All inclusive beach holidays in Lamu, Kenya
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    Baobab house Lamu Island, Kenya, Africa & Lamu beach front luxury house accommodation

    Baobab House is the perfect beachfront beach house for a peaceful beach vacation surrounded by nature. Wake up to the sound of African bird songs; swim in the warm Indian Ocean; walk on miles of sandy beach, where you will rarely encounter people. Relax under the baobabs and watch the sun setting over the dunes. Previous guests have raved about the quality of the staff including Bernad's excellent cooking. This private house in Lamu is on an acre of beachfront property with five large ancient baobab trees.

     

    The Baobab tree is indigenous, some of them more than 500 years old, with many beautiful stories, and they give a peaceful atmosphere throughout the whole property. Along side the Baobabs, there are also several acacias, another indigenous tree, providing shady areas when you’ve had enough sun on the beach. There is a large open veranda that runs across the front of the house with cushioned seating, hanging swing beds and dining under a thatched palm (makuti) roof. The house is decorated with Swahili chairs, local kikoi’s are used for pillow covers and the whole house breathes a simple, elegant, beach atmosphere. The ground floor has two double bedrooms with ocean views and ensuite bathrooms. One of the bedrooms has a veranda off the back which opens into the back garden with a large shaded sitting area more hanging swing beds. The kitchen and store are also on the ground floor.

     

    The second floor has a large open space, most of which is covered by a makuti roof. On the terrace are built-in benches where you can gaze at the stars at night. There is a third double bedroom, which is open on all sides to the breeze and views. There is also a third bathroom on this floor as well as areas which can be used as additional outdoor sleeping space. There is solar powered hot water and electricity to power ceiling fans and light when needed, but you may find you prefer oil lamps and candles in the evening. Rates are quoted in 300 euros per night for the house for up to six people except for August and December 15 to January 15 when it is 600 euros per night. An additional charge of 50 euros per night when more than six people. The additional charge does not apply to children 12 and under. We will do your grocery shopping and prepare your meals but the rate is for the house only and does not include food or beverages. Transfers from Lamu airport to the house are included in the price. We can organize additional trips at local rates.

     

    Lamu Information

     

    Everyone loves a little slice of island paradise! Unfortunately, that's the problem with an island beach vacation – you're often forced to share your stretch of sand with countless others in search of a little R & R. If you're looking for an island getaway minus the crowds, Lamu Island is an undiscovered island where you'll find just that – and while you may have to work a little harder and travel a little longer to get there, you'll be rewarded with deserted beaches, fascinating culture, exotic cuisine, and the satisfaction of "discovering" a fabulous, off-the-beaten-path island destination, While most tourists frequent the popular city of Mombasa, it is Lamu Island where all the authenticity is. Mombasa appeal as a travel destination is lost in the rapid modernization and large crowds that are not characteristic of Lamu. On paper Kenya’s coast is an enticing prospect. Warm Pacific water, miles upon miles of sandy beaches and a Swahili rich cultural heritage.

     

    The perfect top and tail to a safari holiday you’d think. The reality unfortunately, rarely lives up to expectation, as miles upon miles of beach boy plagued beaches are backed by large bland resorts with the charm and grace of a warthog. Despite this, there are real diamonds in the rough, places good enough to compete with the best. By far and away the gem of the Kenyan Coast is Lamu. Lamu still has that ancient Swahili feel: luxuriously slow, tastefully sunny, and enjoyably pristine. The beaches are wide and clean, the curious are creatively unique, and the overall experience breathe taking. Today, Lamu has very many exclusive luxury accommodations for the lavish tourist: from tented camps in nearby mangrove forests, five-star beach hotels, private villas, to tree houses. The locals are very friendly, and will serve you a feast of Swahili delicacies: a blend of Arabic spice with local Bantu creativity. After you have enjoyed the sun, sand, vibrant night life and sightseeing of the ancient sights, head a little inland for wildlife. It is surprising how close by all the attractions are! A wonderful archipelago offering protected beaches and a UNESCO World Heritage town to explore. Lamu Town itself is a melting pot of rich aromas, crumbling colonial buildings and narrow winding streets with an overwhelmingly laid back charm. Just 5 minutes away by speed boat, the village of Shela and Manda Island offer desert island bliss, beach-side bandas, blissful sunsets and solitude.

     

    Lamu is more expensive to get to than further South, but the journey is worthwhile. Lamu boasts a wealth of good accommodation, and if you willing to splash some cash, there is no shortage of options, but for fantastic value without cutting corners it is hard to beat the Robinson Crusoe-esque Diamond Beach Village on Manda Island and the cool colonial charm of Fatuma’s Tower in Shela. Both come in around the $100 per room mark. Other’s to look out for include the higher end but not up itself Kipungani Explorer and Kijani Hotel in Shela. Further South, the highlights get more and more sporadic. Your entry point to the South and Central Coast is likely to be Mombasa. Mombasa itself is worth a visit if you have time (at least the old town) but a stay at the nearby coastal resorts is to be avoided wherever possible by anyone with a semblance of independent spirit left in them. Working North to South, Che Shale is a simple, stylish, trendy, yet pleasingly affordable option near Malindi. Situated on a vast deserted beach, the place is a favourite of Kite surfers world-wide, but don’t let that put you off. Prices are again around the $100 per room mark. Nearbye, Mida eco camp between Watamu and Malindi is a very simple but charming eco camp set amidst the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Mida Creek. Prices are exceedingly affordable at around $30 per room.

