Why a stay at Amber Villa in Diani is worth every penny

The new 5-star Amber Villas is set in a lush garden within Diani in South Coast, approximately 350 metres from the beach.


The Villa is neatly furnished and tastefully decorated to create a classy feel while maintaining bits of the Coastal lure.


The villa has different houses, each in its own compound and private swimming pool.


The rooms are well-lit and fitted with a safe and air conditioner to ensure a comfortable stay.

Each of the rooms also has a flat screen TV, integrated DVD system, en suite bathroom with a bathtub, separate shower stall and an extra outdoor rain shower.


For those who would like to prepare their own meals, the rooms have gourmet kitchen equipped with breakfast bar, build in oven, microwave, hob & hood, a fridge, a freezer, dish washer, coffee maker and an espresso machine.


The villa features a fish pond, a private swimming pool and sun decks with reclining loungers, umbrellas and a poolside bale.

Some of the services available include laundry, housekeeping, and a chef who is available on call.


Diani Beach is a vibrant and intimate little paradise lying on the quiet shores of the Indian Ocean, 30 km south of Mombasa.

It is located along a beautiful white-sanded and palm-fringed beach which is about 25 km long and merges with the small town of Ukunda.


The area is known for its coral reefs, the closely located Shimba Hills National Reserve and for its black-and-white Colobus monkeys.


Book your stay at Amber Villas on SleepOut.com.

Mombasa Hotel Show 2015 to be held in Nyali

The 2nd edition of Mombasa Hotel Show is set to be held from November 27 to 29, 2015 at the City Mall in Nyali, Mombasa.


The three-day event is set to attract pre-registered hospitality industry professionals including association partner members, trade visitors, exhibitors and international press.

Only pre-registered visitors who are badge holders, trade visitors who register on the day and exhibitor badge holders will be able to attend the show.  The event is not open to the general public.

The Mombasa Hotel Show is a hospitality solutions business show tailored to meet the needs of the hotels and lodges of the Coast region and its environs.


This event create a platform for hotel suppliers who specialise in kitchens, bathrooms, facilities management, technology, security, hotel services, fit out, operating equipment and supplies, HORECA, interiors, lighting and design, hotel build or leisure and outdoor to meet their target buyers.

The 2015 event will run on the theme “Getting Back on Track” and is aimed at giving local hotels, lodges and restaurants an edge by providing a platform to engage and interact with product suppliers and service providers.

Over 2,500 hotel and tourism professional are set to attend. Click here to register.

Book your stay in Mombasa on SleepOut.com.


Zimbabwe revises Visa requirements

The Zimbabwean government has revised its visa rules to allow visitors from SADC member states into the country without visa.

The new visa regime will allow visitors from Lesotho, Malawi, DRC, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Namibia into Zimbabwe while nationals of 58 countries outside SADC will apply for visa at the port of entry.

Nationals of 120 countries will however still be required to obtain visas before traveling to Zimbabwe.

In his address to the media in Harare, Home Affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo said the new visa requirements are aimed at facilitating the ease of doing business and attract visitors to Zimbabwe.

“We have resolved to implement the new visa requirements in order to create a conducive environment for doing business and movement of people into the country. Further announcements regarding the new visa requirements will be made soon,” he said.

Chombo further stated that the Immigration Department had been nominated as the most improved organisation in the 2015 Contract Centre Association of Zimbabwe Service Excellence Awards after it embarked on various initiatives to improve service delivery.

Fountains of Bellagio. [Photo/commons.wikimedia.org]

Five World’s best Fountains

Fountains are not often considered as a pull factor for travellers interested in visiting a foreign country. They have however proved to offer spectacular scenery for tourists to take pictures – or just stand and stare.

Next time you are in the countries below, check out the fountains, you’ll love it.


Fountains of Bellagio, Las Vegas

Fountains of Bellagio is located outside the prestigious Bellago hotel at Las Vegas in USA.

Fountains of Bellagio. [commons.wikimedia.org]

Fountains of Bellagio. [Photo/commons.wikimedia.org]

Bellago has created a convenient blend of music, water and light to form a magical fountain that is beautiful to look at.


Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte Fountains, France

Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte. [Photo/telegraph.co.uk]

Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte. [Photo/telegraph.co.uk]

Located in Maincy, 55 kilometres southeast of Paris, the Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte was constructed from 1658 to 1661 for Nicolas Fouquet, Marquis de Belle, Viscout of Melun and Vaux.

The fountain presents an architectural masterpiece lying on a 3 kilometres axis with a stunning setup.


Fountain of Wealth, Singapore

Fountains of Wealth. [Photo/Flickr.com]

Fountains of Wealth. [Photo/Flickr.com]

Neatly crafted of silicon bronze, Fountain of Wealth has for many years been an attraction site for visitors from Singapore and beyond.

The Fountain of Wealth entered the Guinness Book of World Records in 1998 as the largest fountain in the world at 1,683 square metres and 13.8 metres in height.


The Dubai Fountain

Standing on a 24-acre Burj Lake, The Dubai Fountain was designed by the same creator of Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas.

The Dubai Fountain. [Photo/YouTube]

The Dubai Fountain. [Photo/YouTube]

The Dubai Fountain is 900 ft long and has five circles of varying sizes and two central arcs. Its water jets are as high as 450 ft which is equivalent to 45-storey building.


Banpo Bridge Rainbow, Seoul

Considered the world’s longest bridge fountain, Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain has maintained its lure over the years by playing different shows during the day and night.

Banpo Fountain Bridge. [Photo/telegraph.co.uk]

Banpo Fountain Bridge. [Photo/telegraph.co.uk]

The fountain operates from April to October every year, four to six times a day for 20 minutes.


About NOMAD from SleepOut.com

Travel just like life should be inspiring, amusing, down-to-earth and diverse. NOMAD brings together original travel pieces by SleepOut.com guests and writers from around the globe written expressly for the NOMAD in you.

Night on the hill at Hillpark Hotel, Nairobi

Located in a peaceful, tranquil location at Upper Hill in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, Hillpark hotel has unique features that not only make your stay enjoyable but also memorable.

The fully furnished and serviced hotel is ideal for travellers in Nairobi for business or on transit while also offering ideal romantic getaway for couples.


The hotel has affordable furnished ensuite apartments and penthouses, tastefully designed and set in modern theme available for daily or long term lease.

The penthouses have studies with a spectacular view of the city of Nairobi.


The hotel also has wireless internet, laundry service, satellite television, health club, room service, swimming pool, salon and barber shop, 24 hour security with external back-up and  ample parking.


The hotel consists of standard, executive, premium and deluxe suites with elegantly designed interiors and apartments for those who prefer a longer stay.


The standard suites are situated on the ground floor, equipped with the basics: bed, bath, mini-bar and cable television.

Executive suites are on top floor, and are spacious with private balconies that open up to the picturesque Nairobi City while premium and deluxe suites are sited in a newly built modern set up.

The rooms have spectacular bathrooms with personal accessories such as hair dryers, facility for shaving machines and a small cabinet for keeping personal items.


Hillpark hotel is only 10-minute drive from the airport and 5-minute drive to the City Centre. It is also 10 minutes from 18-hole golf course.

All rooms and apartments contain safes for safe keeping of your important belongings.

There are two restaurants: Garden Restaurant and Pool Bar where you can enjoy a variety of delicacies including African cuisine and other native Kenyan dishes.

Book your stay at Hillpark Hotel on SleepOut.com.


7 must-see African lakes

There is something large bodies of water that draws humans and animals alike. Maybe it’s the silence that engulfs their surroundings, the tiny ripples of water, the harmonious sounds of waves washing up on the shores, or simply being out in the middle of nowhere, but it’s a truly wonderful experience and any trip to Africa would not be complete without a visit to these incredible bodies of water.  Here are seven of the most incredible lakes in Africa.


Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe

Lake Kariba stretches across 1,300 kilometres upstream from the Indian Ocean, along the Zambia-Zimbabwe border.


Kariba, which is the world’s largest man-made lake and reservoir by volume, was filled between 1958 and 1963 following the completion of the Kariba dam at its northern eastern end, flooding Kariba Gorge on the Zambezi River.


