Kite surf when the wind blows. SUP when it’s not around.
Best For: Kite surfers who dream about consistent 18 to 25 knot winds that blow all day, almost every day, 300 days a year.
At Che Shale, a chic cluster of seven bures that sits on a 3.5-mile long deserted beach, there is nothing to get in the way of a kite. The owner, Justin Aniere, is a third-generation Kenyan who pioneered kitesurfing in East Africa 12 years ago. When the wind dies around November some of the best deep-sea fishing spots in the world are off Malindi and Watamu and the glassy bay out front is perfect for SUP lessons. Sleeping quarters are open and breezy thatch-roof bures with designer furniture, comfy daybeds, and open-air showers. Out back, for the budget-conscious, there are solar-powered, basic bandas with a double bed, a covered verandah with table and chairs. Not convinced. They are built on stilts, and only 30 steps from the beach. On the unlikely days when the kiting conditions aren’t right, walk the beach, hike the dunes, or explore the bustling city of Malindi, with its Swahili food and African markets, 30 minutes away.
Note: Be sure to check U.S. State Department Warnings before you book.
When to Go: July to April
How to Get There: From Nairobi, fly to Malindi. Che Shale is a 30-minute drive from Malindi; Che Shale bures from $105 per person, per night; Kajama rooms from $46 per person per night; cheshale.com