I am writing a separate post on Shela ( its is on the Lamu Island) because it's got all the reason to stand out from the Lamu Town. If you want the feel of a private beach, relish the tropical fruits, enjoy the ocean wind at night along with the magical noise of the waves, Shela is the place to be.
Located 4 km southeast of Lamu town, Shela is easily accessible by boat (15 min) or by foot (30 min) from the Lamu town. Houses in Shela are located in placid alleyways surrounded by palm trees and bright bougainvilleas.
Relax and eat - If you don't want to stay in the middle of the hustle-bustle of the busy port of Lamu, then book a place in Shela without any doubt. Take an early morning walk along the white sand beaches or simply observe the tides come in and go. Shela has an abundance of mango trees and coconut. Early morning breakfast will definitely comprise of a cut mango and freshly squeezed passion fruit juice. You can accompany the fishermen to practice your skills in the water. The town sleeps early , hence be sure to arrange your dinner well in advance and inform the host. Shela is the home to the famous Yoga centre at Fatuma's tower run by a British guy named Gillies. For KES750, you can also attend a class of yoga in the evening. If not that, just stare at the night sky and count the endless stars.
Explore - Nestled along the sand dunes of the beach, the fort of Shela stands tall, all secluded and calm. Located at the back of the village, it's just a 10 min walk from the town. Influenced by Omani architecture, you can have a look at what it offers here.
Dhow trip - A dhow trip to the ruins of Takwa or Matadoni is a must when in Lamu. If you do not have an entire day to do that, you can book a sundowner with the captain giving you a ride on Manda waters and witnessing the sunset from there. However, be cautious of booking the trip with a trusted captain as many locals might try to fool you for money. Always check with your host if the captain is not a junkie and ensure your safety.
Candle light dinner - Whether you are staying at a five star like Peponi or you have parked yourself in the cosy Swahili house of Fatuma's Tower, the beauty of having a candle light dinner under the well lit sky makes the whole experience so dreamy. All the places at Shela offers the perfect setting and hospitality.
Live the Swahili culture - The typical disarming Swahili heartiness found in the locals makes it painful to leave this part of the town. Fatuma Tower's gave me a real Swahili experience with the whole compound designed to reflect the historic significance of the Swahili architecture. The beautiful peacock painted mirrors, open galleries, four post beds and shells all around teleports you in that era.
Make Shela a part of your next beach holiday.
Some photos from the trip