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“Wonderful unspoilt beach paradise”
Review of Kizingo

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Kizingo
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Lamu Island
Reviewed 26 March 2014

What a lovely place this is, unspoilt, long beautiful sandy beaches and great swimming. The Kizingo owners Mary Jo and Louis are great hosts, friendly and good food. Afternoon tea bought to your beach hut after a few hours out beach combing is a very nice touch. We felt completely rejuvenated after a weekend there, from our busy lives in Nairobi. Definitely coming back!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Fiona N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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45 - 51 of 123 reviews

Reviewed 13 March 2014

My wife and I stayed at Kizingo for 4 days between our Safaris in Kenya and Tanzania. We wanted a few days to relax and do absolutely nothing besides sit on the beach since the safaris had a fairly demanding schedule. When we arrived at Kizingo we were immediately greeted by Mary Jo and Louis, the resort owners, and given a brief rundown of the daily "schedule" then shown to our Banda cottages (meals are served at specific times, but you can always get those in your room). There are only about 10 cottages in the whole resort, so we had an opportunity to get to know other guests, owners and staff. Our Banda was right on the beach, about a 2 minute walk to the beautiful and warm Indian Ocean, and far enough away from the other Bandas to feel like we had complete privacy. Meals are served in the main dining/common area and before dinner there was always an informal social hour where the guests would gather for drinks and appetizers before dinner. The food was fresh and phenomenal and fresh coffee was delivered to our cottage every morning. We had a great time talking with Mary Jo and Louis about local culture, politics and a variety of topics, and we also got to know the bartenders, Alex and Tom. Everyone was so friendly and relaxed, we left feeling like we made lifelong friends! There are also a variety of activities and services offered at Kizingo for a minimal extra fee. My wife and I both got massages, she got a pedicure, and we spent a morning snorkeling and swimming with wild dolphins. Our entire stay was spectacular! If you are looking for a beach side resort that is relaxed, intimate, and luxurious without being too "uppity", we highly recommend staying here.

Stayed: January 2014
Thank Brett K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2014

Kizingo is a little slice of heaven located at the southern end of Lamu Island. There are 8 bandas sympathetically positioned in low sand dunes right on the waters edge. The beach is truly spectacular, gorgeous white sand and clear warm blue waters.. spotted with amazing pink crabs. Most days we could count the number of other people we saw on the beach with one hand. This is truly no shoes luxury. The Bandas are large and airy, equipped with all you need and a view to die for. The large swing bed on the Varanda is the perfect place to lounge should you wish to escape the sun for a few hours..
What to do? The beach is stunning and many an hour could be past swimming or in the company of a good book (website photo's don't do it justice). Swimming with the wild dolphins is a once in a life time experience and a must do. There is kite surfing for the extra active, water skiing, sea kayak.. and the fishing is great. You can do boat trips to Lamu or Shelia but we were so lost in paradise the thought of leaving didn't enter our minds..
The food? Its outstanding.. we had lots and lots of seafood.. yum.. every day was something new.. always fresh but at the same time I'm sure if we asked nothing was to difficult.. one night we ate Tuna sashimi (freshly caught that day by us!!) and the tuna loin steak.. I still dream of this dish!
Your hosts MJ, Louis & Dion are salt of the earth people who deserve real credit for making Kizingo what it is.. their own stories are fascinating and wrapped in the history of Africa.. the staff love the place and it shows in their genuine happiness, always smiling, and a 'here to help' attitude.. its good for the soul to visit a hotel like this and see it making a positive difference to the locals and really giving something back to the community..
We have been fortunate to travel widely and see and experience many different cultures and places.. Kizingo will always be a place, when asked by friends for some where special, i will unreservedly recommend..
I wish we had of stayed longer.. but that doesn't matter as we will return.. and next time we will bring the kids as I'm sure they will love it as much we do!!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JustinPrichard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2014

