All inclusive beach holidays in Lamu, Kenya
Local Destinations
  • Never miss a deal
  • subscribe now

  • Thank you for your Subscription
    We will keep you updated with the latest Lamu deals

    Manda Island, Lamu Island, Hotels, Resorts, Villas, Holidays & Vacations in Manda, Kenya

    Manda is an island of the Lamu Archipelago of Kenya, known for the prosperous 9th century ports of Takwa and Manda town. The Manda Island is now linked by ferry to Lamu and is home to Manda Airport, while Manda Toto Island lies to its west. The island is separated from the mainland by the narrow Mkanda channel. Both Manda town and Takwa were probably abandoned due to lack of water in the first half of the 19th century. In the 1960s the Kenya Department of Agriculture recommended building several concrete catchments called jabias to capture rain water on the island. Two jabias were built and many families moved onto the island, farming maize, cassava, simsim and cotton. The Manda town ruins (by the coast on the NW side), were first explored by the archaeologist Neville Chittick in 1965. The town owed its origins in the 9th and 10th centuries to trade with the Persian Gulf. The chief trading commodity was probably elephant ivory; mangrove poles were probably also important. From the earliest period the inhabitants of Manda were building with burnt square brick and stone and set with a lime mortar. These building techniques are found only on the coast and on the islands of Kenya; they have not been used in the interior of the country, whereas the bricks averaging about 18 cm (which "match perfectly measure") are unique for East Africa for this period, and are likely to have been brought in from Sohar, in Oman, initially as ballast in the sailing ships entering the port. From the mid-9th century to the early 11th century buildings were also constructed from coral known as coral rag cut from dead coral reefs. The large scale excavations in 1966 1970 and 1978 revealed an unrivalled prosperity for the period and include Chinese porcelain dating from the ninth century onward, Islamic pottery and glass, and local pottery datable by the associated imports.


    The most striking feature of the town is large sea walls built in a period between the 9th century to the 13th century. Running parallel with the sea with returns running inland, these walls built from large coral blocks are deduced to have been constructed partly to reclaim sections of the shore, and partly to consolidate the edges of the peninsula. Archeology in its July August 2013 issue reports that a Chinese "Yongle Tongbao" cash coin was found on the island of Manda, Kenya, illustrating the reach of Chinese explorers and traders including the Ming Admiral Zheng He. The coin was issued during the reign of the Yongle Emperor, Zhu Di, but upon his death in 1424 AD, successors ended international exploration and trade. At the heights of its power the town covered some 40 acres (160,000 m2) and its population is estimated to have been about 3,500. Manda prospered until the 13th century when it began to decline. Manda Island is located immediately north of Lamu Island across a wide channel. In fact, the main airport, although only really a grassy strip and small open "terminal", is on Manda and you reach Lamu itself via a motor boat or local dhow. Manda has developed a great deal over the last few years as a result of interest from European investors and the wide stretch of once empty beach facing Shela Village is now an uncomfortable mixture of titanic villas and small local beach-hut style lodges. It's very pleasant to take a boat across from Lamu and enjoy a walk and a swim but be wary of the nasty sand flies on this beach at certain times of year which tuck in if you sit around too long and can leave a nasty itchy bite that doesn't disappear for days. On the northern side of Manda is a luxury lodge, but other than that, the island is mainly empty or occupied by a few local villages. The Takwe Ruins lie on the sea-facing side of the island and are interesting to walk around.


    At Manda Island day trips begins by heading to Manda Toto reef by motor boat for some snorkeling then moving on to the beach for a fish barbeque lunch. In the afternoon the trip heads to Gordon Reef for some more snorkelling before going back to your hotel. The scenic flight safaris around the Manda Island are fantastic! You can see the beautiful Indian Ocean waters surrounding the Lamu archipelago islands. Also try taking a wildlife safari and sightsee the island and hope that the few cheetahs on the island are not close by. For the more activity oriented people, there are so many beach activities to try out! From kite surfing, canoeing, wind surfing or jet skiing along the island. Take lessons for learners and enjoy the experience. There is so much to do in so little time. Try out the stay at the dhow for only 1500$ a night and sail out to sea as you enjoy privacy and serenity at its best. They are simple people when you see them but the level of interaction and life lived is utterly mind boggling. So when you want to really know how it feels to dine, live and enjoy like a king...try out the Manda Bay .But also be ready to spend just a little extra.


