All inclusive beach holidays in Lamu, Kenya
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    Shela Village, Lamu Island, Beach Homes, Villas, Hotels, Resorts, Holidays, Vacations, Shella Island

    Are you tired of hustle and bustle of city life and want to escape from it? Do you need to take a break from the hectic issues and mundane errands? If your answer to these questions is yes and you are looking to take a vacation where you can get rid of all these worries by spending some nice time in a calm environment then, Shela Village in Lamu is the answer, Leave the cell phone and laptop behind because Shela Village is a place to chill out and relax, warm temperatures, clear waters and eight miles of unspoiled, sandy shoreline that draws beach lovers to the Kenya island of Lamu located off of Kenya’s north coast. Shela beach on the north end of Lamu is a beautiful stretch of white sand and tiny bits of sea shells. Snorkelers and divers can explore the diverse Indian Ocean reefs up close, while those who don’t want to get wet can enjoy the unique experience of sailing in a dhow. Shela Village is located about 3km south of Lamu Town and although being only about a tenth of the size, probably has ten times as much decent hotel accommodation. This is one of those places where cool expats and old Africa hands have their own private bolt holes and during the main holiday seasons the place fills with large family groups. Although one could argue that the extent of foreign ownership of property in Shela Island detracts from its authenticity, the fact remains that most visitors find this to be a much more laid back and pleasant place to spend a few days than Lamu Town itself. The origin of the village is unknown, but according to tradition it was settled by people from nearby Manda Island. In 1813 the famous "Battle of Shela" took place. This was an attempt by Pate Island, allied with the Mazrui clan from Oman, to subjugate Lamu. The attempt failed totally, and the defeat of Pate at Shela signaled the rise of Lamu as the leading power in the archipelago.

     

    Shella village golden age was from 1829 to 1857, when 5 of its 6 mosques were constructed. It is especially known for the Shiathna-Asheri Mosque. In 1930, the English governor had built a colonnaded villa, which faced the beachfront and thus changed Shela’s skyline. In 1967 the house became the legendary Peponi Hotel, Shela’s unchallenged landmark and society hub until today. A unique crowd of locals, expats and visitors meet at the Peponi terrace every day for their sundowners. Here it is nearly impossible not to make friends and become part of the bright Shela community. Explore Shela along its placid alleyways with their houses surrounded by palm trees and bougainvillea and forget the world beyond. In the morning, the fishermen will bring their night’s catch to your door: crab, prawnand red snapper. Don’t miss to relax under your shady makuti roof. This is the perfect place for daydreaming. At dawn, life comes back to the main alley with its modest restaurants, shops and guesthouses. The spicy smell of the charcoal grill, where the women of Shela roast the fish, mingles with the scent of the jasmine flowers. Cruise on the beachside past old mansions and tropical gardens until you reach the dune landscape just outside Shela. Enjoy the unparalleled luxury to walk past gently shelving white sands or swim with dolphins and turtles in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Easy beach life is a daily need, together with water skiing or even surfing. If you wish our staff will deliver your picnic to the beach. At Peponi Beach, the gathering of Mozambique dhows with their low superstructure and their elegance will inevitably catch your attention. Drifting through the mangroves in these wonderful dhows is an amazing way to experience the surroundings of the Lamu archipelago. The coral reefs are perfect for snorkelling and diving. The captains are skilled sailors, full of the typical disarming Swahili heartiness. Make it a perfect day by cruising Manda beach at sunset – candle light dinner included, watching the moon rise. Or meander around the narrow waterways full of mangroves on your way to the magnificent Twaka remains on Manda Island. Make sure you have the time for a daytrip to Kipungani an unostentatious town that harbors two ecological resorts and has a gorgeous beach. There is great fishing from well equipped flying bridge boats. You’ll find black, blue and striped marlin, sailfish, barracuda, yellow fin, broadbill and many more. Shela is now a centre for tourism on the island, with several guest houses feature by the coast. Shela is also home to the most spectacular beaches on Lamu Island, 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 on first sight may shatter any romantic ideas of a coastal African paradise, Shela Island is nestled against high sand dunes is the most charming village on Lamu island.

