I’ve been eagle eyeing Che Shale since we moved to Kenya almost two years ago, so couple of weekends ago when my bestie Krista was in town with her partner Gareth we all flew over to Malindi for a beach getaway.
Described by the owners as a “chic beach retreat” Che Shale is set on a secluded bay about 40 minutes drive north of Malindi airport. The drive there is tarmac most of the way, winging through small villages and past simple market stalls selling a few scattered vegetables. The last section, however, takes you over about a mile of road made from coconut-husks – hold on to your horses – and through rich, lush vegetation and swaying palm trees before you reach the beach.
Che Shale itself is simple and stylish, with large thatched bandas tucked away down sandy paths and a big open plan bar/ restaurant/ lounging area with an assortment of wicker chairs and tables. There’s a hidden nook above the restaurant with scattered cushions to sprawl out on, which is accessed by a rickety wooden ladder. FUN.
Out on the beach THE SAND IS GLITTERY. Yes you read that right. It sparkles golden glitter as if a unicorn just went galloping over it. Totally amazing. The waves pick up in the afternoon and are great for surfing with boogie boards, or kite surfing on – which is one of Che Shale’s prime activities on offer.
If you want to learn to kite surf, Che Shale is the place to do it, but bear in mind you’ll need to book in for a three day course. The kites are unbelievably powerful and they don’t let just any old novice out on the water with them, much to my disappointment.
As enticing as kite surfing was, we decided to spend our time snoozing on the hanging lounger beds, reading and playing games. We topped off each evening with a walk along the beach, resident dogs running along with us and playing in the sand.
Rooms (deduct 15% for residents)
Che Shale Banda Daily Rate: 145 Euros per night, inclusive of breakfast.
Kajama Budget Banda Daily Rate: 90 Euros per night, inclusive of breakfast
Half Board for an additional 15 Euros per adult per night and 10 Euros per child per night.
Full Board for an additional 30 Euros per adult per night and 15 Euros per child per night.
Drinks, massages, kitesurf courses, activities and airport transfers.
Airport transfer from Malindi airport to Che Shale is 2,500 Ksh. Airport transfer from Mombasa airport to Che Shale is 7,000 Ksh.
Beginner kite surf course is 340 Euros, all equipment is included and the full course is about 8 to 10 hours of instruction.