All inclusive beach holidays in Lamu, Kenya
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    Garden House Lamu Island Kenya & Lamu Christmas Holiday, Family Vacation

    Garden House is located in Shela Village on the island of Lamu on the north coast of Kenya. This small private house is tucked away in a secret walled garden at the southern end of the village. Garden House is an intimate little pad, set on the edge of a walled garden. The rooms are cool and shady in the typical Swahili style; built from white-washed coral with thick walls and plastered ceilings to keep the heat out. There are not many places where you can have the option of staying in your own private house and still enjoy the comforts, excellent service and food of a hotel but in Lamu you can do just that, Garden House sits on the corner of a small walled garden, screened by large neem and palm trees which are alive with the song of birds. The house has a ground floor and garden dining area and a shaded rooftop baraza (traditional sitting area) with an open terrace and sun beds. On two floors there are two doubles and one twin bedroom. The master bedroom is on the top floor, fronted by a rooftop which has lovely views into the garden.


    Garden House has three staff: the resident manager will help to ensure you have everything you need, assist you with menus and also help organise local excursions. Even if you opt for the self-catering option, you don’t have to cook! You just buy your food in the local market and the house cook will conjure up an excellent meal for you. He will bake bread, suggest menus and cook excellent international cuisine and Swahili fish dishes. Basic foodstuffs, fresh seasonal vegetables and fruit are available in the local Lamu market, while other supplies are flown down from Nairobi. Fish, lobster, crab and fresh oysters will be sold by the local fishermen at your door or can be ordered. Although beer and sodas can be bought locally, we recommend that you take your own wine or spirits. There is a good supply of fresh water from the house well for showers. There is also a water purifying plant which supplies clean water to all the kitchens and carafes are supplied in the bathrooms. Commercial bottled water is also available. Bed linen, mosquito nets and house towels are supplied. A full laundry service is provided but there are no dry cleaning services available. There is a CD player in the house so take along your music! There is no phone in Garden House Lamu Island, allowing you to spend time away from the pressures of the office and the outside world. However if you want to 'stay connected' several local mobile phone companies provide services and and you can also obtain local sim cards.


    Garden House is perfectly located within the village. Step from the house to wander through the tangle of narrow sandy lanes, tall stone houses, mosques, and market stalls that make up Shela, a sleepy village whose inhabitants include gentle donkeys, weathered fishermen, the occasional beach boy and a handful of visitors. Garden House is one of 4 Private Shela Houses. Rates vary dependent on the season. Both self-catering and full board are available. Luma Island offers a variety of festivals throughout the year and has many activities to keep you busy. Guests can snorkel on the reefs or swim with the dolphins, enjoy a sunset cruise or simply explore the island. All activities can be arranged through the house manager on your request.


    Lamu Island Information


    If it's your first time on a trip to Africa, do the obvious: Go on a Kenya safari and if, after you've seen the lions, rhinos, wildebeest migration and elephants, the special history and culture of the continent gets under your skin, consider a different, nonzoological type of African destination the next time around, travel to the coast to soak up the sun on a prime white-sand beach fringed with palm trees. Kenya’s beach coastline is full of marvels and makes a rewarding destination for the traveler. Where the beaches meet the Indian Ocean and the wilderness meets cosmopolitan city life, Kenya’s coastline is a fascinating travel experience. The Kenya coast holds many reminders of this part of Africa’s unique melting pot of African, European and Arabic cultures. The small towns that dot the coastline are living examples of a diverse and interesting mix of languages, nationalities and histories. Signs of the ancient Arabian Spice Trade route are still in evidence. Fascinating towns include the Port of Mombasa and Malindi, as well as the islands of Shimoni and Lamu.


    Pristine beaches are found in both north and south Mombasa and all along the coast. If you are looking to escape the crowds this summer and indulge in the simple life, look no further than the alluring island of Lamu island. Nestled against the unspoilt Indian Ocean coast of northern Kenya, Lamu is exotic and secluded, a place to unwind and disconnect. Little has changed in centuries; donkeys are the mode of transport, there is no package tourism or beach resort development. Everyone loves a little slice of island paradise! Unfortunately, that's the problem with many island beach vacation – you're often forced to share your stretch of sand with countless others in search of a little pristine luxury, If you're looking for an island getaway minus the crowds, Lamu Island is dream holiday 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 holiday destination.


