All inclusive beach holidays in Lamu, Kenya
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    Kenya Safari & Beach Holiday to Lamu Island

    Kenya Safari and beach holidays are one of the most popular combinations when choosing a multi centre holiday package. Imagine combining luxurious beach surroundings to relax in with adventurous Kenya safaris, many of the beaches are just a short flight from many safari destinations. One day you can be in the bush viewing spectacular wildlife and the next relaxing on a white sanded Island of Lamu Island sipping a refreshing cocktail. A safari to Kenya and Lamu beach holiday really is the best of both worlds. It’s like having two amazing holidays in Africa rolled into one. First, you’ll spend your days waking up to the sounds of the African bush, taking exhilarating game drives over the plains to spot Big 5 animals in their natural environment. Then, you’ll head to a tropical beach worthy of any postcard to totally unwind and reflect on your wildlife experience. It’s the perfect holiday, offering a brilliant blend of excitement and relaxation. We would recommend doing the safari in Kenya part of your holiday first and ending your trip on the Lamu Island beach. This will give a real sense of balance to your Kenya safari experience. Safaris to Kenya can be pretty tiring because the game drives depart at the crack of dawn when the wildlife is at its most active. Your friendly wake up call can be as early as 5am, so it’s far from lie-in territory, but watching the sun come up over the savanna while you’re tracking lions, leopards and elephants will make the early start more than worth it! However, after a series of heart-thumping game drives, you’ll probably be ready for some serious down time and an exotic beach overlooking the Indian Ocean is the perfect way to get it! This means that you’ll arrive home relaxed rather than frazzled and ready to get back to reality again.

     

    Combining adventure with relaxation, the pairing of safaris in Kenya with an idyllic beach escape is a popular choice, particularly amongst couples and honeymooners. And many beach extension destinations are just a short flight away. Waking before dawn in the heart of the bush with a full itinerary planned for the day ahead could not be more different from lazy mornings spent lounging on glistening sands, and this is exactly why the combination works so well. Hot-air balloon flights at sunrise, Big Five viewing, bush breakfasts, snorkelling in crystal clear waters, cocktails on the beach at sunset, falling asleep to the sound of the waves lapping the shore – this is a twin centre holiday that’s hard to beat. Kenya’s tropical coastline around Mombasa and the exotic island of Zanzibar are both excellent options for a beach stay following a safari in Kenya or Tanzania. Just a short flight transports you from safari heaven to dreamy beaches, with a range of accommodation from, it’s no secret that the Indian Ocean plays host to some of the world’s best beaches – which can easily be twinned with an African safari. A classic 7 night holiday to Kenya would usually be a mix of 4 nights on safari and 3 nights Lamu holiday. If you’re looking for a 10 night Kenya holiday, this could combine 7 nights on Kenya safari with 3 nights at the Lamu beach, or if soaking up some tropical sunshine is important to you, 4 nights on Kenya holiday safari and 6 nights on the Lamu beach would do the trick. If you have longer than 3 or 4 night to spend on safari then most people would combine 2 different wildlife destinations, to give them a greater variety of experiences. When you’re planning your combined Kenya safaris and beach holiday, it makes sense to choose travel destinations that are relatively close together. This will cut down both the time and money spent on travel during your holiday. A safari in Tsavo National Park, for example, works really well with the castaway beaches of Lamu Island or similarly, a safari in Tanzania combines brilliantly with one of the luxury beach resorts on Zanzibar, a true island paradise.

     

    Sample a Safari & Beach Combined Safari

     

    Day 1: Nairobi to the Rift Valley Am. Drive 200km / 3 hrs from Nairobi to Rift Valley Pm. BBQ lunch, wildlife walk in tea plantation, evening game drive after breakfast you’ll be driven from Nairobi to tea and coffee plantation near to Lake Nakuru. The plantation is a lovely lush forested setting where you will enjoy a delicious farm lunch in the gardens followed by a guided bird walk on the estate and a chance to visit the tea and coffee processing operations. The estate has a evocative colonial guesthouse where you will be staying the night. You can take an optional night safari drive around the estate grounds with the chance of seeing hyena and if you are lucky, leopards. Overnight Lake Nakuru Lodge

     

