Nerding in Nairobi

A few months travelling, living and hacking in Kenya

Watamu Treehouse

Friday night, I was sitting on the roof of the Gaudí-esque Watamu Treehouse sipping scotch and trying to convince myself the place really existed.

  • Welcome to the Treehouse
  • The bridge to the tower I shared with Meaghan and Eliza
  • View from my bed
  • William, Sammy and Winnie serving lunch
  • Down the forest path to the beach
  • Click for a panorama of the beach (drag to scroll)
  • Laying on the beach
  • Ben spearfishing for seaweed
  • Clay spears a coconut, Chris watches from his sand throne
  • Pre-sunset photos on the roof

Our group of 9 arrived on Thursday around midnight and were waved in by an askari carrying a homemade bow and arrow. Half an hour later my clothes were on the beach and I was swimming through flashes of bioluminescent plankton in the Indian Ocean. We all stayed up late drinking beers and enjoying the feeling of being a long way from Nairobi.

I woke up the next morning to the sun rising over the ocean framed by the thatch roof of my open-air tower. I went back to sleep and came down later to find the table set for breakfast. Our house help, Sammy, brought tea and went down to help our chef, William, prepare a big breakfast of eggs and bacon.

The rest of the day was pretty lazy. I relaxed on the beach (sunburned), swam a few hundred meters out to a sand bar with Meaghan, read in the house and napped. At one point someone stopped by, announced “I’m the fisherman” and sold us about 15 kilos of fresh seafood. Kelly taught a few of us Settlers of Catan but we were interrupted to watch the sunset from the roof over rum drinks.

By the time we came down, it was dark and the power was out but the generator kicked on just in time for Sammy and William to serve dinner. Decadent is an understatement: stacks of cracked crab, thick battered squid rings, spicy vegetable curry and fresh fruit salad for dessert. The generator gave up towards the end of dinner and we finished by candlelight.

We returned to the roof to catch a starry sky completely untainted by electric lights. Benedict brought out scotch and Cohibas he bought on the way over from Kampala. A shooting star brighter than a low flying plane cut across the sky. At that point I was seriously questioning the plausibility of this reality.

I ended that first of three days in Watamu dozing on the beach nursing a cold bottle of Tusker beer.

UPDATE: Meaghan has more on the trip and more photos on her blog

Panorama of the Watamu beach