     

    The unofficial dress code here is kikoi and flip-flops, and visitors soon forgo regular clothing for this casual look. It’s just another symbol of the easygoing attitude in Shela Lamu, where everybody – from tourists, fishermen and European royals to Maasai guards and burkha-clad women – calls out greetings to one another as they walk through the sandy lanes. Many guidebooks explicitly advise people to leave Shela Island until the end of a holiday because, they warn, once you arrive you won’t want to leave! Visitors have been known to cancel the rest of their itinerary after succumbing to Shela sultry charms. The only thing which might occasionally bother you here is the sun. Beyond the cool havens of Lamu’s traditional Swahili architecture, or its narrow shady streets, this golden orb reigns supreme, drenching the island in warm light all year round. But – Hakuna Matata – just ask, and a hat can be found to shield you – even if it has to be handmade on the spot. Shela Village on Lamu Island is a tangle of narrow sandy lanes, tall stone houses, some smaller thatched dwellings, mosques, ruins and a spacious square fringed by a few market stalls, small shops and a telephone booth. Here in the cool evenings the elders gather to talk, while women come out to shop. Wandering through the village you might meet discreet women in bui-bui, young boys in gowns hurrying to the mosque, sleepy donkeys, weathered fishermen, the occasional beach boy or absorbed visitor and a collection of cats. The beach starts a five minute walk from the village — seven miles of golden sands that are never crowded plus a sea ideal for swimming, bodysurfing, diving, windsurfing, water skiing, fishing or boating, for those whose travel experiences don’t always have to be about wall-to-wall luxury, Lamu is just the ticket—especially when all we want right now is less flash and more authenticity.

     

    The Shela Island offers the perfect balance of style, food, and soft adventure, particularly among the donkey-wide alleys, a 20-minute dhow ride from Lamu Town, Made up of some five mosques, a dusty square, a football pitch, and a few quirky boutiques, Shela has the best beach here, Visitors live among the coral-walled village houses, some of which have been converted into up market rentals, others into guesthouses, of which there are now several. There are a handful of small restaurants, too, and one significant bar, at Peponi Hotel. To get the measure of Shela, one has to stay at Peponi, Lamu’s social nerve center since it opened in 1967. (There are times when the bar’s crowd could compete with that at Claridge’s.) In the winter months 80 percent of Peponi’s guests are repeat visitors, Americans among them. For although it’s just a simple whitewashed 24-room guesthouse, Peponi is the only hotel that really counts here. (Baitil Aman Guesthouse, a newer Shela hotel, is a romantic, impeccably restored 18th-century house—straight out of the pages of The World of Interiors—but it lacks Peponi’s buzz and beachside location.)

     

    It’s easy to fall in love with Lamu while at Peponi, watching my kids on the beach, lazing in hammocks, reading to the whir of ceiling fans, you could go for snorkeling or boat rides to explore the mangroves or picnics with big monkeys on deserted sands, plus you eat like kings. The food at Peponi—grilled prawns, Swahili curries, tuna carpaccio—is the island’s most delicious. And it gets better: Dinner for four is cheap, around $60. Also visit Lamu Town to browse the tiny shops packed with silverware and textiles, wandering through the quiet alleys of this former trading post, which over the centuries has absorbed Omani, Indian, and Portuguese influences. Peponi is the best place for Shela first-timers because it lets them edge in slowly to a place that might otherwise intimidate. The island, unlike the Maldives or Mauritius, isn’t all packaged up by resorts—there simply aren’t any. There are, however, more and more private homes available for rent. In Shela alone there are now upwards of 50, “Some of the owners are too wealthy to care about renting,” “But they let tourists and friends stay.” There are smarter houses in Shela, of course. The most dramatic is probably the Hilltop Fort, owned by American movie producer Chris Hanley and his wife, Roberta. A mix of traditional Omani architecture and John Pawson-esque minimalism, Hanley’s home is as good as it gets for those who want cool, contemporary living, with air-conditioning, a vast pool, and super attentive service. Whatever you decide to make of your holiday - here in this magical place you’ll definitely get the spirit of Lamu!

