(text taken from 'Lamu, where history lives’) The trade winds of the Indian Ocean have been bringing the world to the East African Coast for over a thousand years. In the remote archipelago of Lamu, the local people have a long established tradition of welcoming travellers. The Lamu Archipelago today remains as mystical, exotic and serene as ever. The old stone town is a World Heritage Site, a place where culture, history and custom are all blended into a truly unique way of life. Lamu is unaffected by the pace of change of the Western world, where the wisdom of the past plays a part in present, and the pace of life is measured by the progress of the graceful dhows that sail among the islands. For more information on Lamu Island visit:
Shela is a small village on Lamu island, 45 minutes walk from Lamu Town, situated at the point of the island, where the white sanded beach and the dunes strech out for a couple of hours undisturbed walking and pure bliss.
Shela has 2000 inhabitants and as a visitor you are very quickly recognized, welcomed and made to feel at home and comfortable. Kids are playing freely around, donkeys wonder through the small sandy lanes.
Beautifully restored old Swahili mansions and bougainvillea give the whole village a very colorful touch. Life in Shela is very peaceful and calm, where the muezzin rules the rhythm of the day and the locals still take time to discuss the daily life sitting under a huge acacia tree.
For more insight and information, as well as a beautiful photobook on Lamu visit the David Deveson website.
The white and deserted sandy beaches of Shela, sailing on a dhow, streets just wide enough for one fully laden donkey to pass, Swahili women dressed in black bui bui, their hands painted with henna, the colorful beach boys singing “Hakuna Matata, Don’t worry be Happy”, the rich Swahili culture and the warm welcome of the inhabitants make your visit to Lamu an unforgettable experience and a place you will want to return
Day trips include visits to Takwa ruins, Matandoni and Kipungani, or snorkeling, fishing and beach barbeques at Manda Toto or Kinyika Rock. Overnight trips to any of the surrounding islands, such as Pate or Kiwayu, are also possible. If you’d like to soak in the tranquil atmosphere of Lamu, it’s hard to beat a sunset sailing trip on a traditional dhow. This really is a most relaxing and unique experience! Just say the word and Saadi will organize any trip for you in our dhow.
Banana has been fishing since he was a child and has extensive knowledge of the local waters. Join him on his comfortable boat for an unforgettable experience at sea. Watch the sunrise with jumping dolphins, sea turtles and the occasional sailfish or marlin. Banana will take you fishing for game fish such as Tuna, Wahoo, Dorado, Marlin, Sailfish and Kingfish. You can book Banana’s boat and himself for a whole day or half day deep sea fishing trip.
We organise traditional Swahili dinners, prepared by the local women. If you’re interested, we’ll even take you to the local house where they prepare the dinner from early morning onwards. The dinner is served in our garden, seated on pillows, eaten by hand under the light of candles, the moon and stars.
Weather you are a small or a large group, we’ll organize a fantastic beach barbecue for you, complete with bonfire, Swahili drumming and dancing on the beach!
Experience the real Swahili Cooking at a local house with the local women. Socialise with the Swahili , share ideas and have a lifetime experience!!
Another great way to spend your evening is by having dinner on the dhow. We sail away at sunset and find a quiet spot to anchor the boat, where we serve a simple but delicious dinner. Eat on the boat and gaze at the stars or the moonrise.
Lamu is the ultimate destination if you are a fan of making long walks. The endless beach and beautiful dunes will help you relax and clear your mind so that you can truly rest on your holiday
In the Swahili culture is henna the decoration for the women at weddings, ceremonies and celebrations. The local women are happy to decorate your hands or feet with henna.