Kenya boasts a beautiful coast and fascinating coastal culture, but is all too often let down by a profusion of large bland resorts. Luckily there are still a few gems to be found.
The Lamu archipelago is a sleepy backwater boasting warm seas, sweeping beaches and the charming historic UNESCO World Heritage town of Lamu. The sights, spices and aromas vividly evoke the rich history of Portuguese, Indian, British, Yemeni and Oman influences.
The Lamu archipalego consists of Manda Island, Kiwayu and Lamu Island. The two largest towns of Lamu and Shela lie on Lamu Island. Manda Island sits in calm protected inshore waters, whilst Kiwayu is the most remote with stunning beaches.
Getting to Lamu Island
Flights from Nairobi Wilson airport and Mombassa land on the airstrip on Manda Island. There are 3 daily flights to Lamu from Nairobi with Fly 540, Air Kenya and SafariLink. There is one weekly flight from Mombassa.
It is possible to get to Lamu by road, but is not usually recommended due to security issues and the road is very bumpy.
The weather is typically hot a little humid. It suffers from the same short (Oct-Nov) and long rain seasons (March-May) as the rest of Kenya, when regular daily rainfall (usually in the mid morning) can be expected. Temperatures are usually in the upper 20s and lower 30s Celsius.
Places to Stay
Diamond Beach Village is our pick in the area. A wonderful simple rustic, yet stylish collection of Bandas with a lovely bar and restaurant to soak in the sunset. (~$100 per double room)
For those with more cash, Kipungani Explorers is hard to beat. Along the same lines as Diamond Beach Village, just with more comfort, class and expense (~$500 per double room)
If you don't fancy the whole deserted beach thing, then Kijani House Hotel (~$300 per double room) or the more modest and charismatic Fatuma's Tower are both based in Shela village. Which boasts its own beach and is in easy reach of Lamu Town.
Tourdust can arrange your stay at any of these beach lodges and combine with your choice of safaris and treks in Kenya. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org with your interests.