Chingwede, 'place of the arrowroot', is a private house offering the finest in coastal life without the crowds and without the stress. Long walks on Msambweni beach are only interrupted with delicious fresh seafood dishes and long cocktails. Supermarkets at Diani are 30 minutes from the villa, whilst fresh fruit and fish can be bought in the local village. Msambweni is an hour's drive from Mombasa International Airport and only 30 minutes from Diani airstrip.
Nicole and Colin have lived in Kenya for most of their lives.
From boyhood Colin enjoyed the special glories of the Kenya Coast-its sea breezed beaches and all that both the sea and lush land along this tropical coast offer.
Nicole drove over 18000 miles overland across the Sahara,the wilds of West Africa, DRC and East Africa before arriving in the land she has made her home.This first epic journey was made with her great friend Angela Fisher, author of Africa Adorned and African Ceremonies.
Born in Nairobi, Colin began life as a journalist travelling the world before returning to the country of his birth. He has worked in PR,media and communications. Conservation and wildlife have been anchor interests through a long career.He now spearheads the pivotal conservation charity-Rhino Ark.
NICOLE CHURCH purchased this villa in 1980
MSAMBWENI: "the place of sweet water."
Springs water flows from Mt.Kilimanjaro out along the beach and was the historical watering place for elephant.
Its beauty is renowned. Quiet, tropical, lush beachfront land alive with a myriad of birds,plants,trees and fruits.
The villagers of Msambweni are determinedly traditional in their ways. Fishing is central to their lives.
We searched the entire Kenya coast over several years, before selecting the site on which Chingwede House is built, 40 feet above the glistening white sands of a one and a half mile long beach.
No glitzy hotels disturb the wild beauty of Msambweni Beach.It beat all other beaches for us and in 1984 we bought the land. Travelling to the coast on weekends to supervise the building of our wonderful home, completed in 1987.
CHINGWEDE HOUSE has a commanding view of the beach and ocean. Cool breezes sweep in at all times of the year.
Its swimming pool is a few feet from the front verandah.
It has spacious verandahs on both floors providing the opportunity to relax, read or sunbathe in total privacy.
All rooms have stunning views of the sea and beach below.
Activities include easy access to snorkelling, diving,boating, deep sea fishing and visits to Kisite Marine Park and the Shimba Hills Game Reserve.
HASSAN our deft and imaginative cook has a wide repertoire of delicious dishes. HAMISI is the house overseer, assisted by GUNDE the night watchman and JITIADI who tends the garden lovingly.
Fresh fish and crustacea are brought daily to the kitchen door by the local fishermen.Fresh fruit and vegetables too.
“Heaven and can’t wait to return,”
Stephanie Keating, France
“We lived like kings, thanks to the staff’
“An amazing place. Great food.
The view – wow”
Peggy Gregory, England
“Arriving at tranquil Chingwede after a
great safari – perfect and perfectly looked after by the staff.”
Greg and Georgia Mills, London
“Wonderful view, beautiful beach and great team.”
De Montforts, London
“Great food” Claudia Schiffer, Paris
“I feel like I am in the Bahamas,”
Garrick Kantzler, Vero Beach
“A breath of fresh air in a busy world,”
Jonathan Scott, Nairobi
Special interest holidays:
Activities: Snorkeling, swimming, goggling on the reef are enjoyed from the house. Within a 30 minute drive at the famous Diani Beach, you have windsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing, camel rides, tennis, scuba diving and deep sea fishing. The best Bill Fishing for the acid sportsman is 45 minutes drive south to Shimoni at the Pemba Channel Fishing Club. A short distance into the hinterland is the wooded Shimba HIlls National Park, where elephant, buffalo, sable antelope and other antelope can be seen. Further inland you have the enormous Tsavo National Park.
Chingwede is on an elevated site overlooking the Msambweni bay through a grove of coconut palms. The house is set back about 60 metres from a broad sandy beach 2kms long from headland to headland. At low tide there are tidal pools and excellent goggling on the Msambweni Reef some 400 metres from the shore. It is a working beach with the local Digo fishermen paddling or sailing out in their dugout canoes in traditional style to feed the village.
Fly by scheduled flight into Mombasa International Airport and then drive (chauffeur or self drive) 35 miles south on the main tarmac road to Tanzania until you reach the D544 junction to Msambweni Hospital. Follow this tarmac road for 6km, continue through the Hospital grounds and onwards for another 2kms until you reach the house (signboarded). There is also an airstrip at Ukunda (30 minutes drive) serving Diani Beach and Msambweni. Daily flights are available.Detailed route notes available.
Msambweni is 335 miles by road from Nairobi. It is 35 miles south of Mombasa. Diani Beach shopping area is 15 miles away. Msambweni village is 1.5 miles offering many basic foodstuffs at wayside kiosks. Fresh fish, crustacea, eggs,fruit and vegetables are brought to the kitchen door.
There are several banks at Diani open 9:00am - 3pm Monday to Friday and 9:00 - 11:00am on Saturdays.Barclays Bank now stays open till 4pm, Mon-Fri., Sat.-12pm. Banks have ATMs. Most restaurants, shops and sporting centres in Diani take credit cards. There is a modern private hospital in Diani (Diani Beach Hospital). Kenya shillings are the national currency.