Since the winds at the Baltic and North Sea were rather poor this year, I started looking for a destination with lots of wind for the late summer.
I was thinking about a more exotic place this time instead of the classics like Egypt, Tarifa and Morocco, although they deliver, I wanted an experience off the beaten track and less mainstream.
The Indian Ocean was calling me so I decided on Sri Lanka, a jewel in the Indian Ocean. It has lots of wind every day and perfect flat water conditions. The flying time is not crazy and there are direct flights so no stop over or changes required.
So I packed my luggage and couldn’t wait to fly straight towards the sun with the usual Emirates comfort. Filled with pleasant anticipation of an amazing wind forecast, I headed out to the airport, where I even got an upgrade to business class. In this sense: let the vacation begin!
When I arrived in Colombo, a driver was already waiting for us, who brought us directly to the Lodge. We we’re then welcomed by a delicious melon juice.
The Lodge offers a lot of luxury: A large swimming pool for cooling-down after an extensive kite session, a number of shady places to chill out and read a book, a big bar and restaurant area as well as the rooms themselves each with a refrigerator, safe, air conditioner, mosquito nets, and enough space.
The most beautiful thing is probably the view over the lagoon and the ocean behind. All the struggle of the flight were forgotten after an ice-cold Cuba Libre on the terrace.
In Sri Lanka you can find of course the unique KiteWorldWide Community. This means: a big table, where everybody eats together to create a familiar atmosphere and vibe, with us you get the feeling that your on holiday with good friends, even when traveling alone.
But enough from that and more about the kitesurfing experience: There are three main spots, which are reached by car from the Lodge. The beach house at the main lagoon directly in front, you can reach in 10 minutes either by boat or truck. There are shuttles the whole day and shade, drinks and food at the beach is provided.
Kite students are trained from very experienced, German or English speaking kite teachers. Advanced kitesurfers are able to burn off some energy in the giant lagoon, because of the huge size of the lagoon everybody can find his own bit of flat water paradise.
As an alternative we can also drive you to the ‘dream spot’ or Vela Island alias ‘Magic Spot’ several times a week. The dream spot is a sandbank in the middle of a jungle. Here you are mostly alone and you can enjoy the mile long flat water and constant wind. An absolute dream also for kite students!
Vela island, an island in the middle of the ocean, this is more a spot for advanced kiters, since the wind comes offshore. Absolute constant wind and flat water give you perfect freestyle conditions. Here the tricks succeed by oneself.
For me Vela Island was definitely one of the best places, I have ever kited in my life.
For the rare no wind days or should I say the really needed rest days, Sri Lanka also offers a wide cultural program. Visit the tea plantation in the local city, the holy mountain or the diverse temples are very recommendable. There are also party possibilities in other Lodges, where all Kite surfer come together.
My conclusion to Sri Lanka is a definite recommendation! High wind probability, perfect flat water conditions, delicious food and a luxury lodge offer everything you need to escape the daily routine for a short or a long break. Additionally the super nice and very helpful locals made the holiday excellent. We will definitely come back!
The annual Easter holidays were about to kick off, so why not take a few bridging days to get out of the cold? But where should one spend a week off in March? Requirements were a short-haul flight, warmth, high wind probability and obviously a laid back atmosphere. After a quick debate the appropriate destination was found immediatly: Tarifa, Spain.
The most southern tip of Europe, only a few kilometers from Africa, is a hotspot for wind- and water sport enthusiasts from all over the globe. Due to its exposed location at the Strait of Gibraltar, the wind probability almost reaches up to 100%. We got a direct flight from Hamburg to Malaga and took our rental car along the idyllic coastal road straight to Tarifa. We arrived late at night at the KiteWorldWide Town House and were suprised by a still buzzing nightlife – so going to bed early wasn’t an option anymore and we changed a long good night sleep for a few Mojitos. Viva la fiesta!
After a short but nevertheless relaxing night at the KiteWorldWide Town House, we had the opportunity to explore the sourroundings. A lot of small and cosy Cafés hide in countless crooked streets together with restaurants that invite you to linger and to have a snack.
The Town House itself is furnished with taste and offers all the amenities a self-catering guest could ask for: refrigerators, a well equipped kitchen, a big common room, a BBQ area as well as a magnificent roof top.
But we actually came to kite. The wind builds up during the day, thanks to the local thermal, which is very pleasant for the late risers and night owls amongst us. So we were heading to the miles long kitebeach at noon. For the more experienced kite surfer, there is also a flatwater lagoon located at the mouth of the Rio Jara river. I wanted to hit the flatwater first, to improve my competition tricks and to get back into shape after the winter break. The conditions there are just perfect and almost reach the level of brasilian lagoons!
