Some sense of adventure is what hits you the moment the imposing ornate gates of Vipingo Ridge in Kilifi swing open. That was the feeling I got on a Friday morning recently; something that emanates from the excitement of being at the destination for the first time.
The 10-hour bus journey from Nairobi to Kilifi helped in building up the anticipation to sample experiences the residential golfing estate has to offer.
Stepping into 2,500 acres of vast undulating landscapes comprising of gentle rolling slopes, vast plains, languidly flowing streams, forested areas and an 18-hole championship golf course set the tone for the two-day stay at Vipingo.
A 20-minute car ride from the gate, as early morning sunshine ambitiously illuminate over lush green vegetation that abundantly punctuates Vipingo, leads me to a holiday villa that serves as my accommodation during the stay. Nestled in thick tropical bushes, the earth-toned two-storeyed villa is spacious and cosy.
Elegantly decorated with Swahili inspired interiors, it has two huge bedrooms, a dining area, en-suite bathrooms and a fully furnished kitchen. Huge windows and a private rooftop terrace offer a picturesque view of surrounding bushes and a swimming pool outside.
There are 21 other two, three and four bedroom holiday villas that boast of similar features, while a few have a rooftop plunge pool. The afternoon is spent at Kuruwitu Beach, five kilometres from the estate.
The beach, within a 30-hectare marine conservation area, has wide range of excursions to offer such as snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, reef walking and dolphin watching. Curious to sample the sea creatures on the reef along the beach, I settled on snorkelling. I put on the snorkelling gear and venture into the sea.
The water is warm, the corals spectacularly beautiful and I have fun spotting tropical fishes in the azure sea. There are sea urchins, starfish, eels, turtles and a variety of ornamental fish within the reef.
The following day, sunrise finds me at the Vipingo Ridge clubhouse. The Moorish inspired clubhouse overlooking the golf course hosts a bar and restaurant. Chirps of birds, lulling splashes of water from an overlooking water feature and sweet scents of freshly cut grass that waft from the golf course delightfully bonds one with nature.
Amazingly, there are 174 species of birds at the ridge. After taking a tour of the golf course, enjoying lunch at the clubhouse and washing it down with a glass of fresh delicious juice of mixed berries, it’s time to head to the beach bar along Kuruwitu Beach.
Here, there is wide variety of fresh seafood to savor and drinks to sample. The evening is spent by the beach, lazily watching the sunset and sipping on a glass of ‘pimps’, the bar’s signature drink as time obliviously passes away.