Manda Bay

“Barefoot luxury at its very best at this romantic lodge, arguably one of the best beach experiences in the whole of Africa!”
Budget level: Mid-Range
When to Go
All year
Property Type
Kenyan Coast

‘If you had a private island, a clean beach, a set of kayaks, a pool, a motorboat, an amazing chef and a very flexible resort management for your vacation, what else would you be looking for? Situated in an exclusive location on Manda Island, this destination will literally reincarnate you. Fuzz and his team have set up an earthly paradise. If this is not on your bucket list, I don’t know what is!’

Manda Bay is a small boutique lodge located on the tip of an unspoiled, idyllic island in Lamu’s archipelago where you kick off your shoes and enjoy simplistic beauty in palm thatched cottages and open living spaces. Manda Bay is perfect for honeymooners, families and groups looking to enjoy time together. Whilst Manda Bay is unpretentious and perfect for those looking for a quiet getaway, many of the world’s rich, famous and star studded have often spent may days enjoying this small haven.

Located on the archipelago of islands that make up Manda, the lodge is a 30-minute boat ride from the stunning Swahili coastal town of Lamu. Lamu established in 1370 is now a World Heritage Site and is one of oldest continually inhabited towns in East Africa.

Quiet, untouched beaches surround the lodge, with the only people in sight the local fisherman with their daily catch. The secluded location allows for a bay that is perfect for watersports, activities and swimming. But Manda Bay is more than just white sands and blue waters!

Manda Bay combines a bush and beach experience. Whilst miles of soft white sand and coconut palms surround the lodge itself, the bush behind the lodge is dry country scattered with Doum palms, Acacia Tortilis and savannah-like scrub. A variety of birds and mammals (mongoose, civet cat, porcupine, genet cat, dik-dik, buffalo and bushbuck) can be seen on the island.

The rooms at Manda Bay are simple, comfortable and beautiful; each room personifies the concept of ‘barefoot luxury’, interiors are simple, cool and quiet. Each of the boutique rooms is handmade with local palm thatch, allowing the noise of the sea to send you to sleep. The bar, set on the beachfront allows for stunning views over the Indian ocean, and the barman is ready and waiting to make you the classic Kenyan drink, a Dawa (or in English, a ‘medicine’!) Escape the mid-day sun in the lodge’s library or games room, where guests can spend hours reading,

Manda Bay has 11 “Beachfront” rooms, situated on the seawall and 5 “Seaview” rooms – set back and a little higher than the beachfront rooms. All rooms have big open windows with no glass, walk in mosquito nets, overhead fans and ensuite bathrooms with W/C, shower and twin basins. In addition to the main guest rooms, there are 6 “Garden” rooms which are ideal for families with teenage children or guides who wish to have accommodation at a cheaper price. All rooms are large enough to accommodate 1-2 extra beds for families travelling with small children.
Activities at Manda Bay can keep even the most active guest busy for their whole stay. At Manda Bay, activities available include: sailing, kayaking, wind surfing, kite surfing, beach walks, guided tours around Manda island ruins, deep sea fishing, water-skiing, wakeboarding, banana boating, donating, line fishing, fly fishing, bottom fishing, snorkelling, visits to the cultural town of Lamu, Shela and Tawka ruins, swimming pool, table tennis, darts, pool table, yoga studio, gym and workout room. Get the picture?

Experience the best Kenya has to offer in its seas – with a once in a lifetime experience! Go deep sea fishing on Manda Bay boat ‘Cheza’ and try to snag a fish as big as yourself! Try for a deep-sea catch, such as a yellow fin tuna or a sailfish – and then with the help of the crew, settle into the freshest sashimi with soy sauce and wasabi you will ever try! Fishing trips can last half day, full day or overnight. Manda Bay has a ‘catch and release’ programme when fishing near to Manda island, and is careful to never over-fish the local ocean. August/September are typically rough out at sea and quite challenging for those not used to big seas. The most popular fishing months are from November – April when the Sailfish and Striped, Black and Blue Marlin are migrating through the waters and the ocean calmer and weather fine and dry. Common species to catch other than the billfish are Dorado, Wahoo, Kingfish, Barracuda, Rainbow Runner and Yellow Fin Tuna.

The owners and managers of Manda Bay, the Dyer and Roberts families, are committed to conservation in the area and work with other organisations to encourage these aims – including Lamu Marine Conservation Trust (LAMCOT) and the Northern Rangeland Trust, of which Fuzz is the Coastal Director.

Manda Bay can be reached by either private charter or commercial scheduled flight. Private charters can fly directly into the lodge airstrip. Private charters from Nairobi Wilson or direct from JKIA take two hours, as do flights from the Nanyuki region, Lewa or Borana. There are a number of commercial airlines that fly from Nairobi, Mombasa and Malindi into Lamu.

Looking for the best beach experience in Afirca? Get in touch!

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