     

    Shela Island Hotels

     

    Fort at Shela

    Fort at ShelaView Gallery

     

    Fort at Shela

     

    The Fort at Shela sits alone in the middle of the sand dunes and beyond the Fort at Shela are 12 km of deserted beach. Extremely private, it is the last house on the sea front before the next village on the island, Kipungani, a 4 hours walk down the beach. While very private, the landmark Shela Fort is but a short 10-minute walk to Shela's famous Peponi Hotel & Restaurant, where you can relax and enjoy the sunset. The Fort comes with a staff of 10 people to take care of all of your needs. The Fort at Shela is located on 14km Shella Beach on the Read More

     


    Fatuma Tower

    Fatuma TowerView Gallery

     

    Fatuma Tower

     

    Even in Shela, itself a tiny village of a hundred or so houses, Fatuma's Tower seems to draw in on itself and nestle in the lee of the dunes that form the backdrop to the village, Fatuma Tower is an enchanting beach retreat in a secluded position in Shela village on the Kenyan Island of Lamu with its tangle of narrow sandy lanes and lovely beach; it was renovated from the ruins of an 18th-century Arab house by English yoga teacher Gilles Turle, who has lived in Kenya for over 40 years. Fatuma's Tower is a yoga and Read More

     


    Fishtrap House

    Fishtrap HouseView Gallery

     

    Fishtrap House

     

    Fishtrap House is a beach house located on the seafront in Shela Village, Lamu, a place like no other, a peaceful tropical island in Kenya 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. Approaching the village of Shela one cannot miss Fish trap House sitting at the water's edge between Bahari Beach Hotel and the Stopover Hotel. The dhows lay at anchor beneath the coral walls and the tides lap at the foundations. Read More

     


    Beach House

    Beach HouseView Gallery

     

    Beach House

     

    Beach House is one of the most breathtaking in Lamu Island, with a location directly overlooking the channel, a horizon pool that makes you wonder where the water ends and the view of the sea begins. The rooms have their own balconies and an uninterrupted view of the Indian Ocean. A large cool beach front house for twelve to fourteen (12 to 14) people with four double rooms and one dormitory style quadruple, all ensuite. On the first floor, raised above beach level, there is a stunning, edgeless fresh water Read More

     


    Bembea House

    Bembea HouseView Gallery

     

    Bembea 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, the 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 Read More

     


    Dhow House

    Dhow HouseView Gallery

     

    Dhow House

     

    Dhow House is a spectacular beach house combining both traditional Swahili and modern design. The Dhow House is an oasis of calm, sitting between the Indian Ocean and timeless sand dunes set back in 3 acres of gardens; a hidden treasure offering maximum privacy. The circuitous journey to Dhow House, a spectacular – beach private villa on the Kenyan island of Lamu, is all part of its charm. First there’s the one-and- a-half-hour flight from Nairobi, Read More

     


    Kaskazi Beach House Lamu

    Fishbone HouseView Gallery

     

    Fishbone House

     

    Covered by shady palm leaves during daytime and moon-lighted at night, the courtyard of Fishbone House is a magic place in this spiritual Lamu world. In the heart of Shela Village, very close to Jaha House, stands Fishbone House. Shela is one of the loveliest small villages of Africa’s East Coast. Fish bone House is located a few minutes off the seven mile stretch of Shela beach and the renowned Peponi Hotel. A few footsteps from the house take you down to fishermen beach where the ancient dhow building is still active Read More

     


    Garden House

    Garden HouseView Gallery

     

    Garden House

     

    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. Read More

     


    Kijani House

    Kijani HouseView Gallery

     

    Kijani House

     

    Kijani House in 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 Read More

     


    Shela House

    Shela HouseView Gallery

     

    Shela House

     

    Shela House is a large colonial-style beach house which has been renovated to retain its original style and charm. The house staff at Shella House are extremely friendly, helpful and capable; Shela House owns four private villas in Shela Village on Lamu: the Beach House Lamu, the Shela House Lamu Island the Garden House and Palm House Lamu Island. Both Shela House Lamu Island and Palm House are located in Shella village Read More

