Published On: Mon, Dec 19th, 2016

Leopard Beach Club Located on the South Coast of Kenya

This was our third trip to Kenya as a family, and each time, when we land, we head out to the coast for a few days. Previously we stayed in Mombasa at the Severin Sea Lodge, where we also visited Fort Jesus; Temple Point Resort in Watamu for our second trip; this one off the south coast at Leopard Beach in Diani, Kenya.

Voted Kenya’s Leading Resort in 2016 (for the sixth time!) at the prestigious World Travel Awards, Leopard Beach Resort & Spa has a reputation for excellence. As well as enjoying prime position on Diani Beach on Kenya’s South Coast, the resort has extensively upgraded accommodation and facilities making it the preferred destination for holidaymakers and business travelers alike.

On the way, as in the past, mzee wanted to get some roasted maize. In Kenya, when you get to a population center, you just pull over on the side of the road, and within three seconds [or less], you’ll mobbed by hawkers. They even encourage you to take a bite to confirm they have the best roasted maize.

Mzee picking out maize
From certain angles, mzee looks like Biggie Smalls.

Getting to the resort, as any place in these third world countries, is a bit startling. The amount of poverty in the area defies the imagination that you’re about to step into a five-star resort. But once you enter the gates, you almost instantly forget about the surrounding community and are assured that you’re about to experience a slice of paradise.

A lot of these resorts off the coast of Kenya are owned and operated by foreigners. Italians, Germans, Indians. And the architecture confirms that they didn’t restrict the imagination when building these places.

David and Nduku at Leopard Beach Club
Malombes at Leopard Beach Club

What’s there to say about a stay at a resort? There were a couple of swimming pools, several places to relax and grab some food, lunch, tea, spirits, or just hang out. There was a spa, but none of us went there. And of course there was the beach, but this beach had a lot of seaweed so most people stayed in the pool area.

Najwa swimming at Leopard Beach Club
Najwa and Nduku at Leopard Beach Club
The cousins at Leopard Beach Club
David and Najwa at Leopard Beach Club
najwa at Leopard Beach Club

As we were checking in, we were told not to leave the sliding doors open. I was thinking they didn’t want the salt air to enter the room and do whatever damage salty air can do, but I was wrong. The issue are the monkeys that roam around looking for cool stuff to pilfer from the rooms. And apparently they don’t settle for food.

And as usual, when staying in a wide open resort, in a wild(ish) part of the world, there are other critters lurking around. Lizards, much larger than the ones back home; spiders the size of your hand; other amphibians and reptiles scurrying around; and bunch of other smaller animals that disappeared before I could get the camera out.

Lizard at Leopard Beach Club in Kenya
Spider at Leopard Beach Club

We did venture into town, riding in a tuk tuk a few miles down the road, to grab food from time to time.  Though the resort offered food all day, we tend to prefer mingling with the locals, experiencing what their everyday live’s are like.   The menu, as I’m starting to realize, is about standard everywhere.  Chicken and chips.  Or some items that I’m not sure my stomach will agree with.

Wa Carol's

Whenever on travel, it’s always cool to find others where you’re from.  In this case — America.  We met another American family visiting from Atlanta.  Really cool people.

Coming from Atlanta and expecting it to be hot in Kenya, which it was, Jerry didn’t bring long pants. And at this resort, dressing a bit conservative was required for dinner. At least for the men. No tank tops, no shorts. The first evening for dinner, wearing my swimming trunks, I was about to go change when Jerry told me that they had a solution. I can’t remember the name of it, but it was a wrap for our legs, and not the easiest thing to walk in for those not used to wearing a dress.

Whatever, we got to eat.

Leopard Beach Club - no shorts allowed

It was fun. Relaxing.

I do feel compelled to say that the bed was like sleeping on a slat of stone. I took the cushions from the rattan chairs and slept on top of those. Najwa is still made of rubber so she was fine. Nduku, who I did offer a cushion, albeit not the strongest offer, chose to sleep on the stones and had aches in the morning.

The wifi was also lacking, and our TV at first was blurry, but the customer service was pretty immediate and took ownership. They did replace the entire TV set, and I think the wifi was resolved after a day or two, but I just relied on international roaming. We didn’t mention the bed.

Otherwise, it’s a nice resort, mosquito-free [I didn’t see mosquito nets which made me hesitant, but we didn’t need them], and just the place to go to unwind from the 16 hour flight to Kenya.

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About the Author

David Gaines

- David Gaines is a Washington, DC, resident transplanted from North Carolina whose dream career was a newspaper writer but settled for the recruiting industry and simply blogging about whatever thoughts crosses his mind.

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