     

    The place is run with real heart and there’s plenty to do from exploring the mangrove boardwalks and wildlife to learning a bit of Giriami drumming and dancing. Most tourists who don’t get sucked into the Mombasa resorts head to Diani Beach. It is still way over developed with a real beach boy problem. If you do stay, then the Diani Marine resort is a diving specialist resort that also serves as a great mid-range spot. Backpackers should head straight to Stilts Backpaka’s which according to the Rough Guide to Kenya Editor Richard Trillo, is still “the only real backpackers on the coast”. For clients interested in combining their holiday to Kenya with a spot of R&R on the Lamu beach, we can arrange extensions at any of the above recommended accommodation. We can also arrange stays at Mombasa Resorts; just don’t be surprised if we try very hard to persuade you out of it. In the 14th Century, Lamu was established as a Swahili trading outpost and settlement. The town became an important landmark on the Northern sea trade route, and one of the great centers of Swahili culture. The islands history is long and colourful. Some believe that the island has been settled since the 7th century, although the first written history of the island begins in 1402. Local legend speaks of the lost city of Hadibu, an Arab settlement buried beneath the rolling dunes of Shela beach. Shela was the scene of a great battle and massacre in the mid 18th century, as Lamu battled its neighbouring islands, Manda and Pate. While the civilizations on these islands faded, lamu prospered. Both Lamu town and the village of Shela are home to many fine examples of Swahili architecture. Some of the original mansions have been restored and maintained.

     

    Lamu is one of the most historically important Swahili towns. On nearby Manda Island are found the ruins of Takwa, a civilization razed in the 17th Century. These ruins, now overgrown and overshadowed by baobab trees, show that Takwa was a holy city, where all doors faced Mecca. Some residents of Shela, who believe themselves to be descendants of Takwa, still visit the ruins to pray. Takwa can be reached by dhow from either Lamu or Shela. Lamu was also culturally influenced by the Bajun people. The Bajun are an indigenous tribal group, centred around the Lamu archipelago, whose origins and history have become blurred with the Swahili to the extent that one of their sub-clans, the Shiradhi claim to be direct descendants of Shirazi Arabs. The Bajun are traditionally a fishing people, who also cultivate coconuts and mangrove logs. Many of their traditions have melded into Lamu's cultural melting pot. Their traditional woodcarving played a major part in the development of the locally renowned Lamu carving industry, and their language was the genesis of Kiamu, a Swahili dialect that is the true language of Lamu. There is an excellent Museum in Lamu town with good exhibits on Swahili culture in general and Lamu culture in particular. The staff are very helpful and has a wealth of local information. The labyrinthine streets of Lamu town itself are a historical attraction in themselves. These narrow streets are all built upwards along a gentle slope, letting the rains wash the town clean. The Old Town was declared a World Heritage site, and exploring the town on foot is a wonderful way to soak up the atmosphere of the living, breathing history of Lamu. At the centre of town is the impressive Sultan's Fort, built by the Omanis in 1808. The Fort has been through various changes over the years, including conversion into a prison. It is now a museum and its forecourt is home to Lamu's largest open market.

     

    Lamu Island Kenya saw many visitors over its long history, including traders and explorers from Portugal, China, Turkey and much of the Middle East. Its culture was inevitably influenced by most of them, producing this truly unique society. Lamu is a very relaxed and relaxing place, and its easy going lifestyle has long attracted those seeking an alternative and exotic lifestyle. This started in 1894 with the arrival of the 'Freelanders", a group of idealistic British and European intellectuals who planned to use the island as base for a utopian commune to be finally located near Mount Kenya. Their plans fell apart almost immediately, and some never left Lamu. This was repeated in the 1970's, when Lamu became a popular haunt for easy going hippy travellers. It should be remembered though that while tolerant, Lamu is proud and protective of its Swahili cultural traditions. Visitors to the island should keep this in mind and dress and behave in a way appropriate to an Islamic community. It can be arranged to visit a home in Lamu to meet a local family, and spend some time in a traditional Swahili home. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience life as it is lived within the walls of the island's famous historical houses. The families you visit with will be happy to explain to you the traditions and daily routines of life in Lamu. You may help out the children with their school work, visit the mosque, or assist with the preparation of food. Often these visits involve taking a traditional Swahili meal with the family. This is the best way to sample this unique cuisine, and discover the best cooking on the coast. Ask at your travel consultant for details of how such a visit can be arranged. Lamu is well known for its local Henna artists, who paint the hands of feet of local women with elaborate traditional designs for special ceremonies or just for decorative purposes.

     

    This is considered a fine art and attractively painted hands and feet are a great mark of beauty. The Henna used stains the skin, and washes away after several days. Women can have their hands and feet painted in a number of shops in old town. One of the best times to visit Lamu is during the Maulidi festival. This annual Islamic festival celebrates the birth of the prophet, and on Lamu is cause for great celebration indeed. A week long festival of music and dance is held, with traditional sword fights in public squares and Swahili feasts. Book well ahead to make sure you find a room during this festival.

     

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