     


    Palm House

    Palm HouseView Gallery

     

    Palm House

     

    Palm House is situated near the sandy beach of Lamu Island, Kenya, the Palm House is a rental beach house near Shela Beach in Lamu, Kenya, whose architecture and interior design is influenced by Swahili style. Palm House is designed around an open courtyard with a Pemba palm. The living and dining areas look onto the courtyard and another small side garden. Read More

     


    Peponi Hotel

    Peponi HotelView Gallery

     

    Peponi Hotel

     

    Peponi Hotel is a small family-run hotel on the unspoiled Swahili island of Lamu just off Kenya’s coast, sitting at the entrance of the Shela channel that runs between Manda Island and Lamu Islands, to the south of the hotel lies a 12km stretch of beach open to the full force of the Indian Ocean. The Peponi Hotel likes to call itself “the beach house that grew into a beach hotel.” Read More

     


    Shela House

    Shela HouseView Gallery

     

    Shela House

     

    Shela House is a large colonial-style beach house which has been renovated to retain its original style and charm. The house staff at Shella House are extremely friendly, helpful and capable; Shela House owns four private villas in Shela Village on Lamu: the Beach House Lamu, the Shela House Lamu Island the Garden House Read More

     


    Beach House

    Beach HouseView Gallery

     

    Beach House

     

    Beach House is one of the most breathtaking in Lamu Island, with a location directly overlooking the channel, a horizon pool that makes you wonder where the water ends and the view of the sea begins. The rooms have their own balconies and an uninterrupted view of the Indian Ocean. Read More

     


    Lamu Island Information

     

    On a holiday brochure 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 boys plagued beaches are backed by large bland beach 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 and Lamu Island is one of them,

     

    If Lamu Island had a slogan, it would be Hakuna Matata. There are no roads, no cars and no big worries on this small idyll, which lies just off Kenya’s coast, the beaches of Lamu Island, off the Kenya coast, are already well loved by migrating cinnamon-chested bee-eaters, pregnant turtles and European tourists alike. Remote, long and empty, protected on the West side by mainland mangroves and open to the expanse of the Indian Ocean on the East side, they fulfill all beach lovers’ expectations. Lamu Island is a beautiful part of the eastern part of Africa and is a part of the group of islands in Kenya. The old town at Lamu is the main inhabited part of the island and is today one of the oldest and the most preserved settlements of Swahili in this part of the world. It is constructed of coral stone and also mangrove forests and is mainly made up of structural forms that are completely enriched by beautiful verandas, inner courtyards and also beautifully carved doors made of wood. Lamu has had many festivals celebrated by Muslims since the 19th century. It is today a major centre for the study of Cultures of Swahili and Islamic origin. Lamu Island is connected to the region of Mokowe by boat and it lies on the mainland. It is also connected to Manda island .This is a region that has only two cars on the road and one really loves to see the footpaths and the alleyways and thus tours here are always very interesting and fascinating. Travelers prefer walking around the place and experience a sense of calm in enjoying the simple pleasures of adventure and thrill here. Tourists also are seen going by donkey or by boat and they love to enjoy the manner in which materials are seen transported on these animals. The Lamu Island is a port that was discovered by the traders from Arab countries sometime back in the 14th century. The Pwani Mosque was built here during that time. The entire island thrived on slave trade here. The island became a slave hub and in the nineteenth century it became a local power. But then the British closed the slave markets in the year 1873 and this trade declined here. In the year 1890 the island got annexed to Zanzibar and then was quite out of the picture till Kenya got independence from Great Britain in the year 1963. Tourism developed a great deal here from the year 1970 and sometime in the 18th century the Swahili architecture and culture started getting popular. The Old Town of Lamu has been recognized as a World Heritage Centre by UNESCO. The urban structure and the architecture here exhibit a kind of cultural influence that has come from many countries like Arabia, Europe and India. So the Swahili techniques with the combination of the culture from other countries have contributed greatly to this region being special in many ways. The way in which the seaports have grown and then declined on the coastal Africa on the eastern side and the manner in which there has been a constant interaction between Arabs, Bantu, Indians, Persians and Europeans show a very outstanding feature of the Lamu Island. There has been a regular contribution to scholars and teachers who have been able to recognize Lamu as a great place and the religious function is particular to Lamu Island and is celebrated till today.

