Kizingoni Beach Rainbow
Kizingoni Beach is situated on the remote and unspoilt South West Coast of Lamu Island – the island’s main beach starts at Kizingoni, curves around the southern tip of the island and stretches a further 8 golden miles to Shela Village. It is virtually empty, apart from myriad crabs, migrant and local sea birds, shells and the occasional troop of donkeys.
There are not many empty and unspoilt stretches of beach like this left in the world – offering peace seclusion, cooling breezes and clean seas – yet all the historic, cultural, retail and culinary attractions of Lamu Town and Shela Village are just a 30-minute speedboat ride away.
Kizingoni Beach Speedboating
The 24 acres of land around the Kizingoni Beach houses are covered with established coconuts and doum palms – together with some indigenous woodland. Hundreds more coconut palms have been planted, along with indigenous trees and tropical shrubs, plus an experimental orchard and covered vegetable garden. There is clean fresh water from shallow wells and plenty of wind and sun to run the windmills and solar panels that provide power and hot water.
Kizingoni Beach Parasurfing
There is plenty to do at Kizingoni – for those looking for an active holiday the swimming, snorkelling, walking and beachcombing is excellent. All kinds of water sports equipment is available – including water skis, wake boards, a Lazer, Optimists, kayaks, and SUP boards. Creek fishing and deep sea fishing can be arranged, along with dhow sailing – plus there is an opportunity for a small safari on the mainland.
Kizingoni Beach Sunset Dhow Cruise
Within walking distance of the Kizingoni Beach houses are two low-key and luxurious beach camps – Kizingo Lodge and Kipungani Explorer – each has an attractive beach bar and restaurant open to non-residents. The sleepy, friendly and unspoilt fishing village of Kipungani lies a mile or so to the north of Kizingoni Beach – source of coconut palm products for building, including the makuti thatch for roofs, makeka for the paths and all woven carpets. The village is also the main supply of staff, fish, seafood, dhows and donkeys.
Kizingoni Beach Dusk
Lamu Town Seafront
Nestling against the beautiful, unspoilt Indian Ocean coast of northern Kenya, Lamu Island is one of the most beguiling places on earth. Little changed in centuries, Lamu is renowned for the warmth of its welcome to visitors, its remoteness and tranquility, its rich and colourful history and its distinctive Swahili culture – a unique amalgam of African, Arabian, Indian and European influences.
Enchanting Lamu Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the oldest living town south of the Sahara and the best-preserved coastal settlement in East Africa. Historic and cultural attractions include Lamu Fort, Lamu Museum and the Takwa Ruins on next door Manda Island. Lamu has always attracted and inspired the spiritual, the creative and the artistic – and the island hosts regular festivals and celebrations – from the religious and cultural to the artistic and yogic.
Lamu Town Square
One of the island’s many glories is its traditional Swahili Architecture – Lamu’s unique stone townhouses, many dating back to the early 18th Century, are celebrated for their intricately carved wooden front doors, imposing entrance porches and shady courtyards, the grandeur and elegance of their interiors and their beautiful decorative stucco plasterwork.
Lamu – Zidaka Niches
Lamu is not a place that believes much in progress – or indeed in haste of any kind – and life is lived at a leisurely pace. Less than 10 miles long, the island has no paved roads or cars (except the District Commissioner’s Land Rover and the occasional tractor) and nearly all transport is by foot or donkey, motorboat or sailing dhow. In a world that is increasingly homogenized and harried, Lamu makes a wonderfully authentic and unhurried retreat.
Lamu Town – Shopping Street
One of the many pleasures of spending time in Lamu is exploring the byways of the historic Old Town, wandering the narrow streets and alleyways and meeting the always friendly and welcoming, often highly eccentric, inhabitants. There is good shopping for colourful kikoys and kangas, local crafts, traditional carved furniture and more along the town’s main street, one ‘block’ back from the seafront. Taking a dhow safari or an evening’s sunset cruise is another ‘must’ for any visit to Lamu, and another charming and leisurely way to experience the islands.
Lamu – Dhow Races
Lamu is also renowned for its beautiful empty beaches, and the island’s main ocean-facing beach stretches for 8 spectacular miles from Shela village to Kizingoni on the southern-most tip of the island – it is a few minutes by boat or a 40-minute walk along the seafront from Lamu Town. Also recommended is the sheltered sandy beach across on neighbouring Manda Island, easily accessed by dhow or motorboat.