Lake Victoria, Kenya


Lake Victoria is the world’s second largest freshwater lake after Lake Superior in North America, covering an area of 68,800 square kilometres, roughly the size of the Republic of Ireland.

The lake, located in Kisumu County in Kenya, stands as Africa’s largest lake by area and the largest tropical lake in the world.


Lake Malawi, Malawi

Lake Malawi, Malawi

Located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania, Lake Malawi has enjoyed its fair share of attention from visitors arriving to Malawi from other African countries and abroad.

It stands as the third largest lake in Africa and the ninth largest in the world earning a place in the history books as a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Lake Naivasha, Kenya


Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake lying outside the town of Naivasha and an hour and a half drive from Kenya’s capital of Nairobi.

The name, Naivasha, is derived from Maasai name Nai’posha to mean rough water because of storms which often come to the area.


Lake Tanganyika

Lake Tanganyika stands as the longest freshwater lake in the world at 410 miles and the second deepest lake in the world only after Lake Baikal in Siberia.


The lake is also second largest in Eastern Africa and is shared by four countries; Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi and Zambia. Tanzania has the largest chunk of the lake at 46 percent while DRC has 40 per cent.


Lake Naverone, South Africa

Lake Naverone is located on the foot of Southern Drankensberg in South Africa, in a secluded location in a valley in the foothills of Southern Drakensberg – a UNESCO world Heritage Site.


Surrounded by a 400-hectare estate, Lake Naverone provides an idyllic retreat spot for you and your family or friends to enjoy a truly uninterrupted experience of nature.

While here you can take part in a variety of activities including trout fishing, hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, birding and photography.


Lake Nakuru, Kenya

Lake Nakuru is a shallow alkaline lake occupying 25 per cent of the park and is home to close to 2 million flamingos which create a pink blanket layer from a distance as they feed on algae which grows on the water’s bank.

lake nakuru

Due to El Nino weather patterns that regularly flood the lake and change the alkaline balance, flamingo populations are known to temporarily drop off but eventually return to their regular numbers.

The lake is located in the town of Nakuru, a two-hour drive from Nairobi making it easily accessible for tourists and locals stopping through Nairobi.


Book your stay in Africa on SleepOut.com.

Marathons in Kenya

Five marathon races in Kenya you should take part in

Kenya is known for its beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife and pristine beaches. But that is not all, the East African country has several marathon races held every year that attract interest from both local and international participants.

Below are some of the marathon races in Kenya that you should take part in.


1. Lewa Marathon

This is an annual event held in June of every year with the aim of raising money for the conservation of the Lewa Conservancy. The race is held at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya and is organised by the Tusk Trust and Lewa Conservancy.

Recent events have seen participation increase to 1,200 runners from over 20 different countries.

The marathon is regarded as one of the toughest marathons in the world and is run through some of East Africa’s most beautiful scenery including great views of Mt Kenya and Mt Ololokwe.

Despite this, Lewa Marathon has been able to attract runners from different categories including walkers and amateurs, to professionals like Paul Tergat, the Kenyan former world record holder.

The heavily protected 61,000 acre Lewa wildlife conservancy is home to over 100 rhino, herds of elephant and a vast assortment of plains game including zebra, giraffe, buffalo and much more.


2. Ndakaini Half Marathon

The Ndakaini Half Marathon started in 2004 under the auspices of the Ndakaini Dam Environment Conservation Association (NDEKA).

At the time of its conception, the idea behind Ndakaini marathon was to initiate a tree planting campaign around the Dam before speading to being the Ndakaini Half Marathon.

The scenic Ndakaini Dam is located at the foothills of the picturesque Aberdares, some 70km from Nairobi, and is located at Gatanga in Murang’a County.

The marathon is all inclusive and brings together persons of all ages and walks of life including the young and old, male and female, individuals and corporates.

The event also provides an opportunity for family fun filled outing with competitive and fun running, sightseeing, music and networking.


3. Stanchart Marathon

Stanchart marathon is a project of the Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Limited, one of the leading banks in Kenya.

The competition, held every October, is run under the ‘Seeing is Believing’ initiative which aims at raising funds for the needy in community.

The 2014 edition attracted over 19,000 participants from all walks of life.