     

    There are three other villages on the Lamu Island besides the ‘Lamu town. Shela is one village lying around 2 miles from Lamu. No one knows how the village was born but tradition has it that it was occupied by people from the Manda Island lying nearby. Sometime in the year 1813 the elite of Pate Island joined hands with the Mazrui clan from Oman and they tried to subjugate Lamu in the Shela Battle. This attempt did not succeed and Pate faced a defeat at Shela. This signified the success and growth of Lamu as a great ladder in the archipelago. The golden age that Shela witnessed was from 1829 to 1857. Around 5 mosques were built at this time. It is very popular for the Friday mosque that it has every week. Today Shela is a great tourist centre and has many guest houses on the coast. It has some of the most fascinating beaches on the Lamu Island and it is sad that some of them were damaged during the tsunami of 2004. The white sand, the pure ambience and the traditional dhows have a greatly clean look. Then there is the village of Matondoni which is very famous for the repairing and construction of dhows. The entire village looks beautiful with the ambience of lovely mangrove trees. There is also Kipungani which is another small village on the south western coast of the island. Thus the beautiful region of Lamu Island is a region that is filled with the best sights of the surroundings and the most fascinating zones of travel interest. Donkeys are the mode of transport on Lamu Island, off the coast of Kenya - yet the place is a magnet for A-list celebrities. Sienna Miller, Ewan McGregor and Kate Moss have been spotted there. Barack Obama is a regular on the island and Princess Caroline of Monaco and Prince Ernst of Hanover own several large houses. The fact that Lamu is cluttered and ramshackle, with no proper roads (or electricity in places) does not deter the glitterati. They rather like the crumbling Swahili buildings, the deserted beaches and lack of mass tourism. “It`s very low key,” “If you’d lived in Lamu Island 400 years ago you’d still recognise it now.” Lamu`s homes and villas prices have trebled in the past five years but are still tuppence compared to popular Caribbean destinations; large town houses cost pounds 90,000 while an eco home with infinity pool is on the market for pounds 1.3 million.

     

    There`s a small and select community of British home owners on Lamu. They live in Robinson Crusoe-style homes with thatched roofs, solar power and infinity pools. They get about by donkey or on foot and use small motorboats to zip through the mangroves. Lamu Island measures 10 miles by five miles, and is part of the Lamu archipelago. “It’s a pretty cool lifestyle here - like living in a film set, with amazing food and sun everyday,” Lamu Island can be social if you want it to be; it’s very international.” But Lamu is also the ultimate place to chill out; massages cost pounds 8 per hour and a house isn’t complete without at least three lounging areas. The population is predominantly Muslim. There’s call to prayer five times a day; the men wear khanzu robes and women often wrap themselves in black buibui. The architecture is a mixture of Moorish, Indian, Swahili and Colonial styles. “Most people who come here have a feeling for the architecture and the culture. It`s the oldest Swahili trading port and a World Heritage Site,” The narrow streets in Lamu town (most only wide enough to accommodate a laden donkey) are lively early in the morning, and then later in the afternoon, when the temperature is cooler and people have woken from siesta. “Most people are in bed by 10pm but there’s a low-key nightlife and you can drink as much alcohol as you like in the tourist bars,” A number of restaurants have sprung up in town and on the beaches, mainly serving fresh fish and fruit. “You can spend very little or a fortune and everything is very healthy.” While Lamu town attracts an arty, bohemian crowd, Shela, is more star-studded. “It`s become quite chic and the houses are among the most expensive in Africa,” This is where Peponi hotel is located, the centre of Lamu social life (sometimes referred to as “Groucho-Club-on-sea”). The white sand beach stretches as far as the eye can see and there is scuba diving, waterskiing and windsurfing. Ernst of Hanover’s houses are in Shela, and the former home of the Sultan of Zanzibar, the largest house in Lamu, is for sale for pounds 895,000, Sienna Miller, Sting and Ewan McGregor rent houses on the southern tip of the island at Kizingoni beach, (named after the summer monsoon wind that once carried the dhows to Lamu from Asia). It is more remote here than Shela (African wild, not Caribbean chic), with houses and a rustic bar set back from an untouched eight-mile beach. “You can watch the most spectacular sunsets,” Electricity comes from solar panels and windmills, and fresh water from wells in the dunes. The asking price includes locally crafted furniture, and access to a sailing dhow and staff. Hopefully Lamu Island is not too good to last. It is attracting more tourists and there’s talk of a new Lamu port further along the coast, its going to be much more popular, but it’s still remarkably unspoilt.