    Manda Island Accommodation


    Maljis Hotel

    Maljis Hotel View Gallery


    Maljis Hotel


    Idyllic, luxurious, stylish, unique, the Majlis resort is a privately-owned luxury beach resort on Manda Island in the Lamu archipelago off Kenya’s Northern Coast. The beach resort is named ‘Majlis resort ' after the Arabic term for an exceptionally luxury and special place, where the host traditionally entertains and looks after his most important guests in utmost style and comfort. Lulu always says that pictures speak louder than words and the beautiful boutique hotel that is The Majlis Hotel Read More


    Manda Bay

    Manda Bay View Gallery


    Manda Bay


    Manda Bay Hotel is a small boutique beach hotel located on the north western tip of Manda Island, one of the many unspoiled, idyllic islands of the Lamu Island archipelago, an exclusive resort, Manda Bay offers barefoot luxury and informal pampering, Manda Bay Hotel is an exclusive boutique beach resort overlooking the Indian Ocean, it is one of the most delightful locations to stay on the entire East African coastline catering for everyone from families to honeymoon couples seeking to relax or those keen to exhaust Read More


    Diamond Beach Village

    Diamond Beach Village View Gallery


    Diamond Beach Village


    Diamond Beach Village is situated on the island of Manda, which is the sister island of Lamu island witch is said to be the oldest town in east Africa. The dominant Arabic influence is evident in the town's architecture with beautifully carved doors and some notable mosques. Lamu town has recently been granted World Heritage status and the local museum has a fine collection of artifacts. There are no cars on Lamu Island or Manda Island and the only form of transport is donkey or boat, both of which are an experience Read More


    Mkoko House

    Mkoko HouseView Gallery


    Mkoko House


    Mkoko House is situated on Mada Island, part of the Lamu Archipelago, off the North Coast of Kenya. It is directly opposite Lamu Island and faces Shela village (on Lamu Island) which is just across the channel. Manda Island lies directly opposite Lamu Island. It is considerably less built up than Lamu Island and only has about 20 private houses and beach bungalows. The island is incredibly tranquil and boasts an extensive mangrove ecosystem and array of birds and monkeys. Manda Beach faces Shela village Read More


    Lamu Island Information


    One time favourite destination on the hippy trail, the last few decades have seen Lamu making it onto the celebrity hideout scene where you’re just as likely to encounter European royalty as back packers. Lying off Kenya’s north coast, Lamu Island was one of many coastal settlements created by Arab, Islamic merchants along the east coast of Africa. Inter marriage with the Africans resulted in a culture that became known as Swahili. Settled since the 14th century, Lamu’s character has Omani and Portuguese influences as a result of invasions and settlement over the course of its history. When, in the 1920s the town went into decline, its isolation from the rest of the world kept its identity and construction intact. When the rest of the world finally rediscovered the island in the 1960s, what they found was a Swahili settlement virtually untouched since the 18th century. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lamu town has no roads and no traffic, using donkeys to transport goods and people around the island. Traditional houses are constructed from coral and mangrove wood; streets are too narrow for more than two people to walk abreast. Traditional sailing dhows carry passengers and goods to and from Manda Island and on cruises around the islands, their sails catching the sunset as it spreads en route to the coral houses of the town. Most of Lamu’s well heeled property owners and visitors prefer to live and stay at the 8 mile long sand dunes and beach of Shela village, two miles south of Lamu town, where Swahili houses have been converted into chic guest houses and night life consists of drinking on the verandah watching the dhows sail past at the only place in town that serves alcohol – Peponi Hotel.


    The Lamu Archipelago extends from the Kenya to Somalia border to the Tana Delta incorporating the North Banks and the Dodori channels and covers an area of approximately 2,340 square miles. It is a priority conservation area, with Lamu Island a designated World Heritage Site. The coastal and marine resources in the archipelago are increasingly under threat from over-harvesting of resources i.e. corals, pelagic fish, marine turtles, invertebrates; and the use of destructive and unsustainable methods for resource exploitation such as beach seining, drift nets and coral mining. Lamu Marine Conservation Trust, a locally registered community based organization, wishes to establish a 741-acre community managed marine protected area encompassing ecologically fragile coral reefs, fish feeding, breeding and spawning sites. They also wish to continue support patrols and monitoring of turtle nesting sites on Lamu and Manda Islands, and education and awareness in four local schools on Lamu Island. In exchange for the establishment of this marine protected area, Seacology will provide funding to purchase boundary demarcation buoys, moorings for anchorage, snorkel gear, a communication system (radios etc.) to support patrol and monitoring of the conservation area, two bandas (shelters) to accommodate patrolling scouts, a solar inverter system for electricity to the system, and a digital camera. 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 Island vibrates with culture and heritage, Lamu is a special getaway, easily accessible by scheduled charter flights from Nairobi to Manda Island followed by a short boat transfer, Lamu is separated from the mainland by a series of channels and mangroves. You can spend hours exploring the narrow cobbled streets of ancient Swahili Lamu Town, meeting the friendly locals along the way and admiring the architecture, coral walls and beautiful wood carved doorways that line the streets. There are no cars in Lamu but what you will find is hundreds of donkeys.


