Located in the Lamu archipelago, on its northern most peninsular, and set in a grove of mixed coastal trees, Manda Bay is an owner-managed luxury lodge whose reputation has grown exponentially in the last few years. Run by the Dyers and the Roberts – both third generation Kenyans, both highly experienced – it is beautifully cared for, and feedback from guests has been relentlessly excellent.
Built using local materials, Manda Bay is largely a wood and thatch build in the Swahili tradition, and its high roofs, open sides and low overhangs serve to provide guests with shade and – by funnelling air down and through the space – the best of the sea’s breeze. Consisting of a bar, lounge, dining area, reading room and 16 cottages, Manda Bay is a beautiful resort, thoughtfully designed, and the style – matted floors, low seating, both formal and informal dining options, brightly printed throws – encourages in its guests a relaxed approach to the business of enjoying oneself on holiday.
The cottages are located so as to provide both privacy and a view of the sea. 11 front the beach, and the remaining 5 are set further back, slightly elevated, and among the trees. Each has a separate bathroom, a four poster double bed, a verandha and a small seating area. The bathrooms have a shower, twin basins and a flush toilet. As with the main lodge, the decor is a mixture of Swahili artefacts, Kenyan style hangings and hand-woven rugs, while the furnishings are largely locally sourced, of which the ornate chairs and loungers are stand outs.
Activities at Manda Bay include fishing, water sports, game drives and cultural heritage visits as well as visits to the resident buffalo herd and sun downer boat trips to see the Carmine bee eaters as they come in to roost on the mangroves.