4. Maasai Mara Marathon

The Masai Mara Marathon is a spectacular annual race held in the scenic and world acclaimed Maasai Mara National Reserve.

The event held every August gives marathon participants a rare spectacle as they race in the jungle while sampling the panoramic reserve with wild animals in the vicinity.

Maasai Mara National Reserve is renowned both for its spell-binding serenity of natural beauty sites and as a valuable source of economic revenue through tourism.


5. Kenya Wildlife Marathon

Despite being a new entrant in the marathon races, the Kenya Wildlife Marathon and Half-Marathon is pulling high numbers from both local and international participants.

As you enjoy the race, enjoy the amazing scenery of Taita Hills, lying on a 280,000 stretches of land with rocky hills and river-beds.

The Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary teems with zebras, Maasai lions, elephants and more giving you  unique glimpse to Kenya’s wildlife.


Book your stay in Kenya on SleepOut.com.

Driftwood Beach Club.

Live and Love at The Driftwood Beach Club in Malindi

The Driftwood Beach Club offers a rare chance for you to experience life in its entirety with a picturesque serenity that allows for both romantic outings and wild experiences.



The villas are situated in seclusion, directly behind the main hotel, each with two double air-conditioned bedrooms and a spacious living room overlooking a private swimming pool.

Both rooms are en suite with one bathroom and are just a few steps to the main hotel and beach. There is also a club where you can relax in the evening and enjoy your drink.


The architectural prowess that went into setting up The Driftwood Beach Club is one to marvel at. The hotel is built in the traditional Swahili style with whitewashed walls and thatched roofs bringing out the truth coastal feel.

With its extremely helpful and friendly staff and its wide range of activities, the place exudes a superbly relaxed and friendly atmosphere making it the ideal getaway for a fun packed family holiday.


In addition, the hotel features a relaxed and informal restaurant with delicious seafood dishes fresh from the ocean, a bar area with free Wi-Fi and large comfy chairs to lounge on, serving a wide selection of drinks and snacks.


There is also a big inviting pool surrounded by plenty of sunbeds.

The Club can accommodate 78 guests in a combination of 29 rooms and four villas; although there is space for extra beds for children if required.


Each standard room is en suite and simply but tastefully decorated. The rooms comprise of a double bed, two twins or one double and single bed with a little balcony overlooking the sea or the beautiful tropical gardens.

The Club is perfect for anyone looking for a holiday by the beach where they can just sit back, relax and let the day pass by.



This holiday spot will be enjoyed by all for its barefoot, relaxed, ‘family home’ style. The hotel also offers the ideal wedding location with its stunning gardens and beautiful beach front.


Book your stay at The Driftwood Beach Club on SleepOut.com.


Top events in Kenya that you must attend

Kenya is known for annual events that not only attract a large attendance from the local market but also international sphere. SleepOut looks at some of those events.


Lamu Cultural Festival

Lamu Cultural Festival is an annual event held to celebrate the culture, songs and lifestyle of local community in Lamu County.

Lamu Island. [Photo/Wikipedia.com]

Lamu Island. [Photo/Wikipedia.com]

The three-day event, held every November, seeks to showcase of traditional dances, displays of handicraft and competitions on water and land (donkey races, dhow races, Swahili poetry, henna painting), a Swahili bridal ceremony and musical performances

During the festival, visitors get a chance to experience the island’s unspoiled beaches, medieval ambiance, architecturally magnificent Old Town, gracious locals and traditions from an enchanted time where history lives on.


Magical Kenya Travel Expo

The Magical Kenya Travel Expo is a travel and tourism event, organised by the Kenya Tourist Board, to bring together buyers and exhibitors from both local and international markets.

Tourism CS Phyllis Kandie and Kenya Tourism Board MD Ndegwa Muriithi officially open MKTE 2015

Tourism CS Phyllis Kandie and Kenya Tourism Board MD Ndegwa Muriithi officially open MKTE 2015

The event, held every October, seeks to showcase Kenya’s diversity and create an opportunity for visiting trade members to gain better understanding of Kenya’s diverse tourism products.

Now in its fifth year, MKTE provides a platform for tourism stakeholders and meet, interact, share ideas with their counterparts from the international market.


