Lamu Island, Kenya's Northern Coast
Kiwayu Safari Village is situated 40km north of Lamu, off Kenya's remote North Coast. Nestled amongst the sand dunes, it overlooks a sheltered lagoon on the Indian Ocean. Situated on one of the most unspoilt reaches of coastline in Kenya, between the Kiunga Marine Reserve and the Dodori Forest Reserve, this unique resort offers just 17 rustic chalets, which are set along one km of sheltered lagoon, beyond which are 7kms of private beaches. A long established family business, the resort was established in 1973 by the Italian Pelizzoli family.
Green turtles are seen daily swimming in the bay in front of the lodge. The nestlings hatch mainly in July, August and September. Humpback whales can be seen during October and dolphins from November to March. Fishing: sailfish and yellow fin tuna are also abundant from October to December. Birdlife includes; Fish Eagles, Osprey, Terns, Crab Plovers, Herons, Spoon bills and Pelicans.
Kiwayu Safari Village is constructed entirely from local natural materials; no concrete nails or coral bricks having been used. Principally constructed by locally harvested mangrove poles, the resort also makes use of dried palm leaf matting, which is hand-woven in the surrounding villages. Seafood is purchased from the surrounding villages, as are fresh vegetables. Up to 65% of the staff are also drawn from the surrounding communities.
Location and seasons
Kiwayu is situated forty kilometres north of Lamu, off Kenya's remote North Coast adjacent to the Kiunga Marine Reserve, Lamu Archipelago. Safari link have daily flights from Wilson Airport to the Kiwayu airstrip (10mins through the dunes to lodge). The trip in a 12 seater Cessna caravan takes 1hr 45mins. Air Kenya, Fly 540 and Kenya Airways have daily flights from Wilson Airport to Lamu. To connect from Lamu to Kiwayu, there are two options: by private Charter, the flight takes 15 minutes, or by boat, which takes 1hr 40mins through mangrove channels. Private charter from anywhere
Kenya's Lamu Island, one of her most popular beach holiday destinations, offers clear blue sea, marine parks, excellent water sports, coral reefs, monsoon winds, numerous hotels and beach resorts, family vacations, sun n sand, cultural and beach travel and more. Close to Mombasa, it is also within easy reach of Malindi, Diani and many other popular Kenya safari resort hotels. Lamu is famed for its excellent deep sea fishing opportunities.
Beach vacation facts
Hottest time is between November and March, rainy season is May and June (hotel closed 01 May to 15 June); sea weed on beach and strong winds May /August. September to November is cool and pleasant.
The Lamu archipelago is a cluster of hot low-lying desert islands, which runs for some 60 km parallel to the northern coastline of Kenya. The last survivor of a one thousand year-old civilization, Lamu was founded by the Arabs in the seventh century and traded for centuries thereafter in ivory, rhino horn and slaves. Today it offers a unique showcase for the traditional Swahili culture, a bustling historic town and some of the most pristine beaches in Africa.
The most famous in the archipelago, measuring about 16 km by 7km, Lamu resembles a smaller version of Zanzibar. Here, however, transport is by foot, donkey or dhow - there are no cars on the island. A magnificent Swahili settlement and a World Heritage Site, Lamu Town is a maze of winding streets and intricately carved doorways, which lies to the north-east of the island. The fishing village of Shela lies to the south (with a 12 km beach), while Kipungani is the local centre for dhow-building and palm-mat weaving. Transfers to Lamu take around 10 minutes by boat from Manda Island.
The oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa, Lamu is a centre for the study of Swahili culture. Although founded in the 13th century, the majority of buildings date from the 18th century. Today the town is a living monument to its past. The old houses, built with coral walls two-feet thick are built with a series of alcoves rather than rooms, whose size is decided by the length of the ten-foot mangrove poles that are used for both floors and ceiling. Many are three-storeys high and feature winding staircases, vast carved doors, intricate fret-work screens, balconies and flat roofs. In the winding streets, the majority of women are black-veiled, while the men wear traditional Swahili dress. The majority of the population is Muslims; and the town echoes to the call of the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer at the 23 mosques of the town. Lamu also hosts the important Maulidi Muslim Festival.
The resort offers 17 Beach-front chalets, each with a spacious en-suite bedroom, dressing area and sheltered veranda. There is one Family Banda, consisting of 2 connecting bandas (each with spacious en-suite bedrooms, etc) and the ‘Baobabs of Kitangani' Honeymoon Suite.
Generator electricity (240), from 07h00 to 11h00 and 18h00 to 22h30 Outside of these hours, light comes from a battery bank, which runs the lights in the bandas throughout the night. Torches are provided. Guests are recommended to bring converters & universal plug adaptors
Dining and bars
There is a delicious daily set menu, based on fresh seafood produce
Kiwayu is famous for its excellent food - after 35 years of training by the Pelizzoli family, Kiwayu's team of cooks perform miracles with the fresh seafood available everyday
What to see and do
• Laser sailing
• Body Boarding
• Deep Sea fishing
• Reef fishing
• Creek fishing in the mangrove channels
• Guided dune walks / bird watching
• Evening Dhow cruises
• Visit to Swahili fishing village of Mkokoni
• Mangrove trips in motorized canoe
• Private Lunch on Kiwayu Island
• Private Lunch on Kongoali beach
• Day-trips to Lamu by boat (or by scenic flight, by prior arrangement)
• Speed-boat day excursion with picnic lunch and snorkeling at Kui or Simambaya
The following boats are offered :
_ 1 x ELUSIVE 28ft Bertam deep-sea fishing boat
_ 2 x Water ski Boats with skis and a ‘donut'
_ 2 x Motorised Sese Canoes for creek fishing and
_ 2 x Skiff for snorkelling trips
_ 1 x 180 HP Speedboat for Lamu, Kui and
_ 3 x Laser sail boats
_ 4 x Windsurfing equipments
_ 4 x Kayak (2 singles and 2 doubles)
_ 1 x Dhow
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