     

    For the time being at least, the donkeys and the dhows are unlikely to be replaced by anything more sophisticated, the Lamu Island is one of the best places in the world to come and do absolutely nothing, the only thing you will miss is “The internet here is as slow as a Lamu donkey at siesta.” Lamu has been catering for price range vacationers for several decades and nonetheless has loads of cheap guesthouses. Costs are remarkably regular simply because of the levels of competition for clientele, although you naturally get what you shell out for. All the areas have supporters (wherever essential) and mosquito nets, though remarkably few have the towels and soap you’d generally count on as common. Premiums rise by up to 50% from June to September and about Christmas and New Calendar year. At other instances, there’s a lot of scope for negotiation, especially if you plan to keep for a lot more than a day or two. October to March is a good time for Lamu as the waters have cleared and the sea's are calm so you can go snorkeling (from a dhow) as well as sailing and scuba diving. Hire a dhow and captain for a day (or even longer to explore the islands further north to explorer the Lamu Archipelago. Some places close for April through to June and then reopen at the beginning of July - the waters are still quite salty then from the various rivers and only start to clear in October. If you are a group there are loads of private villa's and apartments to rent in Shela Village. Touts will invariably consider and accompany you from the jetty to get commission the best way to avoid this is to book in advance.

     

    When to visit

     

    This is a tropical Island. While you can plan a trip to this Island all throughout the year, January to March is good, especially if snorkeling interests you. The months of June and July are good for sailing as they are windy. Most of the rains occur from late March to May.

     

    How to reach

     

    The closes airport to Lamu Island is in the Manda Island of the Lamu archipelago. It’s is juts across the channel and a boat trip between the Manda Island and the Lamu town takes about 10 minutes. There are daily flights from Kenya to this archipelago. You can reach here from Malindi, Mombassa, Nairobi and Diani Beach. You can also get on a ferry from Mokowe in Kenya to the Lamu Island. In Lamu Island, you are expected to get by on your foot or you can even try donkeys, the means of transport here.

     

    What to see and do

     

    Lamu Island has a tranquil ambience and comprises of one town – Lamu and three villages. Its main attraction is the Lamu Town that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its structures- the inner courtyards, verandas, carved wooden doors created off coral stone and mangrove timber, remnants of the past, the winding streets, the markets, museums, fort and ancient houses amidst smell of spices and grilled foot scent characterizes the town. The Lamu Fort built between 1813 and 1821 under Seyyid Said; the Sultan of Oman is in the southernmost corner of the town. Gradually, there were shop fronts and buildings around it. From 1910 to 1984, it served as a prison. Since 1984, under the government of Kenya, it is being developed as a museum and is a community centre for the people of Lamu Town. Another historical landmark of this town is the German Post Office, the first ever established along the East Africa coast, in 1888 by Germans. After they withdrew their settlement in 1891, the office closed. A must-visit site here is the Riyadha Mosque built in 1900, the center of for Maulidi Festival held annually in the last week of the month of Prophet’s birth. Pilgrims from Sudan, Congo, Uganda, Zanzibar and Tanzania sing praise of Mohammed. This culture was introduced by a Sharif Habib Salih. Dedicated to the only means of transport of its narrow roads – the donkeys – is the Donkey Sanctuary established in 1987 by Dr. Elisabeth Svendsen of The Donkey Sanctuary in England who visited Lamu in 1985. Donkeys are treated here free of charge.

