When you land on the Lamu archipelago, it’s a truly euphoric moment. Its remoteness calls for a sense of adventure flying off grid to a far-flung island. Upon landing, hand-pulled carts trundle your baggage to a small dock for a 15-minute wooden boat ride to your hotel.
Your efforts are rewarded with an authenticity that you rarely encounter in today’s world. In Lamu’s UNESCO-credited Old Town, centuries-old Swahili culture has survived the test of time. Donkeys loaded with produce ramble along leaving a trail of droppings in their wake, call to prayer reverberates through the air, and pedestrians filter through the narrow streets built to shield the oppressive sun.
But it’s the village of Shela, one of Lamu’s four settlements, where you’ll want to base yourself. At the water’s edge, the chatter of fishermen as they tend to their dhows mingles with the hum of cocktail hour drawing a contingent of celebrities and expats who holiday in splendid white villas. Further in, tangled sandy lanes littered with cats link thatched stone houses to artisan studios, local restaurants and traditional mosques. All adhere to an integrated sense of community and a barefoot culture irreplicable anywhere else in the world.
Across the water, Manda Island defies the notion of a textbook beach holiday. Forget the glamour of Zanzibar or the polished Mauritian coast, its charm unravels under overwhelming sunset views without a stiff-collared butler in sight. Here the locals know that the secret ingredients to completely switch off is a digital detox and balconies that open up to the salty sea breeze.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Becky, who's travelled extensively in Kenya. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the rangers who'll ensure you'll spot the best wildlife in the Mara, the village chiefs who'll give you a genuine insight into local life and the camp managers who can recommend the very best spot for your sundowner.
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Travel with us for total peace of mind. All our holidays are ATOL protected, we’re members of ABTA (the leading travel industry association) and you’ll have our full support throughout your travels.