Manda Bay Lamu – Manda Island, Kenya
Understated, barefoot luxury awaits you at Manda Bay. This private lodge is nothing short of a tropical paradise. Tucked amongst palm trees, and right on the beach, looking out over the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, the thatched cottages blend into the surroundings. With miles of soft white sandy beaches, a maze of mangrove waterways full of birdlife, and bush, it’s the place to take off your shoes and switch off.
At A Glance
Why We Love It:As it is barefoot luxury at its finest in a beautiful location.
Style:Palm thatched luxe.
Location:On the north west tip of Manda Island, Lamu.
Rooms:22 beachfront & garden cottages.
Swimming:A pool & the warm Indian Ocean.
Children:A fantastic location for families with a long list of activities & cottages that can accommodate whole families.
Open From:June - April
Simply built, with local materials – palm woven matting and thatch – and open sides, the cottages all have oversized walk-in mosquito nets, overhead fans and en suite bathrooms. Outside, they feature covered verandahs with day beds and a hammock.
Here you’ll feast on hand chosen, freshly caught seafood, with just the sound of the lapping waves. Produce is locally sourced wherever possible and menus cater for all dietary requirements. Breakfasts burst with fruits, pastries and a full English if you have room. Lunches are a delicious buffet with salads and a selection of seafood dishes, whilst dinner is a three course affair. Sundowners on the beach are obligatory!
The main attraction is the Indian Ocean right before you. Long walks on the beach and swaying in a hammock could easily take up your entire day, before an evening sundowner! Manda Bay has kayaks and paddle-boards to excursions along the shore and through the mangroves, and all manner of water sports can be booked, from waterskiing to wakeboarding. The waters are perfect for fishing, be it deep sea or inshore, and trips can easily be booked.
Marine life is particularly varied and beautiful along this coastline, making it a diver’s and snorkeler’s paradise. We recommend a boat trip to the UNESCO Heritage Site of Lamu old town, with its unique architecture, narrow streets and colourful markets. And during July and August, turtle hatching visits are a must. The island is teeming with exotic birdlife – if you’re not a twitcher, you might well be at the end of your stay. The island is also home to a herd of Cape Buffalo which you can visit in the evening when they come to the water trough. There are game and wildlife drives in the late afternoons, with the chance of seeing a range of animals from vervet monkeys to porcupines, from baboons to possibly leopard. All before your guide finds the perfect spot for that well-deserved sundowner!
A tropical playground for children and parents. The cottages can accommodate families, and with the long list of activities and so much fun to be had on the water, it’ll be an unforgettable family holiday.
Manda Bay Lamu works with local community projects to reduce the damage to reefs, which has caused a decline in fish stocks, marine and bird life. By managing natural resources and through education, the resulting revenue streams improve local livelihoods.
Manda Island, Kenya
On the north west tip of Manda Island, Lamu – a 25 minute boat ride from the Lamu Manda airstrip. Small charters can land at the private strip on the island.