All inclusive beach holidays in Lamu, Kenya
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    Bembea Beach House Shela Village Lamu Island Kenya Africa & Lamu Beach House Rental

    The weekend calls for an escape from the hum-drum of everyday life. A chance to clear up mental clutter, relax and pause to enjoy the beautiful things in life we often neglect in our busy-ness... Here your version of paradise found - on a little island off the coast of Kenya, the Bembea House Lamu, you will fall in love with this calm, clean space – The soaring ceilings and striking architecture add a hint of glamour, but the white and neutral palette and use of natural unstained wood give a casual, organic air, On the edge of a small fishermen's village by the fringe of Shela Beach is this tranquil paradise of a house. Bembea House is situated on the edge of the picturesque fishermen’s village of Shela, alongside the dunes that fringe the long stretch of Shela beach. Located only a few footsteps from the famous Peponi Hotel, Bembea House offers a beach holiday that brings you into close touch with Africa where you can have a unique experience of this very special island. The Bembea House sleeps 2 to 4 people in two double bedrooms.


    Our staff is very committed, always willing to please the guests. The four-storied house reflects the fascinating charm of traditional Swahili architecture mixed with eclectic furnishing and a personal touch of finest style and comfort. The whole house is equipped with unique pieces of tribal art. The entrance hall, decorated with seashells in the beautiful niches, has three large stone benches, perfect for sitting and relaxing. The staircase leads to the fully equipped kitchen with taps that provide purified water, sanitized for drinking and cooking. The kitchen has a dining area and while you cook, your friends and family can sit there, watch and help. Through the kitchen windows you can gaze at the birds in the palm trees and enjoy the view of the sand dunes. On the second floor there are two double bedrooms. The rooms are furnished with Lamu four poster beds, mosquito nets, ceiling fans and dressing tables. The ensuite bathrooms have hot water showers. The third floor has a spacious dining area and an adjacent living room. Here you can relax on cozy couches, a small library and music station are there for your entertainment. Please bring along your iPod and you will fully enjoy this luxurious house. Lastly, we have a magnificent rooftop with a panoramic view of the Indian Ocean and Shela Village. While relaxing in the baraza lounging area or sunbathing on the comfortable sun beds you can feel the cool breeze from the dunes. It is a fantastic place to watch the moon rise.


    Lamu Island Holiday Information


    Remote even by Kenyan standards, Lamu Island is one of an archipelago of small mangrove-covered islands two degrees south of the equator where the Indian Ocean caresses kilometers of empty beaches and a constant warm breeze ruffles the palms.