    Shela is a village about 2 miles from Lamu Town. The origin of the village is unknown, but according to tradition, it was settled by people from nearby Manda Island. In 1813, the elite of Pate Island, allied with the Mazrui clan from Oman, attempted to subjugate Lamu in the Battle of Shela. This attempt failed totally, and the defeat of Pate at Shela signalled the rise of Lamu as the leading power in the archipelago. Shela golden age was from 1829 to 1857, when 5 of its 6 mosques were constructed. It is especially known for the Friday mosque. Shela is now a centre for tourism on the island, with several guest houses featured by the coast. Shela is also home to the most spectacular beaches on Lamu Island, which were damaged during the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. The appearance of the area is much more in keeping with the imagined East African coastline, with its almost pure white sand, traditional dhows and clean appearance. It makes a sharp contrast to Lamu town (directly opposite the airstrip on Manda) which lacks a beach and functions as a relatively busy port. The streets of Lamu are quiet, cool, and car-free, lined with thick-walled white stone buildings, their arches and decorative cutouts evoking the centuries of Muslim influence here: Lamu was founded by Arab traders in the 1400s. Virtually every house has a roofed veranda on the top floor. The entire island has one proper town—the busy Lamu Town, which, as the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Monuments here include the turreted Lamu Fort and Riyadha Mosque (both from the 19th c.), but the most interesting sights are the much more ancient, nameless traditional houses, some of which date back to Lamu Town's 14th-century foundations. Elsewhere on the island, there are a handful of lesser villages; one of the most well known for visitors is Shela.


    Here, guesthouses line gorgeous golden sandy beaches where traditional dhows and brightly colored fishing boats with names like Beyonce loll in the surf. Dolphins swim in the waters offshore, and you'll probably meet a few when you're out for a dip. There isn't a single automobile on the island; instead, you're shuttled around by boat, donkey, or scooter when you aren't using your own two feet. There may be donkey droppings in the streets and Swahili spoken in the markets, but Lamu tourism is an exclusive affair. Some of the most famous families in the world have holiday property here, and for the entire island's African authenticity, the cuisine on Lamu is surprisingly inflected by haute-European culinary trends. With its beautiful, simple architecture (most is Swahili, from the 19th c.), gorgeous people (a mix of African and Arab ethnicities), and rich heritage, relaxing Lamu is a magnet for well-heeled travelers looking for something with more cultural cache than the been-there, done-that south of France. What makes Laamu so attractive—that it's completely exotic and romantic, without the blight of extreme poverty that plagues so much of Africa—is also what makes vacationing here a surreal and perhaps even guilt-ridden experience. Going for drinks at the friendly and fabulous colonial-style Peponi Hotel (where everybody meets at some point while on Lamu), you might well rub elbows with princes (or Prince himself), and revel in the absurdity of finding such glamour here, a place whose economy hinged for centuries on the slave trade, while just across the water is an entire continent struggling to meet basic human needs. Getting to Lamu involves flying first to Nairobi, and from Nairobi, catching a small plane to Manda Island. (For a lot more money, you can also fly to Lamu itself, where there's an airstrip served by small charter planes from Nairobi.) Because Lamu isn't easy to reach, and because its rhythms take some time to get to know, it's the kind of place you should plan to visit for at least a week.


    Lamu Island Holidays


    Christmas time will be here before you know it and, as always, the season brings with it the question of what to do with your vacation time. You could spend another Christmas huddled around a fire with your in-laws, trying to escape the snow and sub-zero winter temperatures outside. On the other hand, you could escape the winter blues for a week or two by taking your family away to a vacation rental home somewhere warm. The best Christmas beach vacations are only a mouse-click and a phone call away. The festive season is one of the most exciting times of year, made even better by getting what you’ve always wanted. So, if you’re looking to have a Christmas holiday to celebrate in style, look no further than Lamu Island where you can escape to the sun While Europe suffers from freezing temperatures and crowded high streets, you could leave the dark nights and top up your tan along the coast of Lamu Kenya go scuba diving, doesn’t guaranteed sun sound like the perfect present?


    Family holidays are all about spending time with your loved ones whilst also having the opportunity to enjoy precious time to yourselves. Whether you seek a relaxing beach holiday, fun-filled adventure, a slice of exotic paradise, we can offer a fabulous holiday that caters for all of your family’s needs. You can opt for an all inclusive package for a hassle-free holiday, splash out on a luxurious hideaway for a special occasion or choose a less traditional destination for a unique experience. With a choice of sensational Lamu resorts boasting exceptional facilities, endless activities and excellent kids’ clubs, you will truly be spoilt for choice. Discover a superb selection of our favorite family-friendly resorts in a wide range of captivating destinations. Keeping your children entertained can be one of the toughest challenges you face on a family holiday. Here at Lamu holidays we want to make your family vacation as relaxing and stress-free as possible, which is why we've recommended some of our favorite family hotels with kids clubs for you to mull over. Kids clubs offer a great escape for both you and your children on a family holiday. It gives them a chance to play with and meet new friends, whilst you get the opportunity to relax under the sun in peace, or maybe explore some the facilities on offer at your hotel.


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    • Voted in Top 10 Luxury Beach Holiday Destination by Conde Nast Traveller
    • Get expert travel advice from our tour specialists, so you can tailor-make your holiday
    • An unbeatable portfolio of truly luxury beach houses in Lamu.
    • We offer real value and excellent customer service, but if you receive a better price or service elsewhere, please contact us.

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