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Diani Beach & Lamu Kenya
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Join us in Kenya for the Lamu Yoga Festival 2021!VIEW ITINERARY
If the world came to a standstill and we were required to sit still, one thing was for sure, both Away to Africa and I would leave out of this worldly isolation in a better state than we started. Click To Tweet
Exploring Lamu & Diani Beach
Kenya’s coastline from Diani to Lamu is one of the world’s best kept treasures, and something that one should experience at least once in this life-time. The beach sand is white and stretches for miles, its powder soft yet gently exfoliates your feet as you walk along. The palm trees that fringe the shore have their own surprises.Along Diani Beach you will find monkeys fleeting across from palm to palm.While relaxing the sand you are bound to receive a warm greeting from a Maasai man offering a piece of Maasai jewelry. The contrast of colors of the Maasai beads, the original Maasai cloth all adorned by the rich dark complexion of the Maasai warrior. The Indian Ocean with its warmth and shades of blue will keep you mesmerized throughout your stay making for the most epic sunsets you will ever enjoy.
There is a distinct difference between Nairobi and the coastal city that is Mombasa.Mombasa feels a bit older and dated in time and the energy is not as frantic in pace as it can be in Nairobi.
Although the traffic is a bit busy at times, it does not have the traffic that is synonymous with Nairobi. In Diani Beach, you begin to understand a bit more of Swahili’s architectural presence.
A surprise encounter with Lamu Island’s wildlife
As Tuk Tuk’s zip through the streets dropping off people, take notice of the carved, wooden doors. There is also a rich Arabic influence that can be seen in the architecture and enjoyed in the delightful, fragrant food.
Black Husbands & Sailing through Lamu, Kenya
There should be a warning that comes with any trip to Lamu. Lamu is an archipelago that should come with a disclaimer reading “warning: you might never want to leave”. This tropical paradise is on the North-East Coast of Kenya, an island that embodies the hybrid African-Islamic-Arabian culture. This hybrid blend is relaxed in its nature, far from restrictive you can enjoy interacting with people without feeling like an outsider. It’s known to be Kenya’s oldest and best preserved living town and to prove this; it’s classified as a UNESCO World heritage site, the buildings in the town date back to the 18th century. My favorite element to this island is that there are no cars! Just donkey carts, motorbikes, your feet and dhows (boats that can be used to get around the island). There is no better way to connect to the earth than walking and going back to taking things slowly.
Your days in Lamu are made up of stunning sunrises, balmy, hot weather that encourages you to wear very little and shower at least 3-4 showers a day. Warm, friendly people greet you along the narrow walkways with a cheerful ‘Jambo!’ During the off or rainy season the days are so easy going and slow that they appear to melt into each other as you sail along in dhows. It’s the type of beauty that will have your Instagram friends inboxing you with curiosity, so save the pictures for when you get back as you are here to relax and disconnect.
Sundays are best for sunset sails where you can hop on a dhow and sip wine as the sun gradually disappears behind the East African ocean.While Lamu Town is a bit more busy, it is the island to start with for historical purposes. Also, all of your shopping should be done in Lamu Town in order to save money.
Shela is the second most popular island known for its expat and yogi community. We highly recommend lodging in Shela if you prefer smaller crowds.There is mainly one major restaurant in Shela called Peponis. It is a bit overpriced but always full of amazing energy. My personal favorite is a place called Maskani Youth Initiative which is home to a non profit organization. At this location Swabra will cook you the best samosas or pilaf you have tasted in life. If you want a change of scenery you can take a dhow five minutes across to Diamond Beach or Majilis. Majilis is my favorite place to relax for the day, order some food, listen to good music and even take a dip in the sea.
If Lamu sounds like the slice of heaven on earth you are eager to experience, we strongly encourage you to look into Away to Africa’s annual tour to Kenya. Join us late February, early March every year as we tour Nairobi, Mombasa, Diani Beach before ending the tour in Lamu with the Lamu Yoga Festival. In March 2020, Away to Africa hosted a few travelers alongside reggae songstress and yogi Jah9.
Our guests, and myself included, woke up for early morning yoga sessions at 6:30 am along the beach, balanced ourselves upside down in aerial yoga and even successfully achieved a downward dog on a paddleboard in the ocean?
Trust us, Away to Africa’s annual Kenya Yoga Retreat is a tour for everyone where you can can enjoy different yoga styles, learn how to meditate and detox from the stresses of life.
Relax and Breathe in, you are in Lamu.