Manda Bay

Manda Island, Lamu
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Manda Bay
Manda Island, Lamu

“What a wonderful place – magical sunsets, the restless ocean at your doorstep, professional and friendly staff, delicious feasts from the sea…”

An idyllic and intimate boutique beach lodge set on the quiet and unspoilt northern tip of Manda Island in the beautiful Lamu archipelago, Manda Bay makes the perfect away-from-it-all retreat and is renowned for its excellent ocean fishing and wealth of water sports.

All About Manda Bay

“Nowhere is better for chilling out than palm-fringed Manda Bay. Totally laid-back, it is more house party than hotel. Come here for a Robinson-Crusoe encounter – go barefoot all day, walk along bone-white sand beaches, lie by the infinity pool and watch the children try their hand at all sorts of water sports. Forget kids’ clubs – here is an island where your rug rats can run wild and free. Take a trip on the 60-foot dhow, go deep-sea fishing, snorkelling or water-skiing and – most popular – feed bush babies in the bar at night. There’s no aircon and no mod cons, just rough-and-tumble, back-to-basics rustic loveliness. The food is fresh from the sea, simple and delicious – watch your brood tuck into tuna sushi and mangrove crab.

Tatler Magazine

Accommodation at Manda Bay

All the rustic and charming bedrooms are made with locally sourced materials – coral rock masonry, driftwood and mangrove poles, floors of mkeka woven palm matting and roofs of makuti palm thatching. The rooms are simple and uncluttered, with open-air windows with neither shutters nor glass. Every room has an oversized walk-in mosquito net, overhead fan and an ensuite bathroom. Each room also has a veranda with easy chairs and a swing bed.

Beachfront Rooms (11) These are situated right on the seawall closest to the waterfront at high tide and the beach at low tide. These large airy rooms have either a 7ft King-size bed or twin single beds – plus room for one or two extra beds for children if required.  Room 11 is an extra-large villa able to accommodate three additional beds.

Palm Rooms (5)  These are set slightly further back from the seawall on higher ground behind the Beachfront Rooms. The rooms are cool with a sea breeze and have either a 7ft King-size bed or twin single beds – with room for one or two extra beds for children if required. Room 7 is a family cottage with an extra room for up to three children.

Garden Rooms (6)  These smaller and more closely-spaced rooms are situated in the centre of the property. They were originally designed with teenagers in mind but have been popular with all kinds of guests – particularly with fishermen who are out at sea all day and families or couples looking for an extra-affordable option. They have standard-sized twin or double beds.

Summary
  • Escape, relax and unwind on a beautiful palm-fringed peninsula
  • Secluded, authentic, informal and fun, owner-managed and hosted
  • Swimming pool, miles of empty white-sand beaches, delicious sea food
  • Big-game fishing, reef fishing, salt-water fly fishing – and all kinds of other maritime adventures
  • Game drives, wildlife viewing and birdwatching – beach meets bush on Manda Island
  • Explore the unique cultural and historic attractions of the Lamu archipelago
  • 22 spacious rustic-chic makuti-thatched guest cottages – all with ensuite bathrooms and verandas
Destination - Kenya Coast

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Location - Manda Bay

Surrounded by miles of soft white sand and coconut palms, Manda Bay sits in a sheltered position on the unspoilt northeastern tip of Manda Island. The lodge looks out across the deepwater channel that separates Manda and Pate islands from the Kenyan mainland and the Indian Ocean. Both Lamu Airport and Lamu Town are about 8 miles (12.5km) away by boat and the trip by speedboat takes less than 30 minutes via the narrow Mkanda Channel (‘the belt’). Light aircraft can also land at the private strip beside the lodge.

Nearby the uninhabited Manda Toto Island (‘Baby Manda’) makes a lovely and gentle boat excursion and is an excellent place to swim, snorkel and picnic. It is also known for its beautiful birdlife and often attracts flocks of many thousands of northern Carmine Bee Eaters. Manda Bay Lodge is at the forefront of local conservation and community initiatives and is committed to protecting the area’s environment, its marine life and wildlife.