    The largest settlement on the island — also called Lamu — is possibly the oldest community in sub-Saharan Africa and has changed little over time. Portuguese explorers, Turkish traders and British colonials have all passed through Lamu, but for centuries this part of the African coast belonged to the Sultan of Oman. By the 1500s, Lamu was exporting timber, ivory, amber, spices — and slaves. As trade flourished, Arab settlements inevitably absorbed local influences and the distinct Afro-Arab Swahili culture emerged. When Britain forced the closure of the coastal slave markets in 1873, the island declined rapidly and nothing much happened until the 1960s. That’s when Lamu became a haven for the “turn on, tune in, drop out” generation and was known as “the black hole of laidbackness.” A hidden jewel of Kenya's Indian Ocean coast, Lamu Archipelago is home to unique Swahili culture and architecture with Lamu town’s narrow streets, traditional houses and magnificent fort overlooking the blue Indian Ocean. Lamu has also powdery white beaches and rich underwater world with corals and tropical fish ideal for snorkeling and diving. On the unforgettable boat trips you can even swim with the dolphins - and think you've come to a paradise on earth. Swahili culture, white beaches and diving - Attractions and activities in Lamu Located in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Kenya, the Lamu archipelago consists of Pate, Manda and Lamu islands as well as smaller pristine islands home to white sand beaches and fascinating Islamic Swahili culture. Lamu Town, the capital of Lamu archipelago, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to narrow streets and interesting Swahili architecture with hand-carved wooden doors. Founded in the 14th century, Lamu is the oldest living town in Kenya with a rich history as a trading place. Once used as a prison and now serving as a museum and library, the massive Lamu Fort is one of the main attractions in the town. The fort provides beautiful views over the town and the Indian Ocean. In the excellent Lamu Museum you can learn more about the local Swahili culture and Lamu’s nautical history, and admire the island’s ceremonial horn. A Muslim town, Lamu town is also home to two beautiful mosques. In the Donkey Sanctuary you can see many donkeys, which are used for transportation in the narrow streets of the town. Besides the spectacular Lamu town, there are some picturesque villages on Lamu Island. You can for example visit the small villages of Shela and Matondoni, which have some great beaches for sunbathing and water sports, such as waterskiing, jet skiing, windsurfing and snorkeling and diving in Lamu. Home to the best white beaches on the island, Shela village hosts many guesthouses and hotels in Lamu. You can also go on unforgettable boat tours in Lamu Archipelago or even swim with the dolphins. There are also other interesting historical sites to visit on the archipelago, such as Takwa and Manda Towns on Manda Island. Lamu enjoys a pleasant tropical climate with slightly warmer winter months than summer months. The rainiest months are May, June and July, whereas the rainfall in Lamu is minimal in January and February. November to March is the best time to visit Lamu. Defiantly one of the best places to tour in Kenya, Lamu has good facilities for visitors, including beach hotels and beach villas around the main island.


    Most of the local people in Lamu speak some English. Restaurants in Lamu often serve seafood or Swahili cuisine. Many of the Lamu restaurants also have beautiful sea views. The Lamu Town has several small bars, discos and clubs where you can enjoy cold beer and good music. What comes to shopping in Lamu, there are some small shops and galleries where you can find souvenirs and Swahili handicrafts. The easiest way to travel to Lamu Archipelago is by air. There are direct flights to Lamu from Nairobi and Mombasa. Dhows are the easiest way of getting around in Lamu Archipelago. There are no cars or other motorized vehicles on Lamu Island. Therefore, donkeys are used for transport on the island. You can also rent a bike or walk around. All the major attractions on the main island can be easily explored on foot.


    Lamu Heritage Attractions


    Lamu is a dominant cultural centre reputable for its historic past and traditional socio-cultural traditions. As such visitors on holidays to Lamu can enjoy a large and diverse collection of heritage and cultural attractions. At the district level, Lamu has the remains of many heritage sites. These range from towns, like Shanga, Paté and Manda to hundreds of monuments, like Siyu Fort. Some of these sites, such as Manda, are easily accessible, while others are located in thick vegetation making access difficult. The development of access to these areas is currently being addressed by the site's management team. Lamu was listed as a World Heritage Site on the 14 December 2001. This landmark status came after 28 years of strict conservation of Lamu Old Town. As a national monument the town has many fascinating architectural characteristics, unrivalled by any other Swahili town along the East African littoral. The old town has approximately 532 houses. About 496 of these houses are privately owned, 23 are considered public and 20 are religious buildings mainly mosques. The town has survived the pressure of modern destruction and development by both government and private developers. The town's well-conserved architectural setting of narrow streets, divided by blocks of lined houses, has fascinated many visitors. Perhaps of most appeal are the stone walled houses in which flat roofs are supported by painted mangrove poles. The interior of a typical Lamu house is divided by two or three long galleries, with at least one or two self-contained rooms. The walls are covered with geometric plaster designs and wall niches. Lamu town has several buildings of importance including the Lamu Fort and Yumbe the former house of a Lamu Sultan. Aside from Lamu's physical heritage the town has a rich living culture. For almost a century, each calendar year sees Lamu flooded with religious tourists from across the globe, here to attend the popular Maulidi Festival. About 20,000 religious tourists come to the town to attend this Festival, during the Islamic month of Rabil awal. The climax of the Maulidi celebrations comes in the final week of this month.


