For our Christmas holiday in Lamu, we stayed at the Kizingoni Beach Bandas. It was absolutely wonderful! Tucked away on Lamu Island, far from Lamu town and Shela, it was paradise.
What do I mean by paradise? I mean just a few little bandas (cottages/huts), all spaced out from one another, and all very close to the beach. It’s quite Robinson Caruso, but with wi-fi. (If you forgot sunblock or a toothbrush or something, you’ll need to trek to Lamu town to get it. This is not a big, fully-stocked resort.)
Our Banda, Low Tide, was gorgeous. The lower portion was a covered but open deck with swinging day beds, a table and chairs, and then an additional lounge area.
Upstairs, we had a balcony/terrace and then the room itself. Everything was very open. The room was decorated in the traditional Lamu style with attention to detail.
The bathroom was a bit dark, but it was spacious. Good water pressure and plenty of hot water was a nice surprise. I didn’t expect it given the rustic vibe but it wasn’t a problem.
The toilet area…It was a loo with a view. For the most part this was nice. But, when it got windy, the curtains would fly in your face, which made it awkward when using the toilet. I had to hold the curtains…it was like kite surfing while on the pot.
I should note that, as is the case with all places in Lamu, there is no air conditioning. There was a fan and that helped with the heat, as did the ocean breeze. But, because it was all so open, there were a ton of mosquitos at night. Even with bug spray and netting, we were eaten alive and it made it hard to get a good night’s sleep. This will be the case wherever you go in Lamu. (Take anti-malaria medication.)
The one other thing…It was open…very open…and I am sure some animal got in one night. I woke up one morning to see the soap on the other side of the side. Okay, no problem. I pick it up. I noticed a bite mark…teeth imprints and a chunk missing. AHHHHH!
This is the tropics and this should be expected in an open environment. Whatever it was, at least it didn’t bite us. Only the mosquitos did that.
Getting back to the good…the service was fantastic. The food was amazing. They personalize the service and check with you on what time you want each meal and if the menu is to your liking. On our last night we had a lovely dinner on the beach.
Overall, it was a really nice stay. Would I go back? Yes and no. If we decide to go back to Lamu, yes I would. However, given the lack of air conditioned places to stay and the mosquito situation, I don’t know if we’ll go back to Lamu.
If you go want to stay at Kizingoni, here is how to contact them:
Phone: +254 726332399