Saturday, August 23, 2008

Lamu Island Safaris - Lamu in Kenya

Lamu Island Safaris - Lamu in Kenya

Lamu Island is part of the Lamu Archipelago off Kenya's coast. The archipelago consists of seven islands and a multitude of islets separated from the mainland at its narrowest part by just a few meters wide. To sail the archipelago is to discover beautiful beaches, glorious seascapes, scuba refuges, fishing and ancient ruins. Lamu is a place like no other, a peaceful tropical island where life is lived at its own relaxed rhythm. It is also a place whose history is as mysterious and fascinating as the winding streets of its medieval town.

How to get there
Lamu Island can be reached by air from Malindi, Mombasa, Nairobi and Diani Beach. Flights to Lamu Island land on Manda Island which is just across the channel from Lamu. can arrange flights and transfers to Lamu Island's hotels and lodges.

Lamu Island

Lamu Town began life as a 14th century Swahili settlement. But the island has seen many visitors and influences, including Portuguese explorers, Turkish traders and the Omani Arabs. Despite all these influences, Lamu developed its own particular culture which has ultimately endured. The island is a beautiful place of rolling dunes and endless beaches, where tiny villages nestle among coconut and mango plantations and lateen sailed dhows ply the waters. Dense mangrove forests fringe the mainland and the inland sides of the island. The beach on Lamu Island is 12km of empty sands backing on to an ocean protected by a reef.

Lamu Activities
The pristine beaches are not the only attraction to Lamu. Lamu Town is a delightful anachronism carrying on its daily life as it has done for centuries. As Kenya's oldest living town, Lamu has retained all the charm and character built up over centuries. There are still many remnants of the elegant, refined life led by the richer folk in past eras. Electricity only arrived a few decades ago, and there are still almost no motor vehicles. Life moves at a pace of a monkey or a dhow. Spices and the smell of grilled foot scent the air around the markets, museums, fort and ancient house. The winding streets of the towns are best explored on foot or by donkey, as you shop for local woodcarvings and batik. Or you can sit at an open-air restaurant by the water and watching the world go by is an irresistible past-time. Shela is the other main town on Lamu Island, and is a 10 minute boat ride from Lamu. Although it lacks the vibrancy of Lamu Town, it is smaller, quieter and more elegant than Lamu - distinctively more upmarket. Manda Island itself is also fascinating. The huge baobab trees dominate the skyline and the ruins of Takwa can be found after negotiating through thick mangrove swamps. Furthest north of the Lamu archipelago, is the remote paradise island of Kiwayu. Its beaches are believed to be amongst the best in Kenya.

Seasons in Lamu
The best time to visit Lamu Island is from January through March when the snorkeling is ideal. Although it is clear and dry in August and September, the ocean is rough and visibility low after the long rains. In March the humidity begins to rise while most tourists have all but disappeared. June and July can be quite windy, which is good for sailing. The long rains come late March to May and the short rains in October and November.

Lamu Island

Peponi Hotel is situated on the exotic island of Lamu, in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Kenya. The hotel is located upon a headland of Lamu Island and offers easy access to miles of sandy beach as well as being within walking distance of Shela village.

Peponi Hotel Description
Peponi Hotel was never planned, it simply happened. Starting as the Korschen family home, over the past 30 years Peponi Hotel has grown into a hotel offering attentive service, delicious meals and endless relaxation. Peponi Hotel has a total of 24 rooms which are divided into standard and superior rooms. Five of the rooms are built on the beach with private veranda areas which overlook the sea. The other rooms have a combination of ocean and garden views. All rooms have mosquito nets, overhead fans, showers, fresh flowers and personal safes. Meals are served under the colourful bougainvillea on the terrace which overlooks the ocean and movement of dhows and local fisherman. The hotel bar is a favourite watering hole for guests and Shela village inhabitants alike. Peponi Hotel also boats a swimming pool, under the baobab trees overlooking the ocean.

Activities• Dhow cruises
• Trips to a range of sites on the archipelago
• Snorkelling
• Diving
• Waterskiing
• Windsurfing
• Deep sea fishing
• Scuba diving

How To Get There can arrange scheduled flights and transfers to Peponi Hotel.

Closed May and June

Lamu Island

Manda Bay is a small boutique resort on the northern tip of Manda Island, one of the many unspoilt idyllic islands within the romantic Lamu archipelago. The resort is surrounded by indigenous woodland, empty beaches and magnificent coral gardens. Though close to Lamu Island, Manta Bay is far away from the bustle to enjoy some quiet seclusion and privacy.

Manda Bay Hotel Description
Manda Bay has 16 cottages are constructed from local materials and designed in keeping with the local landscape. Five of the rooms are set along the seafront with the other rooms set in-between and slightly behind. All cottages have overhead fans, large flowing mosquito nets, en-suite bathrooms and their own private verandas overlooking the Indian Ocean. Meal times are relaxed and casual, served in the dining room, on the beach, on the 60 foot dhow or your private veranda. There is a marine flavour to the cuisine served at Manda Bay. Freshly caught tuna, Mangrove crab and prawns are a Manda Bay delicacy. Manda Bay also actively promotes efforts to preserve the Lamu archipelago and supports development projects for the local community. By setting up ad-hoc funds, it has been possible to provide assistance for the construction of schools, medical clinics and other facilities.

Activities• Windsurfing
• Laser Sailing
• Mangrove trips
• Bird walks/drives
• Games room with pool table, darts and table tennis
• Excursions to Lamu by boat
• Cultural visits
• Scenic flights
• Swimming pool
• Cultural visits
• Spa treatments and massage

How To Get There
Mount Kenya Climbing Expeditions can arrange flights and transfers to Manda Bay. To/From Nairobi: Manda has a private airstrip for private charters. Lamu airstrip is a 25 minute boat trip away, and serviced daily with scheduled flights from Nairobi.

Closed from 15th April till 14th July

1 comment:

Richard Finley said...

This will be very great and so exciting. Though there are some preparations yet, to be done for this, you possibly like to skip just to climb the Kilimanjaro.

Kenya Safari