The van aardts family run the most perfect beach hotel in the world....Kizingo has about 10 bandas located on the furthest tip of the stunning island of Lamu ,off the east coast of Kenya....your sense of wonder builds as you take the 1/2 hour speed boat trip from the cute little lamu airport on the mainland through the rare and mysterious mangrove swaps , until you eventually arrive on a beach to be met by a cornucopia of beaming faces ,welcoming you and carrying your bags to your spacious,secluded and romantic beachfront banda. you won't wear shoes till you leave....we learned how to kitesurf on what is unquestionably the finest and most uncrowded kitesurfing beach in the world....we swam with a pod of 40 dolphins in the bath warm indian ocean every other day,which was hypnotic.....the bar and the food is outstanding....and handfuls of fascinating and adventurous people gather there most nights....kizingo is so remote and so special that its solitude brings out the friendliness in everyone who goes there....by the end of the week we had met everyone else staying there, and all of them had a story to tell....Lamu has had a bad press because of the largely non existent threat from Somali pirates...the security is so good now that it probably the safest place in the world to visit... But because of the press ,it was only interesting and exciting people who had come....all the other hotels on the island were also full, and the staff were so grateful to see people flocking back to this piece of heaven on earth. i cannot imagine why anyone would dream of going anywhere else....it is warm ,sunny ,beautiful ,friendly ,healthy and all round nourishing for the soul and the body. You can do day trips on an old dow into the old town, but to be honest ,once you have settled into the atmosphere at Kizingo ,you really don't feel the need to go anywhere else.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank philip d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2014

I read a message in Kizingo's guestbook before I left... "Considered getting lost here but probably everyday life would come looking for me"... Maybe every day life does call one back. But for those few days we were truly lost to the modern world. This place is paradise. By way of everything from the true-to-Africa banda to the fresh, fresh food served every day, luxury has found it's identity in paradise. Not quite gold taps, chauffeurs and marble foyers... more, isolated beach, great food, great company (I suppose the technical term is "staff". Doesn't sound right though...), and an ethos that can't but capture.

Recommendations would be a swim at the boat launch if the tide is high when the sun is setting. If between tides, catch the sunset floating between the sand bars around the point. And of course the dolphin trip. Unforgettable.

Former backpackers will find the increase in the few hundred baht they used to pay to sleep on the beach more than justified. The less "rustic" traveller won't be disappointed either. Kizingo walks a perfect line between luxury and reality.

Be sure to get there to find out if every day life can find you.

Room Tip: "There are only 8 bandas and all are excellent. But leave it up to Kizingo.... This is not a ch...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Patrick F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 December 2013

Kizingo is a beautiful place, set in the sand dunes on the beach at the far end of Lamu island. Food, service and ambience are all perfect. The best possible reason for staying at Kizingo is to go out dolphin spotting. They know how to do this better than anyone and Louis will show you what to do to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures. It's never guaranteed, of course, but swimming with dolphins is a "lifer". You can also go snorkelling in pristine waters with some of the best snorkelling to be had in Kenya.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Melanie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2013

on our visit to kizingo beach, we were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the tastefully decorated banda (wasn't occupied) fell in love with it!! though did not stay there...am personally soo tempted to on my next visit... m sure my friend will agree as well!! the beach was a stretch of white sand... clean...we had a dip in the sea...was totally relaxing! its the best place to unwind and get that privacy and peace of mind!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank munira21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kizingo

Address: P.O. Box 138, Lamu Island, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Lamu Island
Price Range: £141 - £223 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kizingo is the ultimate 'no news, no shoes’ beach resort - a wonderful secluded and tranquil escape from the modern world. The lodge is situated at one end of a spectacular 12-kilometre beach that stretches from Kizingo (which means 'the point’ in Swahili) to the fashionable village of Shela. Kizingo has eight beautifully appointed bandas (thatched cottages), set well apart from each other. In the early morning you can enjoy tea in bed and watch fishing dhows tack south to Malindi.Guests can be as private or as social as they wish, opting to enjoy fine dining on the balcony of their banda or join other guests in the bar and the dining room with their magnficent views across the bay to mainland Kenya where giant baobab trees spread into the brilliant blue sky.Kizingo is owned and run by the van Aardt family, who were all born in Africa. Due to their long and close relationship with the local village, its chief leased them this stunning beachfront land to build a small resort that is both eco-friendly and very comfortable. Like all the best resorts in Kenya, Kizingo has a symbiotic relationship with the local village, an hour away on foot, and with farmers on the mainland who grow food and make furniture for the lodge.The swimming is excellent, both in the Indian Ocean and in the calm waters of the channel that separates Lamu from the mainland. For the more energetic there is a big choice of activities including a guided tour of historic Lamu Town, excellent snorkelling, the chance to swim with dolphins in the winter months and cycle rides to friendly African villages on the mainland. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kizingo Hotel Lamu Island
Kizingo Resort Lamu

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