Tired of driving through traffic during your holiday, or being herded onto a bus for a city tour where you can’t even see what the guide is describing, or being harassed by hawkers that jump at the chance to sell when they see a foreign face? Sometimes the best way to experience the city and people is up close and personal, especially in a seaside community with centuries of history that blanket the small and narrow streets of Malindi.
If you can get past the constant loud rumblings of the three-wheeler’s engine, which poignantly inspired the name “Tuk-Tuk,” and the lack of conventional airbags; Tuk-Tuks expose the passengers to the elements with little or no barriers between them and whatever comes their way – making this the best way to experience the charm of coastal Kenya.
A Driftwood Beach Club specialty, the resort treats all guests with a complimentary tour of Malindi, in the most novel of transports – a Tuk-Tuk.
This monster 200cc three-wheeled transportation can push 50 km/hour with ease thanks to its four-stroke engine, seat three passengers in the back comfortably, and makes sightseeing a breeze with its removable canvas roof.
Weaving through traffic jams and zipping by Malindi’s distinct architecture on the narrow back streets that cars would only dream of driving through, our Tuk-Tuk sightseeing tour lasted about two hours and showcased what makes Malindi an unique destination.
From the first Portuguese Church to the coral pillar erected by Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama to Juma Mosque to seeing fresh catches of 2 meter long sailfish to buzzing markets; seeing Malindi from a Tuk-Tuk’s vantage point is incredibly fun and full of adventure.
Here are five reasons why you should tour Malindi on a Tuk-Tuk:
Beating the heat
The humidity and heat of the Kenyan coast is sometimes unbearable, even if you have air conditioning (AC) in your car. By the time your AC gets cold, you’d probably be in need of a shower from sweating through your clothes.
The open canvas roof of a Tuk-Tuk is truly the best way to stay in the shade and beat the heat with the strong breeze that flows through the vehicle.
Zip past hawkers
If you’re in a shopping mood, the Tuk-Tuk allows you to get close to street hawkers, but when they get a little bit too annoying, the quick acceleration will make your getaway easy.
With its impressive fuel economy at 35 kilometres per litre of petrol, Tuk-Tuk’s are the most convenient and inexpensive ways of getting around.
Go where cars can’t go
The triangular form of a Tuk-Tuk makes manoeuvring through tight spaces, people and narrow streets easy – making sure you’ll see everything you need to see.
For tourists, anything novel and out-of-the-ordinary is a must-try. And, for those that are use to twelve-lane highways with no potholes and big cars, Tuk-Tuks are simply a novelty that cannot be resisted.
PHOTOBLOG: Susan Wong 2011© All rights reserved