When you arrive at Mkoko House on Manda island it is really like entering a safe haven from the world, from the moment you step off the boat onto the sandy beach across from the gorgeous Shela Village there is total calm.
There are many beautiful beaches and islands in the world, but there is something special about the mix of natural beauty, rich culture and the great people of this Lamu archipelago.
Somehow the week spent at Mkoko went by so quickly with trips to Lamu and Shela, a dhow trip to Manda Toto, boating through the mangroves to Takwa Ruins, drinks and dinner at Peponi and Franks, cinema/pizza night at Diamond's down the road, testing recipes with the amazing cook/housekeeper Idi and swimming on what seemed like a private swimming pool at high tide on Manda Beach.
There is plenty of space to relax and read or simply do nothing, but there is also choice if you want to keep busy and try all the things that the archipelago has to offer.
Am already missing spending the week in flip-flops and waking up to the sound of birds singing above the mangroves, if you are lucky you may even see a little monkey or two! The view from the house extends over the mangroves until you can see the sea and Lamu's bay from afar.
Idi's cooking is also hands down the best food in the area, breakfast in the garden or in the first floor dining area is a feast of fresh fruit - mangoes, papayas, passion fruit, oranges, bananas and whatever else you fancy. We had fresh fish in a myriad ways, octopus, Swahili food, clams with spaghetti and the delicious Swahili chai and cake every afternoon.
The house is eco-friendly, relying entirely on solar panels for electricity and a water tank which fills up during rainy season so you can take showers as normal. The house is built in traditional Swahili style with a big Makuti roof and decorated with furniture made by local artisans on every floor.
All in all, staying at Mkoko House was a wonderful experience and definitely one to repeat. Make sure you go to the first floor terrace at night to look at the stars, you won't be disappointed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Enjoy the beaches, the warm coastal hospitality, the delicious Swahili cuisine, and the peaceful and quiet surroundings of the house. Fully indulge in everything the Lamu archipelago has to offer and you will be sure to fall in love with this little gem. ... more less