If you’re feeling like more space on the water and throwing yourself into the forces of nature, the open sea is your spot! There is a nice wind wave, that almost breaks perfectly, which is good for wave kiting or is the ideal kicker for big airs. Especially on strong Poniente (side onshore wind) days, the waves can become pretty big. On Levante (offshore) days, the sea is as flat as a pancake: however, this wind can be also very strong and gusty! Tip: Both, wind and water can be quite chilly at this time of the year, so warm clothes and a thick wetsuit are essential. But once you’re lee site it can also get quite warm and summery. During our stay, we only experienced a really steady Poniente, which was absolutely perfect for training and to learn new tricks.
This also applies to the kite course participants. Due to Gabri’s patient attitude the boys and girls of the course were able to reach their personal goals. Thanks to his long-lasting training experience and his great spot knowledge, he always knew and chose the best spot for the group and their training.
Tapas tours, pub crawls or roof top BBQs were organized in the evenings. Even on no-wind days Tarifa has a lot to offer: mountainbiking, freeclimbing, surfing, daytrips to Morocco or a visit to the british Gibraltar. In addition to that, you can always just relax at the white dunes and cure your muscle ache. Its distinction is definitely the combination of excellent kite conditions and an extensive alternative programme, which also offers a lot for non kitesurfers. You can definitely find enough variety here!
You could write several pages about this place and never come to an end. This vacation felt a lot longer than a week and we’re taking dozens of new memories and experiences home with us. Excellent kite conditions, breathtaking nature, great food such as Tapas or freshly caught fish, spanish wine, hilarious parties and new friendships, just to name a few. I like to call it the special KiteWorldWide flair, that you can find at any spot: Kenya, Tatajuba, Cape Town…no matter where you are, you’re always together with like-minded people in a one of a kind community.
This week, Naish TV features an episode about Lenni’s and Anne’s adventures at the KiteWorldWide Lodge Kenya. Next to plenty of wind, sun and kitesurfing the two also went on safari through the Tsavo Nationalpark and explored the mangrove forests and reefs via SUP. Also Kenya’s underwater world didn’t remain undiscovered. And who would have thought… also the old slider of the lodge has been brought back to life in a spontaneous project. It shines like new… also after Lenni was done with it ;)
Just watch it yourself!
In January, our teamriders Lennart Schulenburg and Anne Valvatne were in East Africa to explore the surroundings. Not only on the water, but also on the mainland they got to experience more than they could ever write down in any blog post. So after all the Video Diarys, Photo Albums and Posts, Lenni dived once again into the terrabytes of material in order to edit a last video, showing Kenya with all its amazing facettes.
We’d say, he has more than succeeded in this! Kitesurfing, SUP, beach parties, lodge life, culture, diving and a unique flair. Voilá – Kenya in 1:59min stunning pictures.
During my stay at Capo Verde I had the great chance to take part at a KiteWorldWide clinic with wave legend Mitu Monteiro. A welcome opportunity to get some good advices to work on my skills.
There were about to come diverse days for us learning and experiencing a lot. The groups were very mixed concerning their level: from total beginner with a wave board to advanced wave kiter. We started at 9a.m. every single day and they brought us to the best working spot for the day.
For a start they taught us the basics of the wave and explained the most important emergency situations. Afterwards they set up several focal points together with the participants. So we have had turnarounds, turns and the first strapless jumps in our program. Perfect!
Mitu has pushed us very early and brought us on a bigger day to Punta Preta – the best wave on Capo Verde. Huge, powerful and not to underestimate. After hesitating a little everyone jumped into the wave and I think everyone also had his best wave day of their lifes!Whenever something was going wrong Mitu always was with us solving the problem!
Of course a nice framework program was also set up. Barbecue evenings, lunch or one or two relaxed beer created a very relaxed atmosphere.
Time passed by too fast! Everyone rose in his skills and we also had a lot of fun under the supervision of Mitu. I would come back every time because there is always something to learn!
Essaouira is a cosy town in western Morocco which is still mainly preserved from mass tourism. Here you encounter rural culture, heaps of space on the water and of course a lot of wind!
The spot is directly located in front of the station and provides you with some nice waves inviting for a nice surf or wave kiting session. A little more downwind you find an estuary offering perfect flat water conditions. Unfortunately the wind is a little gusty here as the river mouth is located on the lee side.
During the season the wind probability is very high but for the unlikely event of a lack of wind beginners can make their first steps directly in front of the station. Intermediates jump onto a camel and enjoy the head-high waves just a beach further.
Now some information to the city itself. The old medina preserved its original flair! Everywhere you meet locals with their daily duties and there is a lot to discover.
Now moving on to the next highlight, the food you get here is absolutely delicious. The local tajine (saffron chicken and vegetables) and the fruits are stunning, no matter if vegetarian or whatever. Everyone finds what he is looking for!
We present a top-level accommodation with our latest Kiteworldwide hotel directly located in the old town center. A so-called Riad, a traditional townhouse with an open court in the middle and a roof terrace. Sara and Nasser give their best to provide you with an unforgettable stay. In my case they succeeded.