The land behind the lodge is dry bush country scattered with Doum Palms and Acacia and Baobab trees. Nocturnal animals predominate including mongoose, civet cat, porcupine, genet cat, dik dik, bushbuck – and even leopard. A large herd of buffalo can be viewed on game drive excursions in Manda Bay’s open-top Range Rovers. Close to the lodge are the Manda Town Ruins – the sizeable remains of an ancient Swahili settlement dating back over 1000 years.

In Detail

Accommodation and facilities

  • 11 beachfront rooms
  • 5 sea-view ‘palm’ rooms
  • 6 garden rooms
  • All rooms have ensuite bathrooms and verandas
  • Swimming pool (filtered saltwater)
  • Private airstrip
  • Bar and dining room
  • Poolside lounge
  • Games room with table tennis, darts and pool
  • Reading/meeting room
  • Reasonable cell phone signal
  • Internet available
  • Laundry service

Activities, excursions and equipment include

Deep sea fishing

  • Inshore fishing
  • Saltwater fly fishing
  • Fishing tackle & fishing guides
  • Dhow sailing aboard ‘Utamaduni’
  • Sailing on Laser and Topper dinghies
  • Windsurfing
  • Kayaking
  • Waterskiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • SUP – Stand Up Paddleboards
  • Knee boards
  • Snorkelling (November to April only)
  • Banana boat, doughnuts, air chair
  • Game drives across Manda Island
  • Archaeological site visits to the Manda Ruins
  • Cultural tours of Lamu Town – a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Spa treatments and massage
Visitors' Book

“Manda Bay is a relaxed dream – three steps from your bed and you are in the sea. There are lovely sandy beaches, palm trees, cold drinks and really friendly staff. You’ll eat really delicious and fresh locally-caught fish and crab. There is awesome deep sea and fly fishing, and the waterskiing and screamers are great fun for both children and adults.”

“We had the privilege of spending a few nights at Manda Bay on the recommendation of some friends and boy were we glad – the place is literally paradise! The accommodation is so rustic and wonderful, the food sublime, the cocktails even better – and the staff (can we call the amazing family that run the place staff?) were a joy to spend time with. I cannot speak highly enough, nor urge you enough to go and experience it for yourself. We will definitely be returning!”

“What a wonderful place – magical sunsets, the restless ocean at your doorstep, professional and friendly staff, delicious feasts from the sea, and a capable manager who puts guests at ease and provides for their every desire.”

Rates

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All About Manda Bay

“Nowhere is better for chilling out than palm-fringed Manda Bay. Totally laid-back, it is more house party than hotel. Come here for a Robinson-Crusoe encounter – go barefoot all day, walk along bone-white sand beaches, lie by the infinity pool and watch the children try their hand at all sorts of water sports. Forget kids’ clubs – here is an island where your rug rats can run wild and free. Take a trip on the 60-foot dhow, go deep-sea fishing, snorkelling or water-skiing and – most popular – feed bush babies in the bar at night. There’s no aircon and no mod cons, just rough-and-tumble, back-to-basics rustic loveliness. The food is fresh from the sea, simple and delicious – watch your brood tuck into tuna sushi and mangrove crab.

Tatler Magazine

All About Manda Bay

Accommodation at Manda Bay

All the rustic and charming bedrooms are made with locally sourced materials – coral rock masonry, driftwood and mangrove poles, floors of mkeka woven palm matting and roofs of makuti palm thatching. The rooms are simple and uncluttered, with open-air windows with neither shutters nor glass. Every room has an oversized walk-in mosquito net, overhead fan and an ensuite bathroom. Each room also has a veranda with easy chairs and a swing bed.

Beachfront Rooms (11) These are situated right on the seawall closest to the waterfront at high tide and the beach at low tide. These large airy rooms have either a 7ft King-size bed or twin single beds – plus room for one or two extra beds for children if required.  Room 11 is an extra-large villa able to accommodate three additional beds.

Palm Rooms (5)  These are set slightly further back from the seawall on higher ground behind the Beachfront Rooms. The rooms are cool with a sea breeze and have either a 7ft King-size bed or twin single beds – with room for one or two extra beds for children if required. Room 7 is a family cottage with an extra room for up to three children.

Garden Rooms (6)  These smaller and more closely-spaced rooms are situated in the centre of the property. They were originally designed with teenagers in mind but have been popular with all kinds of guests – particularly with fishermen who are out at sea all day and families or couples looking for an extra-affordable option. They have standard-sized twin or double beds.

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