    At this time various traditional Swahili dances from the neighbouring towns of Paté, Siyu, Ndau, Faza and Matondoni are hosted at the Riadha Mosque grounds to entertain the pilgrims. Taking advantage of the sombre week of mfungo sita, (Rabil awal) Lamu Museum also arranges a series of cultural events, such as traditional dhow races, bao games, donkey races, henna painting and Islamic calligraphy competitions. Typically during the month of August, though occasionally occurring later in the year, Lamu's second large festival is held. The Lamu Cultural Festival is organized by the Lamu Cultural Promotion Group. It is a three-day Swahili cultural festival that combines traditional dances, indoor and outdoor cultural activities and an exhibition of Lamu's rich material culture. The Cultural Festival, like the Maulidi, also draws crowds as large as 20,000. Lamu Old Town's museums and fort are maintained and managed by the National Museums of Kenya. These are: the Lamu Museum, known for its exquisite Swahili ethnography exhibits; the Swahili House Museum, a restored 18th century house, reflecting the life of privileged Lamu Swahilis; the Lamu Fort, built in 1814 by Bwana Zeid Ngumi the last Sultan of Lamu; and the German Post Office Museum, showing the post office when it was operational in the late 19-20 th Century. Lamu's material culture is best shown by its carved doors and traditional furniture which can be viewed all over the town. There are almost 18 woodcarving workshops in Lamu mainly producing Swahili doors, furniture and smaller artefacts, such as the miniature dhows that are popular with tourists.


    One of the busiest workshops in the town is the Skanda Woodcarving Workshop, this was opened about 50 years ago and is credited with having trained hundreds of woodcarvers who are now scattered all over Kenya's major towns. Visitors are welcome to view woodcarving classes at the workshops. There are also gifts and curio shops scattered around the Old Town, selling quality local items. One of the reasons for Lamu's inscription on the UNESCO heritage list is its unique social-cultural life, which has remained relatively unchanged for centuries. A traditionally conservative lifestyle is still maintained by many Lamu households. Lamu's female Muslim population still predominately wears bui bui's, and donkeys remain the major form of transport in the town. The ruins of Takwa are located on Manda Island, a 30 minute boat ride from Lamu town. Here one can witness the remains of a thriving 16th century Swahili trading post. Among the more notable features at Takwa is the unique Friday Mosque with a large pillar atop the qibla wall; while the significance of the pillar is not known with certainty, some believe it to symbolise the burial of a Sheikh below the wall. A day's visit is quite a unique experience, and can be complimented by a picnic or overnight camping.


    Dhow Safaris


    Lamu is the perfect place for a beach safari with a difference, a truly unique destination that lingers long in the hearts of all who visit. Lamu is a place like no other, a peaceful tropical island where life is lived at its own relaxed rhythm, but a place whose history is as mysterious and fascinating as the winding streets of its medieval stone town. The island itself 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. But Lamu’s real attraction is its Old town. Lamu’s narrow streets remain unchanged, and in the markets and squares around the fort life moves at the same pace as it always has. There are no vehicles on this island, and the donkey and the dhow remain the dominant form of transport. The people of Lamu are great believers in tradition and custom, and this is a strong society built on a respect for the past, the waters of Lamu are plied by great numbers of traditional lateen sailed Dhows. These craft are an integral part of life on the island. A day spent at sea on a Dhow is a wonderful experience and a fantastic way to explore the area. The calm waters around Lamu make are perfect for sailing, and the neighboring islands are well worth visiting for their small fishing villages, ancient ruins and deserted beaches. After a day on the water, you sail back to Lamu town as the setting sun turns the ocean to gold. Longer Dhow safaris throughout the entire Archipelago can also be arranged. Most hotels and guesthouses, as well as private Dhow captains, can organize a day cruising on a dhow.