    Day 2: Lake Nakuru Am. Long morning game drive Pm. Drive 50km / 1.5h to Lake Naivasha, Lake Nakuru is Kenya’s second most popular wildlife park and for good reason. Although small in size it surrounds a beautiful lake that is teeming with pelicans and flamingos. The park plays host to a variety of terrain, shallows, mud flats along with classical African Acacia Woodlands and grasslands. Lake Nakuru is rich with big game and good sightings are virtually guaranteed. Lion, hyena, rhino, buffalo, giraffe and Zebra are all common. After a long morning game drive with a boxed lunch, you will journey the short drive to a lodge on the shores of Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge. You’ll have time to enjoy the pool at the lodge in the afternoon. (B,L,D)

     

    Day 3: Hippos in Lake Naivasha and Wilderness Camp Am. Lake Naivasha boat safari Pm. Drive 300km / 5hrs from Naivasha to Loita Plains After breakfast you’ll head out for a boat ride on the vast Lake Naivasha. Unlike the surrounding soda lakes, Naivasha is freshwater and has a large hippo colony and excellent birds with fish eagles, pelicans and love birds common. After returning to shore you’ll be driven to the Loita Plains just outside the Maasai Mara National Reserve, stopping for lunch along the way. You’ll be staying at the Olanganayo wilderness camp in a lush green spot by a small stream. Whilst the crew set up camp you’ll be free to take a short stroll and take in the vastness of the Maasai plains. This area forms the corridor by which Wildebeest migrate to and from the Maasai Mara National Reserve, so wildlife spottings are not uncommon. Our Maasai host will take us on an early evening walk to the nearbye Maasai village and stand sentinel through the night (lions are always a possibility). Spend the evening around the camp fire. (B,L,D)

     

    Day 4: Loita Plains and Magi Moto Eco Camp Am. Short bush walk & drive to Maasai Mara Pm. Sunset walk or night game drive After waking to the sounds of the bush and a full breakfast, you’ll enjoy a short 2-3 hour walk along a small river course and through the open savanna for wildlife viewing. The local Maasai will act as guides and you will often walk amongst giraffe, impala, zebra and wildebeest. You’ll then drive to Maji Moto a fascinating community run eco camp with a hot spring and a lovely spot for lunch. There is the opportunity to visit a widow’s village and school for girls rescued from female genital mutilation. Then onto the permanent tented camp at Mountain Rock Mara Springs. There will be time for a late afternoon game drive in the Siana Conservation area and in the evening you can enjoy a hike up the nearby Naumare Hills to glimpse a stunning sunset over the Mara. Overnight in en-suite permanent tents. (B,L,D)

     

    Day 5: Maasai Mara National Reserve. The big draw. You’ll spend all today in the reserve on a game drive in rugged 4wd extended wheel base Land Cruisers with pop tops. With an experienced naturist guide and driver you’ll have every chance of spotting elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, Cheetah, Rhino, hippo, crocodile and countless others. An undoubtable highlight is the Mara River, the scene of so many famous encounters between hungry crocodiles and migrating wildebeest. Overnight at the Mountain Rock Mara Springs again. (B,L,D)

     

    Day 6: Back to Nairobi and fly to Lamu Early game drive in the Mara 250km / 4-5hr drive back to Nairobi, Another early morning game drive in the Mara at 6am to spot any animals you might have missed and an opportunity to spot the early morning birdlife. After this drive you’ll return to camp for a late breakfast then drive for approximately 4 hours back to Nairobi meeting a connecting flight to Lamu. Once landed you'll be transferred by boat to the Diamond Beach Village. (B)

     

    Day 7: At leisure lamu (B&B only)

     

    Day 8: At leisure lamu (B&B only)

     

    Day 9: At leisure lamu (B&B only)

     

    Day 10: Return On your last day you will fly back to Nairobi and then connect onto your international flight back home.

     

    Lamu Island Information

     

    Lamu Island is a unique place to savor the most authentic Africa and relax for a few days after a safari in Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, situated in North Coast Kenya. In addition to its many charms, this island offers the advantage of reaching as there are numerous daily flights from Nairobi, the Kenyan capital and is well connected with all major international airports safari destinations in Africa. Lamu has achieved a great feat in its long history and has remained intact and outside the mass tourism in a country that receives many visitors as Kenya, whose beaches (Diani Beach, Mombasa, Watamu, Malindi) have been filled large resorts. Just landing on Manda and cruising on a dhow (traditional Swahili boat with lateen) the channel leading to the island of Lamu, one realizes that he has reached a different destination. The first thing that is striking is the complete absence of vehicles. There are only two cars on the whole island, a land rover of Police and an old Suzuki serving ambulance to the Hospital, Lamu is a strip of land 18 km long and 8 km at its widest point. The West Coast, overlooking the narrow channel that separates the island of Manda is the only inhabited and has vegetation. A lovely walk along the sea, one arrives at Shela neighborhood, known for its large homes and private palaces, the idyllic beach and Jadini ancient mosques. The rest of the island is a barren expanse of dunes and windswept South Indian coast.

