Over 100 kilometres north of Mombasa, the island of Lamu is undisturbed by the turmoil of modern times, and boasts a timeless serenity. Set in an archipelago of coral fringed islands, Lamu Town was a trading centre for hundreds of years. Great lateen-rigged dhows sailed in from Arabia and India, buying and selling ivory and spices. The resultant blend of cultures has produced a vibrant people, the Swahili, who are rich in history and justifiably proud of their maritime tradition. To this day there are no cars on the island, and transport is by dhow, donkey or on foot.
Depending on season and number of travellers:
From USD 5,000 to USD 10,000 per week for the entire estate for up to 10 people.
Off the coast of Kenya, just west of Manda Island.
A large house with four double and one triple, ensuite bedrooms. On the first floor, raised above beach level, there is an edgeless, fresh water swimming pool. It has a bar area and low comfortable baraza seats. Up the first flight of stairs is a large dining and living room, leading out onto an al fresco terrace. Another door leads onto the wooden deck over the pool and to two double bedrooms with their own private terraces. The third floor comprises three bedrooms and an open terrace. From the rooftop you can enjoy panoramic views of the whole Lamu channel.
Full Board: The house cook will bake bread, suggest menus and cook excellent international cuisine and Swahili fish dishes. Basic foodstuffs and fresh seasonal produce are available in the local market, while other supplies are flown down from Nairobi. Fish, lobster, crab and fresh oysters are sold by local fishermen. Self-Catering: The kitchens are well equipped with cooker, fridge, bottle cooler, ice maker, ice cream machine, liquidiser and espresso machine. The house cook can do your shopping.
Take a dhow trip to the Takwa ruins, former home to the people of Shela village. Windsurf, sail, water ski and snorkel. Walk along deserted beaches with sculptured driftwood and see dolphins offshore. Visit Lamu's outdoor cinema. Explore the narrow streets of Lamu town with its ancient fort, wood carvers, juice bars and donkeys.
Best time to travel
July to October are the best months. November to March and June are also good, but can be hot and humid.
Daily flights from Nairobi, Mombasa and Malindi to the Manda Island airstrip, then a short boat ride to Lamu Island.