    Donkey Racing


    During the Islamic Festival of Maulidi, held each year around the month of June, several special sporting events are held in Lamu. The main event is a donkey race along the waterfront, running the entire length of the old town. Lamu residents are accomplished Donkey jockeys, and victory in this annual race is a much coveted title. The race attracts most of the townspeople, who gather along the waterfront or anchor offshore in dhows to watch the action. Both riders and donkeys are well prepared for the event and the competition is always fierce, with each competitor attracting their own loyal local supporters. The race day is a major event in the Lamu calendar, and there are plenty of festivities and celebrations both before and after the big event. Often dhow races are held around the island during the same period.


    Dhow Racing


    On January 1st, the residents of Lamu celebrate the coming of the New Year with a Dhow Race. This event is an important annual event on the island. Lamu Dhow builders are considered some of the best on the coast, and this is a culture born of the sea and sailors. This makes the race the most important sporting event on the island. Winning the race is a great honour among Dhow captains, and the race attracts the best of the best. Like the annual Donkey race, this event brings the Island to life, and the shorelines throng with supporters. Individual Dhows are brightly decorated, and festivities on race day last well into the night. Boating - The waters of Lamu are plied by great numbers of traditional lateen sailed Dhows. These craft are an integral part of life on the island. A day spent at sea on a Dhow is a wonderful experience and a fantastic way to explore the area. The calm waters around Lamu make are perfect for sailing, and the neighbouring islands are well worth visiting for their small fishing villages, ancient ruins and deserted beaches. After a day on the water, you sail back to Lamu town as the setting sun turns the ocean to gold. Longer Dhow safaris throughout the entire Archipelago can also be arranged.


    Lamu Island Beach Houses Reservation


    We all know hard work isn’t everything. Sometimes you just want a break – a chance to escape. The team at Lamu Island Accommodation understands how important that is and we want to help you get away. We love suggesting amazing vacation destinations and we like to think we play a hand in inspiring escape plans. Whether you're looking for romantic beach accommodation, luxury accommodation, a stunning holiday rental or a beautiful boutique beach hotel then look no further. Whether you need some time out for just you or you’re seeking a getaway with your partner, family, friends or even pets, we’ve got a stack of brilliant ideas. We’ve handpicked many of the best Lamu Beach houses across a wide range of regions and styles – from Lamu resorts, Lamu hotels and Lamu apartments, to holiday homes, homesteads and more. We’ve even found unique eco-retreats and hideaways, and hunted out the best hidden Lamu cottages and B&BS. If it’s luxury accommodation in Lamu with contemporary style you’re after, or perhaps indulgent old-world charmers, you’ll find them here. How do we know? Because we’ve personally selected each property featured on our site. We’ve ensured they’re among the best in their region, with distinctive style and quality service. And every review you read on our site isn’t just a marketing blurb. We take a Lamu tour of each property ourselves to ensure you can create the best possible escape.


    We do the hard work so you don’t have to. The exclusive vacation homes in Lamu are designed for the traveler accustomed to luxury. Our vacation rentals feature such amenities as infinity edge pools, roof top hot tubs, pristine ocean views from decks, spacious gourmet kitchens and backyard putting greens. We specialize in Lamu vacation rentals. Our top of the line, custom-built luxury homes are located in the best sections of Lamu Island and Manda Island, Kiwayu Island and Shela Villages, Each particular beach home has its own personality and blend of amenities that will ensure a relaxing stay and nudge you to return again next year. For many years have offered our guests the best selection of Luxury Oceanfront Condos, and Lamu Beach Homes, all at the most affordable prices. We believe in going further than merely meeting your expectations , When you stay with Lamu beach homes, you can rest assured you will enjoy the finest Lamu Beach condo rental accommodations offered, What better way to enjoy that special vacation than from the privacy and comfort of our oceanfront Lamu Island Villas and Lamu Beach Homes,


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    • An unbeatable portfolio of truly luxury beach houses in Lamu.
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