Lamu is a wonderful island in northern Kenya that has withstood the test of time, carefully preserving its lifestyle, culture and architecture. Near the island of Manda which boasts a national airport, Lamu can be reached in 15 minutes by speedboat. Here, in paradise, shoes are optional.
Having spent a few weeks in Lamu, we had to return on several occasions because it gifted us an experience like no other, brimming with sensations, emotions, colors and loads of joy.
The food is delicious; the lobster and red snapper fishermen always proffering a fresh catch. On one delightful occasion, I enjoyed a private dinner of fresh fish on the beach at sunset. How? A sheet sprawled on the sand, coals burning in a pit, two trunks on the sides, along with a vertical branch with which I skewered a large red snapper. With iced bubbly waiting, the fish cooked to perfection, and we privately dined only a couple of meters from the sparkling water.
The canoe trip through the mangroves is unforgettable. Believe me, there are no signs, and a GPS won’t help you. Nor would you want it to. The river serves as your guide, culminating a plethora of emotions, of awe, of adrenaline that only nature can provide.
Once the sun shuts her eyes for the evening and the moon opens hers, silvering the gushing labyrinth of waterways, Dhow sailing is a must. The only company you need is iced bubbly and an African bongo while you kick back and enjoy a tranquil parade of wooden boats, sailing off into the horizon like a flock of majestic waterfowl. One never tires of Dhow sailing. The experience imbues you with a sense of peace, a sense of unparalleled peace that only Africa can provide. I love to remember the long, beautiful strolls along Shela beach at sunset. In Lamu, the sun rises at 6 am and sets at 6 pm. Every day, the weather is comfortable, and if the rain does make an appearance, it’s brief and refreshing, gentle, almost welcoming like a dear friend. At 5 pm, pink crabs emerge from the sand and scurry off to the sea, a unique spectacle that repeats every day. Here nature expresses herself in all her beauty, strength, and grace, leaving little space for a man to toil with his struggles. Here I feel at home. It is a place that frees you from all negative notions, only leaving room for one’s well-being, joy, and living their life to the fullest. Gianni Buonsante