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    Kijani House Lamu Island Kenya & Kijani Beach House Shela Village Lamu

    Kijani House Lamu Island offers a bustling waterfront of Shela village, dhows sway gently on the incoming tide as merchants and fishermen cross back and forth on the shimmering sand. A few steps away, a few white steps and a small entranceway, framed by clusters of frangipani and bougainvillea flowers, opens to cool shade and green shadows, Kijani House is a small very exclusive and charming beach hotel overlooking the entrance to the Shela Channel on the island of Lamu. In its leafy garden and around the freshwater pool you will find real peace and relaxation, while the verandah of your spacious room, furnished with coastal antiques, is the ideal place for planning exciting dhow safaris to experience the fascination of Swahili culture, at Kijani House you can work up an appetite walking along the 12km Shela beach and return to an exotic selection of sea food, Swahili dishes and a touch of Italian cuisine, in the Kijani restaurant, If you want a beach holiday on the edge of the Indian Ocean, listening to all the waves and looking out from your balcony on the dhows moved below and tropical flowers and foliage, kijani House Lamu Island is a good place, it is situated in a small maze-like Arabic style Village of Shella, and made up of three or four Arabic style houses around a large, wonderfully peacefully garden with two (One and half really) pools.

     

    It is owned and run by perfectionist Swiss every detail is perfect, from the antique local furniture to the mosquito coils under every dining table. There is a hotel boat and the food is excellent. If the set course meals are too large & a staff is always around with second or third helpings politely offered- there is an a la carte menu (which usually is cheaper) providing a whole variety of food. Above all, the staff at Kijani Hotel is not only immensely efficient but, even more important immensely charming-the waiters, the gardeners, the cleaners, the boat people, the reception. Everyone seems genuinely pleased to talk and to help. Hamid, the guide attached to the Kijani Hotel is informative protective and kind and all without being "pushy". Even the surprise of being woken the first day by the prayers at 5.00 am-not from one mosque but from five- become part of the charm of Shella and this outstandingly interesting and peaceful hotel- undoubtedly the best hotel in Lamu island. Although not as loud (or expensive and touristy) as its main rival, it is, in realty, more classy.

     

    Entering Kijani Hotel Lamu Island is like stepping into a secret garden. Two aquamarine pools glow gently in the shade of giant kunazi trees, small tables and beach chairs lie in the shade of a profusion of different species of palm trees, and flowering flamboyant and yellow oleanders branch out over large terraces that face the ocean. 'Kijani' means green in Kiswahili, at once invoking the colour of Islam, the small hotel's verdant gardens, and new growth. The Lamu Kijani House was created to revive the tradition of stone Swahili houses and create an authentic retreat for visitors looking to experience Lamu's past. Kijani's rooms and gardens are filled with antiques or handmade replicas of the furniture, lanterns, ornaments, and utensils that graced the stately houses of Lamu's past.

     

    Copies of Old Portuguese lanterns hang from white archways. True to the atmosphere of a Swahili house, Kijani Resort rooms and central areas emphasize the aesthetics of privacy and space, each room has a private veranda shaded from sight by arabesque archways and trees, the 10 rooms are vast and cool, shards of sunlight and ample breeze welcomed through tall shutters. A canopied Swahili bed stands beside antique cupboards and tables coloured with hand-painted Indian tiles and painted glass. In the bathroom, intricately carved mirrors set off the sensuous effect of the walls, ceiling, and floor in warm ochre, its heady oriental effect heightened by shafts of light filtering through shutters from the world outside. Kijani Resort Lamu Island offers a retreat from the bright bustle of Lamu's waterfront – a lush oasis of green gardens, pools, and cool rooms in all their Swahili splendour. Kijani Hotel is usually closed during the month of May and June each year.

     