Maralal International Camel Derby

Maralal International Camel Derby is an annual event aimed at opening up the northern tourism circuit to both domestic and international tourists.


The event, held in Samburu County every August, has been able to attract participants from East Africa, the US, UK, Germany, Netherlands, India, Ghana, France, Brazil, China, Poland among others.

Among the activities that take place include amateur and professional camel races, bike competitions, marathon, cultural and culinary shows.


Lake Turkana Cultural Festival

The Lake Turkana Cultural Festival is an annual event aimed showcasing the cultural art of the 10 communities that live near and around Lake Turkana also known as Jade Lake.

Lake Turkana Cultural Festival

Lake Turkana Cultural Festival

The event brings together visitors from different countries, partners in the private sector, and Governmental and Non-Government organisations in a celebration of food, song, dance, culture and art uniquely associated with the Turkana.


Mombasa International Cultural Week

The newly introduced Mombasa International Cultural Week has already proved a success in its two years of existence.



The event, launched in 2014 is aimed at marketing the various tourist attractions that Mombasa has to offer including sites, food, song, dance and the unique Swahili culture associated with the county in order to place the county as an ideal destination for both domestic and international tourists.

Mombasa International Cultural Week is held every August bringing together buyers and exhibitors with various products on display including

The four-day event attracts over 40,000 visitors, both local and international and is held in different parts of the city including Fort Jesus, Makadara Grounds and Mama Ngina drive.

The event culminates to a major street carnivore held on the last day on the streets of Mombasa bringing together different communities living at the coast as well as visitors.


Rhino Charge

Held in June every year, Rhino Charge is one of the globally recognised events held in Kenya to contribute money for preserving Kenya’s Aberdare Ecosystem and other water catchment areas including Mt Kenya and Mt Eburu.


The off-road motorsport competition has been in existence since 1989 and is organised by The Rhino Ark Charitable Trust to raise funds to support the conservation efforts.

It offers unique and exciting competition that requires bravery and a high level of skill in off-road driving and navigation.


Book your stay in Kenya on SleepOut.com


United States lifts travel advisory to Kenyan Coast

The United States has lifted a travel advisory it had placed on several parts of Kenyan coast.

In a statement, the United States Embassy in Nairobi claimed that travel ban to Malindi, Mombasa, Kwale and the Tanzanian border had been lifted in what may provide reprieve to the ailing tourism sector.

The travel alert had been issued in May with the US warning its citizens against travelling to the stated areas considered attack prone due to the threats of the Al Shabaab militia.

Restrictions have, however, been placed on any travel to towns near Kenyan border with Somalia, with citizens cautioned against using the Likoni Ferry Services in Mombasa.

The United Sates also cautioned its citizens from visiting Old Town in Mombasa at night saying any such travel should be made during the day.

The travel advisories were issued in May this year with the government advising against travel to Eastleigh area in Nairobi and coastal counties of Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi and Lamu.

The announcement comes months after the United Kingdom also lifted travel advisory on Kenya’s coastal towns.

The UK – through a statement to the newsrooms – said it had removed “advice against all but essential travel to the stretch of coast including Mombasa County and Kilifi County up to and including Watamu.”

Further, UK said the change “follows a review of the level of risk to British Nationals travelling in this part of Kenya.

Speaking on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, UK Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his regrets over the effects of travel advisories on Kenya’s tourism industry.

Cameron said the decision to impose travel advisories on Kenya was unfortunate, but stated that it was not within the confines of his government, but an independent body.

He explained that the bans are generated by an independent arm, stating that the UK government has made it known that the travel advisories have a negative effect on Kenya’s economy and efforts against extremists.

The announcement will be a relief to hoteliers at the coast who have seen their booking dwindle this year due to the alerts.

According to a monitory report released by the Kenya Tourist Board in July, the number of tourist arrivals in Kenya dropped by 18.9 per cent in the first half of 2015.

The data showed that the numbers of visitors’ arrival in Kenya dropped to 347,458 between January and June, compared to 428,585 in the same period last year.

The half year arrivals in 2012 and 2013 564,261 and 495,978 respectively.

Arrivals through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport dropped from 358,977 in 2014 to 312,702 in 2015 signifying a 12.9 per cent drop.

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