- Diani, Malindi and Kilifi, has lots of these potentials and more.
- In fact, we have perfect, white sandy beaches, lovely weather, wonderful food and culture in general.
My visit to Rockneby in Kalmar municipality in Sweden over the weekend quickly threw me back to Diani, Kilifi and Malindi. Why these three and not Mombasa?
I have always loved the Kenyan Coast, because I visit it at any available opportunity. In fact, many Kenyans, especially families from Nairobi, try to take that well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of the city to the coast, during long weekends or school term breaks.
But then again, why not Mombasa? The most visited town in the Kenyan coast is Mombasa, followed by Diani, Malindi, Kilifi then Lamu, at least according to the rate of how popular transportation, high end hotels, clubs and local lodgings and eateries in those areas are.
Mombasa has been over explored; in fact, to me its slowly sliding into more of an administrative town with a lot of government interests because of the port and trade than a touristic city. Nyali in Mombasa in the late 90s and early 2000s and the Nyali of now is a typical example of the target inhabitants in Mombasa, being more of typical employees and families, more than tourists. The design of the houses has now transformed from touristic Villas to apartments and high rise offices.
So that leaves us with Diani, Kilifi and Malindi. Lamu can be out of the equation for now as our very able security network establishes how to figure out the insecurity issues. A near equivalent of these three towns here in Sweden is this beautiful city called Kalmar, with lots that any small coastal town would want to emulate. Kalmar has some level of style that is very inviting.
Kalmar as a beautiful, coastal like city on the Baltic Sea, in southeast Sweden. The first feature you see when you arrive in the town is the renaissance-style Kalmar Castle. The old town has signature cobbled streets and well-preserved buildings from the 17th and 18th century. This description is not far-fetched from reality.
Over the weekend I was invited to Rokneby. A brief description from the municipality’s webpage describes Rockneby, as a small municipality, also by the Baltic Sea, and also features many lakes and forests, with less than 1000 inhabitants, but a place with hidden charms.
In this small ‘village’, you can find hotels and enjoy perfect outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, biking and fishing. The roads leading to residential areas in the place are small and tarmacked, and the shopping areas are far from the area, allowing the area to feel like a true retreat without big buildings and lots of traffic.
I noticed that due to these factors of affording serenity, peace and quiet while enjoying nature and some much-needed holiday break. Kalmar makes a popular weekend and holiday destination for the residents.
Diani, Malindi and Kilifi, has lots of these potentials and more. In fact, we have perfect, white sandy beaches, lovely weather, wonderful food and culture in general. These areas also have wonderful world-class hotels that receive so many local and international tourists every year.
How would it be if we improved these areas, in terms of improving the infrastructure, having strict policies for development such that we do not over commercialise them like Mombasa? While looking to tap into investors through all these modifications and improvements in development, the respective counties should also empower the residents by promoting good education, entrepreneurship and ultimately good governance.
The writer communications researcher and scholar, currently pursuing Peace and Development Work Studies in Sweden