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Locaton

Fig House is a large private house situated on the confluence of Takaungu creek and the Indian Ocean, three miles south of Kilifi on the Kenyan Coast. It is approximately an hour’s drive from international airports at Mombasa and Malindi. It stands in three acres of mature gardens, with 100m of ocean frontage, on one of the most beautiful stretches of the Kenyan coast.

The House

Fig House takes its name from the large number of sycomore fig trees on the property – all nurtured from seed, and today attracting monkeys, bush babies, hornbills and fruit-bats.

The large house ( c. 20,000 sq ft ) covers three levels with swimming pool, atrium, courtyard, kitchen, family and breakfast rooms on the lower level.

A hanging staircase leads from the atrium over a koi pond and waterfall to the next level with its ‘village square’ and four large bedrooms – all en suite.

The upper level with its private roof, star-bath, bridge, and sundowner barazza is reached from stairs from the village square or from the master bedroom.

The house sleeps 10 (2+1, 2+1, 2, 2) with ease and there are additional star-beds on the roof for those who’d like to star-gaze.

The house is fully staffed with a team of five that includes a chef, and full catering is offered as an option.

Bedrooms

The 4 bedrooms are all large with oversize beds ( the master bed is c. 11’), furnished with persian rugs and swahili furniture. All have fabulous views and large bathrooms.

The furnishings are all hand crafted from local wood and fossilised coral. The ceilings are high and even on the warmest evenings, there is always a gentle breeze.

Ground

Large carved double doors lead to a central atrium with raised koi pond and waterfall. The breakfast room, family room with swimming pool and kitchen all lead from this.

The breakfast room is situated to take advantage of the early morning land breeze.

The family room where you can take lunch, read, or just chill beside the infinity pool.

Roof & Star bath

The large roof has a beautiful 360º view and communal and private areas.

The communal area has a large sundowner ‘barazza’ facing towards the sea and a cushion store and is accessed by steps from the ‘village square’.

The private roof above the master bedroom is reached from stairs in the bedroom or by a bridge from the other roof. It has a built-in star-bed and star-bath.

 

The idea for Fig House was conceived after years of living in Africa – always under canvas, and always next to water – Lake Tanganyika, Mzima Springs, Grumeti River, Kiwaiyu Island.

We needed a home for the collection of driftwood, roots and natural ‘treasure’ that followed us around – it was time to put down roots of our own…

The requisites were simple but important:

Location

Space

Light

Cool

Water

Plants

Simplicity

Above all, we aimed for ‘feel’ – for a house that would make you feel good. A house where we would want to stay, relax, enjoy and rest.

The gentle mingling of quiet and social areas, but always with a cushioned alcove where you could lose yourself in a book.

We didn’t want the house to shout, but be easy on the eye – following the gentle contours of the natural world, encouraging the interplay of light on water and revelling in space. We started with the lilly pond and added spaces, rooms and sky, trees and water.  We aimed for a fusion of exterior and interior living spaces, that would make that ‘boundary’ irrelevant.

We started with a blank slate – three acres of sisal plantation with three neem trees on it. No electricity, no water, no soil – just a beautiful location.

The first job was to dig a well to find water for building – that was in 2005.

We marked out the house ‘footprint’ with a bag of lime and checked views from the ground, from towers, from the air…

In the evening in camp, beside the fire, we would scribble plans on tracing paper – adding rooms, another storey – another story.

The house took three years to build; the tunnel to the ocean, two years to dig.

We hope that you enjoy it.

 

Kayaking

There are four sit-on ocean kayaks ( 2 large, 2 small) for exploring the creek. Life-jackets are provided. The creek extends inland for approximately five miles through unspoilt mangrove forest (no crocodiles!). It is great for bird watching, sundowners or just a family adventure and best accessed on the last hour or two of the incoming tide so the current helps you up, and then back again once it turns.

Snorkelling

There is reasonable snorkelling from the house and a resident green turtle is often seen in the creek on a evening high tide.

Diving

There are good reefs approximately a mile offshore and the nearby Vuma cliffs offers drop-offs and caves and is one of the best dive sites in Kenya. It often has large visiting pelagics – mantas, whale sharks, bill fish and resident napoleon wrasse and grouper.

Dhow Trips

A dhow trip is the ideal way to see Kilifi creek – for bird watching, sundowners or just a relaxed evening sail. Perhaps combine a snorkelling trip with a lobster lunch on the beach.

Children’s Adventure Camp

A brilliant outdoor activity camp for children has just opened on Takaungu creek next to Kivukoni school – and it is only a five minute walk away.  Highly recommended – children LOVE it!

Golf

There are two newly-opened PGA world class courses at Vipingo Ridge, approximately 20 minutes away on the road towards Mombasa.

Cultural Visits

Gede ruins are the remains of a 12th C Swahili town close to Watamu, approximately one hour north of Kilifi. The ruins are a national monument and covered in strangling fig trees. The best time to visit is in the late afternoon.

A visit to the nearby traditional Swahili village of Takaungu can be arranged through the staff. The village is predominantly muslim and, if visiting, it is respectful to dress conservatively.

Birdwatching

There is good birdwatching around the plantation within walking distance of Fig House.

Further afield there is Arabuko Sokoke forest with its endemic scops owl, and Mida creek – both are close together and c. 45 minutes north of Kilifi on the Malindi road.

The price to be quoted at the time of booking for clarity reasons.

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