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Mike's Camp

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Kiwayu Island 80500 Kenya
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About

Mike’s Camp is located on Kiwayu Island, one of the many unspoilt, idyllic islands of the Lamu Archipelago, on one of the most stunningly remote places in Kenya Coast. You are offered your own private island where you are safe and undisturbed. Surrounded by miles of soft white sand, turquoise waters and gorgeous coral gardens, it offers one of the only beaches in Kenya on which you can walk for miles without seeing a single soul. We are an Eco Camp where water is brought by donkey and power comes from the wind and the sun. The seven private and spacious bandas are set amongst the sand dunes, with panoramic views. Make of locally weaved palms, they blend harmoniously into the environment. All have mosquito nets, complimentary towels and toiletries, en suite bathrooms, hand painted bucket shower, flushing toilets and laundry service. The living areas are simply decorated with local art crafted from recycled colourful flip flops.
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Kiwayu Island 80500 Kenya
Getting there
Jomo Kenyatta Intl Airport305 miSee all flights
Lamu Airport31 miSee all flights
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33Reviews1Q+A7Room tips
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Mark L wrote a review Aug 2021
1 contribution
We arrived at Mike’s camp as a group of 12 friends and from the first moment of warm welcome we were all overwhelmed by the beauty and charm of the place. The bandas are large and luxurious, equipped with everything one needs. All details have been thought of. The staff is extremely well trained, courteous and efficient. The meals were delicious, fresh local and sourced ingredients. A wonderful, relaxing and extremely memorable stay. Thank you Mike and Caroline.
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Date of stay: August 2021Trip type: Travelled with friends
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Ernie W wrote a review Feb 2021
Nairobi, Kenya12 contributions4 helpful votes
Mike’s Camp and it’s location, make it one of the more unique experiences available on this planet (I have not yet visited other planets). Steeped in some amazing history of how Mike Kennedy found and “developed” this amazing eco resort over decades. Imagine your own island with the Indian Ocean on one side and a coral lagoon on the other. Fishing, Sailing, Kayaking, Snorkeling offered. 1.5 hour boat ride from Manda Airport. Fresh “whatever we just caught” everyday. Family style dinners. Grass thatch, villa suites for rooms. Great security. Remember, you are not at the Ritz. You are about as far from anything and everything as you can get. You have stars maybe a few billion at night. Personally, as a Kenya resident (USA citizen) it’s hard to find anything more unique and memorable. By the way, Mike is a ping pong hustler. Practice up before coming!!! He’s very tricky...beats you in the last 3 points.
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Date of stay: December 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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cynryan wrote a review Sep 2020
Nairobi, Kenya92 contributions8 helpful votes
The Kenyan coast has many beautiful options but if you ever fantasized as a child about being Robinson Crusoe, watched Gilligan’s Island or hoped to be marooned with the Swiss Family Robinson then Mike’s Camp Kiwayu Island is the destination for you. You won’t find air conditioning, wi-fi, a pool or other modern amenities that we have become dependent on, but instead you will choose between swims in the ocean or dips in the calmer mangrove creeks and which hammock or day bed to settle into with a good book and an even view. This is a place that reminds you of the importance of the tides and trade winds, the beauty of a night sky, and the brilliance of a full moon or rising sun. We started our week-long adventure with a 1 hour 45 minute flight from Wilson Airport to Manda Airport in Lamu. Met by Abu, Mike’s able Captain we jumped into their speedboat for an epic two hour journey north through the Lamu Archipelago. The ride re-enforces how remote Kiwayu is and how absolutely pristine and stunning this part of the world is. Arriving at the dock you get your first glimpse of makuti thatched roofs peaking out of acacia clad dunes and you realize you have arrived someplace very special. Quickly you will settle into an island paced life with activities in the early morning and late afternoon, with the heat of the day reserved for siestas and reading. You can also spend time with the two resident dogs Lucy & Chapati or one of the three cats that call Mike’s home. The list of activities is impressive and includes sailing Lasers, beachcombing (the plastic will make you sad and want to contribute to Mike’s Clean Up Campaign), tubing in the mangroves, wake boarding, water skiing, boogie boarding, snorkeling, swimming in the channels, deep-sea fishing, kite surfing (need to bring your own kit), land & sea ruins to explore, village visit, paddle boarding, sand yachting (very cool), kayaking, dhow sunset cruise with dinner, and crabbing (harder than it seems). For planning purposes, October to April is best for snorkeling as April to October has the kusi (southern wind). It’s hottest December to April and can also be humid. The island is an eco-camp and part of that philosophy is to reduce one’s impact on the environment and this includes keeping the camp small so there are only nine bandas. This makes it an ideal place (especially in the time of COVID-19) to take on an exclusive basis as we did. Each banda is unique with different features to meet various visitors needs and styles. Here’s a quick rundown of each one in case you want to make a request ahead of time. Starting at the far south of the camp there are four units on this side of the main dining and socializing area. Sankuri is the farthest out and the five minute walk does include a bit of a hill as you ascend the dune. You are rewarded by the effort with fantastic views east towards the Indian Ocean and west across the mangrove islands towards the mainland. The island is covered with vegeatation including acacias, mangroves, knobbed jafuris and baobabs further down the island. Sankuri is the only unit available for self-catering so it has a kitchen off of a good size dining and living area. There is also a beautiful spot outside for dininig under the stars. There are three bedrooms, two alongside the living room and one master with lots of privacy a short ways off. There is also a covered canopy where Caroline, Mike’s sister, can set up two beds with mosquito netting for extra people or those who just want to sleep out in the open and capture every breeze. The