Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Sun Palm Beach Resort-Watamu

10:08

Sun Palm Beach Resort is one of the best hotels that I have been to in Watamu. The security guard at the gate was not the friendliest but oh well it is okay I guess he was just doing his job. My travel buddy and I did not let him to spoil our mini vacation. The hotel is located directly in front of the beach which makes things so much better if you want to unwind in a hotel that has a private beach access.


N
ote 

If you will be headed to the hotel using a motorbike or tuk tuk be prepared to be scrutinized at the gate. You will not be allowed to enter until the guard calls the front desk to confirm your booking . I had the same encounter at Malindi Dream Garden . Thus I guess it is just a security measure.

T
ransport 

To get to Watamu if you are using public means you will have to board the shuttles that go to Malindi then alight at Gedi. The hotel is located inside the town hence, moving around is very convenient due to its proximity to the shopping center. 

A
ccommodation 

The rooms are very spacious which is a good thing. Furthermore most of the rooms have balconies which either have a sea view or a garden view. The rooms with a sea view are more expensive as compared to the ones that have a garden view. All the rooms have a flat screen tv and a fridge . However, wifi is not accessible in the rooms. It is only available at the lobby.

R
ates 

I always book through booking.com and one trick that I found out is that the rates of most of the hotels are usually cheaper during the low season . Alternatively you can book a month prior to your travel date so as to get a cheaper rate as compared to booking last minute.

R
estaurant 

I totally recommend booking a room on a half board basis . Which includes breakfast and dinner . This is because you can decide to skip lunch or eat outside the hotel as you tour various tourist attractions around the area.

For sure we enjoyed our stay at Sun Palm Beach Resort and we will definitely go back very soon.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

An overview of Arusha

02:55
Tanzania exceeded my expectations in so many ways and that is Arusha to be specific. I'm hoping to explore Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Mwanza in the future GODWILLING. There is a certain calm atmosphere that is in Arusha that words can't explain. All in all it's a chilled out environment .

Requirements
For Kenyans we do not require a visa to go to Tanzania. All you need is your passport and a yellow fever card. If you do not have a passport don't be worried you can apply for a temporary pass at the immigration offices in Nairobi or at the border as well. Unlike Uganda and Rwanda you cannot enter Tanzania with your identification card. My friends and I spent three hours at the border but I guess it was because we travelled during the Easter holidays and there were many tourists as well. The border is very clean and well organized but can be a little bit hectic when there are a lot of people.


Transport

The journey to Arusha is simply a five hour journey. That is approximately three hours from Nairobi to the Namanga border then spend at most one hour at the border that is if there no many people. Another one hour from Namanga to Arusha. If you're travelling using private means be aware of the speed limits in Tanzania which at some point requires you to drive at 50 km/hr.

We opted to use public means which was very convenient for us. Thus I can totally recommend riverside shuttles which can easily be found at Jeevanjee gardens in Nairobi. A one way ticket costs 1400 ksh (14$) and you have to be very punctual at least report thirty minutes before your departure time.

Currency 
You can convert your money at the border or in Arusha town as well. M-pesa is also accessible in various outlets, Standard Chattered, Barclays, Diamond Trust Bank and KCB are also in Tanzania.


Places to visit
lake Duluti is my number one destination simply because it is located inside the town . Thus it is easily accessible and the entrance fee is 100 Kenya shillings for Kenyans . 
I love the museum since it is very beautiful and it has some coastal vibes. The entrance fee is 100 Kenya shillings for Kenyans .


K
ikuletwa Hot Springs is simply amazing .If you get the chance to travel to Arusha or Moshi make sure you go to Kikuletwa Hot springs. It's a one hour drive from Arusha and you can access it using both public means and private means . If you opt to use the dala dala it will cost you roughly 200 Kenya shillings (2$) and then from Moshi you can take a tuk tuk to the springs. Since we were a group we decided to use a taxi and share the cost . We were charged 7000 Kenya shillings (70$) from Arusha to the springs and back to Arusha.The driver spent the afternoon with us. However, the drivers start their rates from 15000 Kenya shillings (150$) to a minimum of 7000 Kenya shillings (70$) thus your bargaining skills is what will help you. 

The entrance fee at Kikuletwa is 300 Kenya shillings for Kenyans. Remember to carry your costume but don't be worried if on the off chance you forget . There is someone who sells costumes .In addition there is also a restaurant inside the recreational center. If you are not a good swimmer you can get a floater that will at least enable you to float .



There other places that are located in Arusha that we didn't get to see because of time. This is Arusha National Park, Mt . Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru. Luckily we were able to see Mt. Meru from our hotel.


Budget 
Below is a breakdown of how much we spent and I hope it will inspire someone to explore Arusha since it is very near. We went for four days and three nights. I can totally recommend travelling in a group set up .If you opt to travel solo and you are on a budget then you should consider using public transport.

  • Transport -2800 ksh from Nairobi to Arusha and back.
  • Taxi from the bus station to the hotel -250 ksh.
  • Accommodation -3850 ksh for three nights and four days inclusive of breakfast and dinner.
  • Lake duluti -100 ksh 
  • Museum -100 ksh 
  • Kikuletwa hot springs -1450 ksh transport and the entrance fee.
  • Total - 8,850 ksh (89$) per person.

Well that is it for Arusha . If you want details about the hotel that gave us an amazing deal via click here watch out for the next post.