    Donkeys are a way of life for the locals and are used for everything from carrying water and building materials to getting from A to B – or just because it is fun to ride them. Locals save up for years to buy their donkeys and there is a donkey hospital and doctor for those needing a bit of TLC. If you are looking for remote luxury beach accommodation away from the hustle and bustle of Lamu Town while still being able to fully experience everything that Lamu has to offer, Manda Bay on the northern tip of Manda Bay is the place to stay. The lodge is just 20 minutes boat ride from Lamu Town. Whether be it for a weekend or a week, Lamu is definitely worth a visit. Lamu is best accessed by air. There are scheduled flights daily from Nairobi, Mombasa, Diani Beach and Malindi. The island is serviced by an airstrip on neighboring Manda Island. The strip can also be used by private charters.


    A dhow ferries arriving passengers to either Lamu town or Shela. Many yachts also come to Lamu, often sheltering in the channel near Shela Visiting Lamu town is leaving the world of Twitter and iPhones and stepping into a culture, time and place where your senses are assailed by the dust, sights, sounds and smells of a primitive past, all of which are intensified by the heat and glare of the sun. The mood is one of quiet conservatism where pointing a camera feels intrusive and all you want to do is wander, look and absorb all the fascination of this medieval, cloistered society where the women wear black bui-buis robes and veils, the men wear traditional kikoyi sarongs and donkeys doze on street corners, hoping the day’s work is done. It’s ironic that in the 21st century of adventure travel where extreme sports are so readily available, flying from Mombassa to Manda Island in a prop plane flown by a flip flop wearing pilot and then transferring to a dhow sail boat to skirt across a thin strip of the Indian Ocean to Lamu Town is one of the most memorable experiences of your travels.


    Other Lamu Islands


    Kiwayu Island


    Kiwayu Island is a small island in the eastern part of the Lamu Archipelago, situated in the Kiunga Marine National Reserve. The main economic activity is fishing, and there is one school, no clinic and one well on the island. The main attractions for tourists on Kiwayu are the tidal pools and snorkeling/diving pools located on the eastern side of the island. The nearest hospital is on Lamu Island outside of Lamu town. To get to Kiwayu from Lamu, you must take a dhow (7 hour trip) or a motor boat (2 hour trip). The archipelago contains several archaeological/historical sites of great significance, such as Takwa and Manda Town -both on Manda Island-and Shanga -on Pate Island-. Some have been partially excavated in later years, shedding important new light on Swahili history and culture. Remote and self-contained Lamu may be, but it has always been a sophisticated, tolerant and hospitable place. Lamu’s distinctive Swahili culture is the result of an intermingling over the centuries of many different influences – African, Arabian, Indian, Persian and European to name but a few – brought to Lamu by merchants, travellers, colonisers and conquerors. These influences show themselves to this day in Lamu’s religious and social traditions, architecture, furniture, cookery and many other aspects of daily life. From Vasco da Gama to Barack Obama, Mahatma Gandhi to Mick Jagger, through the centuries Lamu has always attracted the curious, the celebrated and the cosmopolitan. And in recent years the island has gained a reputation as something of a low-key hideaway for European royalty and international celebrities. Certainly Lamu has always attracted and inspired the spiritual, the creative and the artistic – and the island now hosts regular gatherings of writers, artists and film makers. Regular yoga retreats are also organised at the very special Fatuma’s Tower yoga centre.


