagram, you may already know that I went on a road trip with a couple of my girl friends about two weeks ago to the lush, green Kenyan countyside in Tigoni, Kiambu.

In life you realise that some of the most precious moments aren’t planned, but can be completely spontaneous instead. This road trip was one such event. Before the university closed down due to the student’s strikes, I was in the process of preparing for my final examinations and as an architecture student it can take a toll on your life and you basically are always stressed 99% of the time, the other 1% is for sleeping, eating and personal hygiene.

When my darling friend Lelei told me she’d like us to take a short day trip outside of the city, I didn’t even think twice and pushed all that final examination baggage to the back of my mind, put a lock on it and threw the key into the deepest waters of the ocean (I do have a flair for melodramatics eh?).

We set out for ‘Tigoni Falls’ but got lost along the way. I must say, having no sense of direction has never felt better. With tea farms rolling out into the landscape as far as the eye can see, and plenty of fresh air we made the most of every single moment together and it all became part of our story. We never got to Tigoni Falls, but happily settled for this random picnic and camping site called ‘Waterfalls Inn’. More and more, I realise that Kenya has so much to offer if you just take the time to explore.

How to get there:

I’ve never been good at giving directions so here is a Google Maps link that you could refer to if you ever decide to go (and I highly recommend that you do, you’ll have a blast 🙂 ). It took us about two hours to get there from Nairobi on a Saturday. I generally prefer to leave by 11 am latest on road trips because I dislike how uncomfortable and unpredictable it gets on the road.

What to do:

Being a quaint little place, it’s up to you and your crew (rhymes yo) to decide what you want to do (I did it again!). We spent about forty minutes at the waterfall within the compound and the rest of our afternoon setting up our picnic spot, chatting and even had a short nap!

We packed ourselves a simple little picnic consisting of hotdogs, water and juice. Make sure to carry a little picnic blanket, kikoy or leso, WET WIPES and do yourself a favour and carry your phone charger! I guarantee that you will take lots of photos and your phone is sure to be depleted of battery like mine was! We also wished we carried a portable speaker and basically just more outrageous stuff like pillows (and the whole house).

I hope to go on more adventures and share more of my little experiences with you, ciao!