The roof terrace is perfectly suitable for a little workout session and of course for the legendary barbecue parties. I’m moving on to Dakhla now. Thanks Essaoueira – it was just brilliant! Two important things to bring with you: a bottle of rum (you hardly find alcohol here) and your running shoes because you find wonderful trails on the beach and in the surrounded mountain area!
Since Kenya has been a total success, I was more than stoked to get to know Zanzibar. The stories of turquoise water and the variety of the island sounds too good to be true. Soon I should know all about it!
A cheap, half an hour flight makes Zanzibar and Kenya a perfect combination. Once I arrived in Jambiani, I grabbed a SUP and explored the spot. Surreal!
The first days, we unfortunately didn’t have too much wind. However, that wasn’t a problem looking at all the tour possibilities on the island. Especially the combo tour of snorkeling and surfing seemed pretty interesting! Early in the morning we went to the boats and were rewarded with completely empty snorkel spots.
After countless various colored fishes and corals, we headed to the reef break. Waves of 0.5 – 1.5m height, which broke clean over old corals, were awaiting us. Low risk of injury and a lot fun for the whole group.
The day ended with a chilled beer and some reggae back in Jambiani.
The next tour which I can totally recommend, is the “Blue Safari” tour. On the other site of the island we started again with some snorkeling. This time we even spotted dolphins. Afterwards we had an amazing sea food BBQ on an lonely island. Delicious!
The second part of the tour consists of sport activities. Either you kitesurf behind a sandbank with perfect flat water conditions or you go for a ride on the wakeboard. The day ends with a spectacular sunset behind the mangrove forrest.
We haven’t been too lucky with the wind until now but if it shows up, the spot offers perfect flat water conditions at low tide and a huge area to ride at high tide. The water has bathtub temperature and looks just amazing.
Now a couple of words regarding the accommodations: The Red Monkey Lodge is a bit closer to the kite school and definitely more familial. The eco-lodge concept also seems very attractive to me. The Coral Rock focusses a bit more on luxury and has rather resort character. Both accommodations are recommendable! Visitors from Europe should be aware though, that you are in the deepest Africa and shouldn’t wonder if things don’t always work as they do at home.
For us it was also very important to experience the local culture, history and lifestyle. To do so, we went on a tour over the island. Starting point was the Jozani Forrest and the herb farm. Here you could learn a lot about how the herbs are grown and of course also try many different ones. Afterwards we went to Stonetown, for a history lesson.
The next day some wind was forecasted again for the afternoon. To make the most out of the day, we went to the center of Jambiani in the morning. A local guide showed us around and explained how the people live in this total different world, which proofed one more time that most of our problems are very small luxurious problems. Big recommendation! Afterwards the wind was ready and the water waiting!
The last tour which I’d like to talk about is a true adventure! You start in the bay of Michmwe and go via SUP through the Mangrove Forrest. Small rivers, exotic animals and a quick yoga session. On top fresh fruits on a small island. WOW!
And so two weeks full of adventure have come to an end. There might be windier places on earth, but the beauty and variety of Zanzibar is unique! Also, the january is supposed to have more wind. Otherwise just grab some big kites (14+) and enjoy the perfect all-round package. A place for total relaxation. Hakuna Matata!
Perfect conditions to learn new moves!
After dinner everyone meets on the rooftop bar for one – or one more- cocktail and some pool.
Just let Kenya inspire you. Latest after one week with every day wind, you’ll be happy to have a break. Because you’ll always have wind here.
What is it, that always moves us away? Where does the need to discover new places come from? To always kite on new spots? I don’t know it, but with KiteWorldWide, I have found the perfect partner to live my passion and to get to know some of the most exotic places on this planet.
By now, I have seen and experienced enough during my journeys, to be able to say, that the destination away from the mainstream are certainly the most beautiful ones. Cozy bonfires, regional specialties, the contact to the locals and all those small things are, what makes a kite trip unforgettable.
My next destination will be East Africa. Right now, I’m sitting at the airport and wait for my plane to Kenya. Afterwards, I’ll travel further to Zanzibar – a perfect combination. Not only perfect kitesurf conditions, but also lots of culture! Safaris, spice plantations, local food markets, village tours, diving, snorkeling, party … the to-do list is long! The next couple of weeks, I’ll send to on a virtual journey with me. Or you just pass by to visit me? :)
Afterwards, I’ll travel to the Cape Verde Islands, for the Wave Camp with world champion Mitu Monteiro. Three intensive weeks with full focus on wave kiting. There are not many places, which offer better conditions in spring.
Before I’ll eventually return to Germany for the summer events, one more stop in Morocco is planned. Essaouira offers perfect waves, while Dakhla is a fascinating allround spot for freestyle training and surfing. On top, local seafood specialties and desert charme. Morocco has, what a lot of destinations have lost during the past years.
Follow my journey here on the blog or on Facebook/Instagram with the hashtag #kitewithlenni! Clips, travel reports, pictures and more to come!