Manda Bay is an intimate luxury resort on a secluded peninsula on the northwest of Manda Island. It is set on a long, palm-fringed, soft sandy beach at the edge of the calm, protected waters of the Indian Ocean. While its location affords total privacy, Manda Bay has the advantage of being close enough to historic Lamu Town and neighbouring Shela to enjoy the sights and sample Lamu life.
Sixteen spacious and secluded Swahili bandas (cottages), constructed from local materials, are set amidst coconut palms, acacia and tamarind trees, overlooking the beach and the bay. Each banda has a large ceiling fan and private en suite facilities with a spacious shower. Seven of the cottages stand right on the seafront; the others are set slightly behind on higher ground, positioned to enjoy the sea view.
The central dining room and bar area are furnished with locally-crafted Lamu furniture and overlook the ocean. The separate lounge area is also furnished with locally-made Lamu-style sofa and soft cushions and is a peaceful spot to cool down after some hard sun-bathing or to sip a sundowner. There is a new swimming pool. Manda Bay has a fully-equipped traditional dhow that can be hired for a two or three day cruise among the uninhabited islands of the Lamu Archipelago.
The menu features freshly-caught fish and seafood, tropical fruits and vegetables, but all the food is prepared to a high standard at Manda Bay. Most evenings, dinner is served outside, under the bright stars. The chef is used to catering for children and for special diets.
If you like to have variety in your relaxation, Manda Bay offers a good choice of activities and low-key pastimes. You can follow one of the paths through the acacia woodland and may spot dik dik, bushbuck or porcupine. After dark, genets and bushbabies can often be seen near the lodge. The rich marine life provides rewarding snorkelling; and dolphins and turtles are regularly observed.
Complimentary water sports include windsurfing, laser sailing, snorkelling, and kayaking. Manda Bay has two ski boats, a good choice of skis, a kite surfer, a six “seat” banana, tubes and wake boards. Deep-sea and saltwater fly fishing are offered. The resort has a well-equipped 33-foot fibreglass fishing boat, a variety of tackle and an experienced crew. The fishing season runs from September through April, with February and March usually the best months for Marlin. There are several skiffs for creek fishing. Other possibilities include dhow trips, visiting Lamu, walking and cycling excursions – or you can pamper yourself with a massage.
Manda Bay has seven double and five twin cottages and will be pleased to provide an extra bed for families. The gentle slope of the beach and the calm, protected waters are suitable for children. Children under 5 stay free when sharing with two adults. Discount for children under 16 when sharing a cottage with adults.
Safari Link and Air Kenya operate a daily service between Nairobi’s Wilson Airport and Lamu. Kenya Airways runs a daily service from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Lamu, via Malindi. Manda Bay is then a 25-minute boat journey from Lamu. Manda Bay also has its own airstrip for private charter flights.