     

    Lamu also gives its name to an archipelago in highlighting the islands of Manda and Pate large island to the north. To the south, not far from the delta at the mouth of the mythical Tana River, whose banks witnessed legendary hunting safaris. Lamu archipelago is glued to the mainland, forming a series of channels surrounded by mangroves. At low tide there are points where this separation is only a few meters, which means that sometimes the groups of elephants crossing and enter the salt of Manda. Some even claim to have seen lion footprints on the beach on occasion. Arriving in Lamu is magical. As the plane taxis to a halt you will realize that there is no airport, unless you count the three palm frond huts. Your bags are transported by cart (there are only 3 cars in total on the islands), and you walk across the grass to the jetty, where across the water, your first sight of Lamu Town greets you. The air is warm, battered dhows sail past, and you know you are somewhere exotic. You are also in a place more peaceful than you can imagine, and where the only thing to do is relax. At the northern end of Lamu, Lamu Town is a jumble of tall Arabic houses, narrow winding streets, markets, and a lively, bustling port. There is a never-ending stream of donkeys going up and down the streets (be sure to wear old shoes due to the donkeys and general state of the roads), dhows spilling out people and cargo, and traders bartering in the shady streets. Small shops sell everything from lemons to antique lamps and behind thick walls and carved doors beautiful Swahili houses hide. A 10 minute dhow ride south to the pretty village of Shela is a delight. Ramshackle streets have stalls selling hundreds of brightly colored kikois, and the smell of incense and wood smoke drifts on the air. Along the front there are lots of dhows and boats, and stretching south there is a 5 mile beach. Walking down the beach you will find hoofprints of donkeys, fisherman deliberating over sandy lobsters, and huge white sand dunes rising inland. The southern side of Lamu is very quiet. Miles of mangroves and white beaches stretch as far as the eye can see. There is the tiny village of Kipungani—a collection of palm frond houses and dhows on the beach. Fishermen paddle dugout canoes, and birds are your only company. This is the place to head for if you want to do nothing but snooze under a palm tree and really unwind. Finally, the other islands of Manda, Manda Toto, and Kiwayu are totally undeveloped and quiet. There are expanses of mangroves, idyllic white beaches, and warm blue seas.

     

    Kenya Information

     

    There's nothing better than jetting off to a place where the sun shines all year round. Kenya's diverse landscapes from white sand beaches to soaring mountains and vast open savannahs set the scene for your dream holiday. The country offers unbeatable wildlife encounters and sensational sunny weather making it the perfect excuse to escape the chilly winter temperatures back home. Exploring hidden coastal coves, staying in exotic colonial-style hideaways and witnessing the greatest wildlife show on earth are just a few of the experiences that this fascinating country has to offer. Whether you're looking to relax on the beach or go bird-watching with binoculars in hand, Kenya is ready to be discovered. In recent years, Kenya has quietly asserted itself to become an unbeatable destination for modern romantic and conservation-minded travel. And even Prince William agrees, as his recent engagement to Kate Middleton was on the slopes of Mt Kenya. There's so much more to associate with Kenya than the macho hunting tales of the Ernest Hemingway and Teddy Roosevelt eras (or, unfairly, with the 2007 localized election riots). Here are some tips for making the most of your African adventure, in the bush and on the beach. There are some countries where traveling independently enhances your experience ten-fold, and others where having someone else sweat the small stuff means you can actually experience the adventure you came for. Kenya is one of the latter, and a tour operator like us will advise you on which out of the myriad safari options on offer best suits your tastes and your budget, as well as arrange airport transfers and shopping excursions. Plus, if you need special assistance, you know you’ll be looked after. Why stress over your complex travel arrangements for what is for many people an once-in-a-lifetime trip? A top-of-the-range operator, such as our travel consultants are raved about on the travel forums and with good reason, as the service we offer really is impeccable. Timing Tip: You really can visit Kenya any time of the year. From January to February, it’s hot and dry and animals are easier to see as they congregate at drinking holes. March to May is the time when short rains make everything lush and green. From July to September is the time of the wildebeest migration, so be prepared to join the crowds. October to January is a good time to visit as it’s not too hot—although in the Kenya coast at Christmas, as this is peak season and resorts are usually packed. You’ll likely be jet lagged after your long journey to East Africa, and although a day’s layover in Nairobi before heading off on safari is recommended, the city isn’t exactly restful, with major pollution and traffic jams. While budget options are available, it’s worth splurging a little to start your trip in a relaxing hotel. Plus there are some fun places to visit like the Karen Blixen Museum and Giraffe Center.