master faces east and you can watch the sunrise from your 6x6 bed while sipping coffee that they will bring to your room upon request. The master has it’s own bath a few short steps away and like all the bathrooms the shower is a hung buoy with water warmed from jerry cans that stay in the sun all day. Most days a cooler shower is lovely but extra hot water can also be provided. The two other bedrooms have both a larger 6x6 bed and a smaller twin to accommodate families. Sankuri’s other bathroom is open under the acacias and has a magical feel. This is a great choice if you want lots of privacy, need multiple rooms and enjoy being on a windy wild perch with views to die for. Milimani is another banda that beautifully captures the wind and gives one an almost 360 degree view. Perched on a dune and more exposed than Sankuri which is tucked into the brush, Milimani has a small covered porch with a table and chairs made for sitting and having a tea or cocktail while you look for the resident bushbuck in the bush below. The large bed faces north with spectacular morning and afternoon views to the east and west as well. There is a hammock in the corner, the perfect place for a nap or read while you swing in the breeze. Like most rooms there is a very large dressing area with plenty of shelves and hangers to put away your clothes (though you need very few!). The bathroom is also quite large and due to the need to save water there is a basin for washing teeth, a bottle provided with desalinated drinking water and a water tank behind the toilet for the self-fill flush system. Milimani also has a very private sand deck for sundowners or stargazing. Moving closer to the main mess is Ndau, the camps smallest room, but like all of the bandas it has been designed to stay cool with high thatched roofs and open walls with drop down shutters so that you can control the light and wind your room receives. Ndau is quite close to the mess and the stairs that lead down to the dock. The bed faces west with the sun setting over the mangrove forests and the inlets that wind their way through them. Through a grass thatched door off the bedroom one finds a swinging grass bed hidden in the foliage where you can watch the local dhows carry fishermen as they have for centuries. I stayed in Dhau during my stay and also enjoyed the calls of kingfishers and other birds from my room. One of the closest bandas to the main area and set up for families is Kiwayu. The beds face east and look out over the dunes to the ocean. There are two bedrooms and two bathrooms with lots of local artwork, plenty of plugs for electronics (all rooms have these amenities as well as lovely Cinnabar Green toiletries). The main bedroom is huge and airy with room for a 6x6 bed and two singles. It also has a lovely outside seated area. You then have another set of bandas on the north side of the main mess area. You find them but walking under a lovely canopy of Jafari trees. Closest is Mundani which, like Ndau, faces west for beautiful sunsets. These two rooms don’t get as much of the ocean breeze so they are great choices for the windy season. Mundani has a very large dressing area and lovely art work. Kasikazi is one of the rooms most in demand and you can see why. Tucked on the dune facing eastward towards the ocean the bed is situated to capture the sunrise and the ocean breezes. There are beautiful design touches like thatched arches and towering ceilings to keep the room cool. Like all the rooms there are well-designed thatch blinds that are easily lowered or raised for controlling the wind and light. This is a great banda for a family as there is a large adjacent dressing room that can hold twin beds and the main bedroom easily fits two singles as well. This is the only room with a flushing toilet and piped wash basin. Farthest is Dodori which is near the helicopter landing if you want to arrive in style. It has a lovely breeze coming through with two verandahs, one facing east and one west. It is very large with room for additional beds if needed. Like all the bathrooms the walls in front of the shower are open so you feel like you are showering outside and of course have a loo with a view. If you have a large group or staff there is an additional banda with the same amenities though a bit smaller available.
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Date of stay: August 2020
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Room Tip: Kasikazi and Milimani most requested
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2 Helpful votes
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Daniel B wrote a review May 2020
1 contribution
It is a unique spot. You need to be self motivated and have a sense of adventure because it's not all laid on.We got the best out of the sea, fishing, sightseeing, and the evenings were convivial and friendly as we were all on one table. One complaint was that we paid the full price for our stay rather than the deal price we agreed. This left us $500 short. We did write but to no avail. The bill was all done in a hurry on scraps of paper as we were in a hurry to catch the boat for the airport.
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Date of stay: November 2019
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Room Tip: They're all pretty good.
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Zihan Kassam wrote a review Jan 2020
Kenya2 contributions
Mike’s camp is the gateway to the galaxy. Star upon stars, experience the celestial dome from the top of the hill, at Mike's new offshoot, Sankuri. Every room offers a different experience and you'll find good sleep everywhere, including under the canopy outside. Mike is the best chap!
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Date of stay: December 2019
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Room Tip: Try Sankuri, the self-catering house; new round room facing beach-side.
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KenyaCoast ProvinceKiwayu Island
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Frequently Asked Questions about Mike's Camp
What are some of the property amenities at Mike's Camp?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at Mike's Camp?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Mike's Camp?
Yes, guests have access to yoga classes during their stay.
Does Mike's Camp have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Mike's Camp offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Is Mike's Camp located near the city centre?
Yes, it is 1.0 miles away from the centre of Kiwayu Island.
Are pets allowed at Mike's Camp?
Yes, pets are typically allowed, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Mike's Camp?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English and Swahili.
Does Mike's Camp have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the ocean view available here.