North Coast & Mtwapa Area Majengo, Kikambala

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Kenya's coastline is the dream of every tourist. Beautiful sandy beaches and the best places for sun worshipers and water sports are to be found down Kenya's coast. The reef along Kikambala makes the tides very strong and dramatic which maybe a disadvantage for the European surfer. But this is the beauty of the place because one can walk to the reef at low tide and see the secrets hidden under the sea. A variety of flora and fauna is represented in the lagoon and on the coral reef itself. However it is important to wear appropriate shoes to avoid unpleasant surprises from the sea anemone sting. It is also much fun to take a ride in a katamaran used by the local fishermen. During walks one can accept the company of the numerous beach-boys but never buy the shells and corals being offered for sale as this destroys the coral reef, a habitat for many fish species.

kikambala sea

For the beach-boys and the women selling souvenirs, the tourists are often the only sources of income. They sell wood-curvings a very good gift for the people back home or Kangas (pieces of clothes). Tourist ladies will be pleased to find hairdressers doing a nice rasta hairdo for them at a most reasonable price. Most of the artworks sold down the beach is aimed at tourists and is made with that in mind i.e. fishermen in the boats with coconut palms in the background. If you are not so interested in the tourists' motifs just ask for Mr. Kagia and ask him for something special. He can draw anything your heart may wish for, but it is better that you agree about the price first. Talk to the people and give them a chance to earn a honest living. You may also get a chance to make friends. Maybe then you will get to hear the story of the whale which came too close to the shore and could not swim back into the high sea and had to die stranded on the beach, which for the fishermen was a good source of income as people from across the country came to get a chance to be taken with the canoes where the whale was stranded.

Majengo Work

Majengo is a Giriama-village with the typical Swahili houses rather than the normal rounded huts. If you get to know the ever friendly coastal communities just ask us to show you the village. After a walk through the bush, which can be tiresome on a hot day, or a short taxi ride from the hotels one finds himself in a typical Kenyan environment. The building material is mostly mud and sometimes bricks from old coral reefs. Family houses are usually found clustered together and it seems the closer the houses are the closer the relation. As you prepare for the visit be sure to think about the many kids you will meet on your way to the village. The kids love sweets and when you bring a few sweets or even school utensils like pencils and paper with you, your presence in the village will spread like a bush fire and young boys and girls from around will come hoping for a little gift. Note books for school, pens and pencils for the kids are very good presents to bring with you for them. If you have kids whose clothes have become too small you can bring even these with you and experience filial happyness and gratitude.

The village shows a cross section of the different people living here. You meet Muslims and Christians living together, at times in the same family. There are of course the businessmen, farmers or the priest and the medicine men of whom one can get physical and psychological treatment. When one wants to protect himself against evil spirits or witchcraft the medicine men have the answers. These are supposed to be powerful people with influence as far as Zanzibar.

In the village even food can be prepared for you, so find out about ugali, pilau, pweza and mnazi which are some traditional meals. Be sure not to miss the party when a wedding is taking place in the village. Interesting are the bars and restaurants you will find from the hotels up to the village, you can meet people there, especially the native who will not be seen in the tourists' bars as the prices there are too high. Just visit Mzee Mbela in his 'Kings and Queens' bar or enjoy in the 'Porini Bar', in the 'Kingfisher' or 'Sea Top'. The best way to get to know the country is to get friendly with some local people. A Kenyan friend will help you to understand Kenya and its people and naturally expects you to teach him also about your culture.

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