    Pate Island


    Pate Island is located close to the northern coast of Kenya, to which it belongs. It is the largest island in the Lamu Archipelago, which lie between the towns of Lamu and Kiunga, close to the border with Somalia. From the seventh century, Pate Island was an early site of Arabic colonization. It long vied as a Swahili port with Lamu and with Takwa on Manda Island and came to prominence around the fourteenth century, but was subjugated by Lamu in the nineteenth century. Lamu is not a place that much believes much in progress - or indeed in haste of any kind – life is lived at a leisurely pace, and its physical appearance and character have changed very little in centuries. The historic layout of the Old Town remains intact – the same maze of narrow, shady streets - most only wide enough to accommodate a fully-laden donkey, the same coral stone houses and mosques, the same ancient sailing dhows and fishing boats at anchor in the port. The population and culture of Lamu remain very largely Muslim. With more than thirty mosques, the island echoes to the muezzins’ call to prayer five times a day. Men still wear full length khanzu robes and embroidered kofia caps, and women often wrap themselves in an all-enveloping black buibui.


    Manda Island Hotels Information


    Looking for a summer escape without a price tag that will break the bank? We can help you. Our experts have found the best deals on cheap flights and accommodation - so all you need to do is choose your favorite and pack your suitcase! We all love escaping on beach holidays ourselves and Manda beach hotels are fantastic places to stay. Not only do they have some of the most beautiful views in some picturesque locations, but they regularly have a soothing, relaxing and laid-back atmosphere that truly defines a beach holiday. What’s more, there are always fantastic places to eat nearby, and enough sun, sea and sand to make any rainy city dweller jealous. And you are sure to feel life slow down to a leisurely pace as you unwind and relax. We have sourced some great beach vacation bargains for you to enjoy. With a list of great beach travel destinations, so wait no longer: book your beach holidays now and we are delighted to be able to offer some of the best hotels in Manda Island. Whether you are looking for white sand, turquoise waters or beautiful sunsets, you are sure to find some of the finest places to soak up the sun with us. Plus, with such a great range and variety of remote beaches, or sports beaches, you are sure to find the ocean side location that suits your beach holidays preferences and budget. As well as enjoying a beautiful location on Lamu island famous 7-mile beach, Lamu Island has a large variety of quality holiday accommodation and the expertise to match the right home-away-from-home to your needs, taste and budget. Choosing the right lamu accommodation can transform a break from the daily grind into an experience you will treasure. With an impressive range of comfortable, fully furnished and self-contained holiday homes listed, you are sure to find one that suits your individual needs. Tariffs vary according to the time of year you wish to stay. Our holiday rental properties are fully furnished and well equipped for self-catering or all inclusive. A lot of our properties have sweeping ocean views and are within walking distance or have easy access to fantastic swimming and surfing beaches nearby. We also have some secluded beach retreats, and even some exclusive beach villas in Manda Island,


    Looking for Manda resorts is so easy using our simple navigation to quickly find the right beach resort and pre-book your accommodation arrangements. Each home web page displays real time availability, facilities, and map showing location. Our Special Weekly rate is year round value and we offer 7 nights for the price of 6 nights! We also have a current special running, and you should check out the fantastic value. If you're looking to set the trend amongst your Face book community then Manda Island is the one, we offer a wide variety of all inclusive holidays too and all our beach holidays to Lamu Island are offered with year-round availability because the Lamu Island enjoys sun throughout the year rather than simply during a single season and Lamu Island is an ideal holiday destination for anyone who is looking for a warm and holiday location to spend either their holidays in. You can find options for all inclusive holidays to Lamu which can be booked either over the phone or directly over the internet depending on your personal preference. Choose from a wide variety of beach hotels and save when you book with us. We offer the best beach hotel deals available to top destinations in Kenya. Instead of putting off that long overdue vacation, book your luxury beach hotel in Lamu without breaking the bank. Whether you’re looking for an upscale luxury beach resort, a budget friendly room, or a family friendly hotel, we have a hotel for every kind of traveler. Find luxurious, spacious suites, hotels with planned activities, spa treatments, or just spend a couple days sunbathing on the beach. We have hotels to accommodate every budget. Book one of our best beach hotels now and treat yourself to a fun, relaxing vacation today.


    Reserve a Hotel

    Thank you for your Lamu Island Enquiry
    Our Travel Expert will Contact you soon!

    Why Choose us
    • 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.

    Lamu Island Virtual Tour

    All Inclusive Holidays

    Relax and unwind safe in the knowledge that everything is included
    Read More

    Family Holidays

    With offers you will not find anywhere else
    Read More

    Call us for expert advice

    Speak with our specialists for expert advice and to arrange your tailor-made vacations to Lamu.
    Call us on +254 731 999 999

    Lamu Weather

    Get the Latest Deals

    Thank you for your Subscription
    We will keep you updated with the latest Lamu deals

    Follow Us on Facebook
    © 20 18 All rights reserved All material on this Lamu website including any images, text and/or video is the property of Book & Travel.