    Kijani House Lamu is run on B&B basis and they have their own small farm which is found nearby on the island. The farm provides fresh ingredients which are used in the Kijani kitchen, including eggs, honey and milk. The Kijani house Hotel bakes its own bread, produces marmalade and yoghurt using the fresh products from their farm. Kijani house is small and totally exclusive offering uniquely charming accommodation set amidst an extensive tropical garden, the kitchen offers all types of fish, lobsters, crabs and prawns fresh from the sea, along with meat and fresh vegetables, together with African and Italian specialties. Lamu Island Kijani house can be described as small Lamu Island garden specialist hotel, the grounds are reduced to a jetty exactly where fishermen secure their charter boats after fishing, and a walk along side the water is very scenic. It is possible to help you walk the three miles to Lamu Town, or walk 300 meters the beach to Peponi hotel, then farther on to make sure you Shela Beach –Lamu, at Kijani Hotel, don't hesitate to splurge for a suite -- they have loads more space and you'll have your very own rooftop terrace. Bedrooms are pretty, recline in your harbor-facing planter's chair and spend a lazy afternoon watching the action on the water just beyond your balcony. The garden-facing, open-to-the-elements restaurant serves wonderful grilled fish and dishes that are fresh and homemade; don't miss the honey and poppy seed ice cream, you eat with some other guests at communal tables on an open-air dining area shaded through the cool thatch roof. There is also a bar and lounge location under thatch. There are two certainly kept fresh water regularly on the property effortless to guest’s accommodation. The Swiss management can request excursion trips by motorboat, dhow, some wheel drive vehicle, or perhaps an airplane. Ask for room #1 or #3 for view of the waters.

     

    The two fresh-water swimming pools at Kijani House measure 3000sq metre tropical garden is a peaceful place to relax in. Excursions are offered to nearby villages and islands in and around the Lamu peninsular. Fishing, snorkelling, sunset cruises, and visiting local carpenters in Lamu are all offered at an extra charge. In addition to this are many sites of historical interest to visit in the area, including the Takwa ruins and the Lamu Fort. For birdwatchers, the is an incredibly rewarding place to come; with a diverse range of habitats nearby, including wetlands, mangroves, grasslands, and Acacia scrub. BIrds commonly seen are: Golden-Palm Weavers, Amethyst Sunbirds, Bare-Eyed Thrushes Sulphur-Breasted Bush-Shrikes, Ethiopian Swallows, and Speckled Mouse birds. Various Terns, Egrets, Herons, Ibises, and migrant Sandpipers and Plovers are seen among the hundreds of other varieties. There are three airlines flying daily from Nairobi (and Malindi) to Lamu Island and Kijani Hotel. These are Fly 540, Air Kenya and Safarilink. Mombasa Air Safari flies daily from Mombasa to Lamu. We provide Lamu Boat transfer service from the Manda airstrip Jetty or Mokowe Jetty across the sea to Kijani House Hotel located in Lamu Kijani Town on Lamu Island. Please indicate if you require this convenient pre-booked Lamu speed boat or Arabic Dhow transfer service when booking your accommodation at Kijani House Hotel Lamu. Rates at Kijani House Hotel Lamu based on a Double (2 people in room) on Bed & Breakfast are available

     

    Kijani House Lamu Island Accommodation

     

    With a total of 26 beds, all 10 rooms are en-suite and have their own balcony overlooking either the sea or a view of the tropical gardens. There ate three small separate traditional Swahili buildings which are also offered as accommodation at Kijani house, which were formerly private homes. These are made of coral walls, with boriti ceiling and makuti (thatched) roofs. These are all set within the Kijani Gardens. All rooms at Kijani House have their own safe. White mosquito nets veil the carved mahogany four-poster beds In the evenings, as you stroll down the walks, the thick scent of Turkish like coffee fills the air, inviting you into the restaurants for authentic meals shared with friends and family. Back at your hotel, your room awaits you. Each room has a bathroom and a balcony or veranda facing the garden and the sea. The rooms are spread throughout the garden into three small separate traditional Swahili buildings which formerly were private homes. The staff welcomes you into the fold of luxury, while the kitchen offers you all types of fish, lobsters, crabs and prawns, fresh from the sea. Meat and vegetable dishes are also available. The cuisine has strong African and Italian influences. Home-made bread, marmalade and yogurt with are made especially for guests. Lamu is a small, welcoming town, with many restaurants and great places to see. The streets of Lamu are narrow, cool and quiet. Lamu mosques are also found around the town.

     

    The 18th century traditional Swahili courtyard houses are interesting to view. Inside they are extravagantly decorated with rich and masterfully carved plaster ceiling friezes, wall panels and complex wall niches, and beautifully carved trifoliate arches. The Lamu Museum is a must-see, and gives an excellent introduction to the town and the region, both past and present. The exhibits include the material culture of the archipelago, ethnographic tableaux of neighboring coastal peoples, as well as a collection of maritime artifacts and model dhows. The Lamu Fort is another attraction. There are intriguing ruins that you can see, by taking a forty-five minute walk south along the beach. The ruined town of Takwa lies across the channel and up a narrow mangrove creek on a Manda Island. It can be approached only by boat and only on a rising tide. Wander among fabled baobab trees and the remains of a 16th century Swahili town.

     

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