     

    There are some fantastic options: the colonial Norfolk for example, where a gin and tonic on the terrace is de rigeur, or the brand new, ultra modern Sankara Nairobi, which has a gorgeous interior and facilities to rival any major city luxe hotel in the world, Most people go to Kenya to go on safari, and a wonderful safari they have; but don't overlook the fact that Kenya has some beautiful coastal destinations too. And your safari operator can also easily arrange the beach portion of your trip. Kenya's coastline offers 500 kilometers of tranquil Indian Ocean waters and glorious powder white sands to discover. Popular as a beach holiday destination, Kenya’s coast is steeped in history with some of the best beaches in Africa. From the pretty 14th century town of Kilifi on the north coast, to Watamu’s protected marine reserve and turtle conservation project, to Diani on the southern coast which offers unparalleled scuba diving, kite surfing and deep sea fishing, Kenya offers a beach holiday for a variety of tastes. During its prolific history many have vied for possession of Mombasa's old town. Home to UNESCO World Heritage site, Fort Jesus, it's been tussled over throughout history from the Portuguese settlers to British colonialists whose cultural influences remain visible today. For thrill-seekers, the coast provides an aquatic haven for a vast range of water sports. With its stretches of white soft sand and turquoise clear waters why not try your hand at kite surfing? Kenya’s stunning coast is perfect for the sport with urchin-free, warm waters providing the ideal conditions for first-timers to kite-surfing specialists. The marine life on the coast also makes Kenya one of the world’s premier diving destinations with numerous wrecks and reefs to dive in. Dolphins, turtles and whale sharks are just a few of the incredible aquatic species that can be seen along Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast. You can dive virtually anywhere along the extensive Kenyan coast. Watamu Marine National Park is certainly a good place to start where you can have your first face-to-face experience with the inquisitive trigger fish or glide alongside a sea-turtle. If you aren’t quite ready for a deep-sea dive, snorkelling excursions can be easily arranged to swim amongst magnificent coral formations in the crystal clear waters – another way to encounter Kenya’s marine marvels. Back on dry land the coastal forests which border Kenya’s beaches provide shelter for baboons, Colobus monkeys and leopards. Used to co-habiting you may not need to wait long until a playful monkey catches your eye! For those in search of some R&R, stretch out on the tropical sands and soak up the sun or splash about in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. In the far north of the Kenyan coastline, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lamu town awaits. The Lamu Archipelago is a series of offshore islands steeped in Swahili tradition and have some of the most idyllic palm-lined beaches in the country. The island’s Old Town remains car-free and widely unchanged since the 18th century.

     

    Carved wooden doors, cobbled streets and donkeys – which are the only mode of transport – all add to the tranquility of this beautiful island. For somewhere a little closer to Mombasa, Malindi and Watamu offer an idyllic combination of long, pristine beaches combined with small towns with bustling colourful markets to meander through. Tiny Lamu, with its grand Arab merchant houses made of coral, donkeys wandering down medieval, winding alleyways, and the haunting sound of the Muslim call to prayer, must be one of the most special places on earth. Wander around and mingle with the locals going about their daily business, feast on abundant seafood, or snorkel in untouched reefs. The government is talking about building a port near Lamu, and if that happens the ambience of this quaint town will be lost forever, so visit now. Top Lamu Hotel Picks: You can stay at the far reaches of the island, away from all civilization, at a place like Kipungani Explorer, or in a gorgeous boutique hotel in town, such as Lamu House. If you have space in your luggage, pack some pens to give to children, and t-shirts and clothing are always gratefully accepted. Buying local handicrafts is a good way to support local artisans and traders. There are some incredible charity projects going on in Kenya; if you feel inspired to see if there is any way you can contribute, often your tour operator or hotel is linked with a program worth supporting.

     

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