     

    The Swahili House Museum, itself a restored 18th century Lamu home, tells you the details of a Swahili home. Holed walls, flat roof, proper drainage, courtyard mostly with its entrance to the north are some of the features of a traditional Swahili home. The view from the Stone House Restaurant, the Lamu Town Square in from of the fort and the seafront are some other places of attraction in the Lamu Town. About 10 minutes boat ride from Lamu is the Shela village, more popular as a tourist destination with its beaches. Done with your site seeing in Lamu, it’s time to unwind yourself at the beaches here. The Lamu Island beach stretches to about 12 kilometers, complimented by small villages, mango and coconut plantations, mangrove forests and the reefs that make it apt for water sports like snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing etc. Sailing on the traditional dhows on the calm waters here is an experience in itself. You can take trips on Dhows to the neighbouring Islands. Strolling by the beach at Kipungani Village or riding a camel here is fun too. You can go kayaking to its mangroves. You can also hike your way along the beach from Shela to Kipugani village. In its forest and wetlands, you can also spot exotic birds like coastal waterfowl. The mangrove channels too are a natural habitat for birds and often crocodiles.

     

    The other islands in proximity to Lamu that are worth exploring include the Manda Island among others. Of the historical sites here are the ruins of Takwa, a civilization destroyed in the 17th century. Takwa was a holy city and in fact, some of the Shela residents who believe them selves to be the descendants of Takwa visit these ruins to offer their prayers. The Kiwayu Island, known for its beaches that are considered to be among the best in Kenya, is further north of the Lamu archipelago. Then there is the Pate Island – with the earliest known Swahili settlement of Shanga and the Island of Siyu, which too are worth exploring. The Kizingo Island attracts the tourists to swim with the dolphins here between November and March. All of these islands are easily accessible by a dhow safari, or by donkeys, contact us for more details, The Swahili culture – a blend of Arab an Africa culture is reflected in everything that’s there in Lamu archipelago – its cuisine, its ambience, its people, and its dhows. The quiet streets take you to the ruins from the past and the dhows still ply on the waters that have been here since ages. For a relaxed and laid back vacation, with plenty of experiences to offer that will transform into everlasting memories, the laid back Island of Lamu is just perfect.

     

    Booking Lamu Island Shela Island Accommodation

     

    Welcome to our luxury Escapes, a unique online collection of luxury Lamu Island accommodation and services. Take the opportunity to view beautiful and fascinating properties and services on offer in some of the most breathtaking, picturesque parts of Lamu. Whatever you are looking for, there is something for everyone, from luxury boutique Lamu hotels, luxury lodges and resorts, to luxury beach front holiday homes and bed & breakfast accommodation. They all share a common goal, they specialise in the delivery of the very finest Lamu accommodation and superior service for the discerning traveller. When all you want is to get away from it all and avoid the hustle and bustle of everyday life, choose one of our handpicked, secluded and Shela private villas. These villas have been carefully selected for their location and seclusion, and we can guarantee that they are not overlooked by any other properties. All our secluded and private villas in Shela come with the modern conveniences you would expect to find from a quality villa; private pools, fully equipped kitchens, bath towels and bed linen, maid service, and access to your own concierge, who is a phone call away 24 hours a day should you need them - and that includes advice on all the best places to visit if you want to leave your villa, to great restaurant recommendations – but only if you want it! You will find all our recommended secluded and private villas in this section.

     

    A luxury villa rental gives you the best holiday you can imagine; whether you want a private opulent retreat, a family mansion or a private party palace the Lamu Island has it all. We offer wide variety of Beach house rentals; from small beach cottages for the budget-minded vacationer to gorgeous homes for those who desire more space and amenities. There are cozy cottages for two and oceanfront homes large enough to accommodate several families or a family reunion, All of our beach rental homes are clean and well-equipped, but you choose the amenities you desire.

     

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    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.

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