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Accommodation

Mike’s Camp

“Adventure guaranteed at this ‘Robinson Crusoe’ camp on a remote Lamu Island”

Budget level: Affordable
Country
Kenya
When to Go
All year
Property Type
Camp Permanent
Location
Kenyan Coast

Mike’s Camp is located on Kiwayu Island, one of the many unspoilt, idyllic islands of the Lamu Archipelago, on the Kenyan 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.

Mike’s Camp is an eco-camp where water is brought by donkey and power comes from the wind and the sun, the way nature intended it to be! At Mike’s Camp you can be as relaxed or active as you like, the Camp offers tranquillity, water sports, safaris and fishing in a uniquely homely environment. Without any pretensions you can listen to the birds, swim with the fishes and marvel at the beauty of nature… or play your music as loud as you want!

Two degrees south of the equator along Kenya’s Northern coast, the Lamu archipelago is a chain of islands separated from the mainland by a narrow channel. The channel is bordered with dense mangrove forest and protected from the Indian Ocean by coral reefs and sand dunes. Kiwayu Island is by far the most beautiful place to stay, for it is stunningly undeveloped and remote.

On one side of the island lies the magnificent mangrove creek, fantastic for water sports, snorkelling, bird watching and light tackle fishing. It is protected from the weather all year round. On the other side, 7 miles of white sand beach and turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, offering many caves and coves to explore with spectacular snorkelling over a myriad of coral reefs.

There are 7 comfortable and spacious bandas (rooms) on top of the sand dunes under the tortilis trees blending harmoniously into the environment. All have magnificent panoramic views of the mangrove creek, or Indian Ocean and are set in total privacy from each other. They all come with king size beds, towels, toiletries, mosquito nets, ensuite bathrooms with hand painted bucket shower and flushing toilets, and a daily laundry service. The rooms are all very spacious, extra beds can be added to accommodate families and friends.

Mikes camp is situated in a location that offers a huge array of activities. It stretches from being ideally romantic and relaxed, to action packed family holidays with more than enough activity to keep kids and adults fully entertained. The constant change of the tides throughout the month opens up different opportunities each day, exposing different reefs, beaches, ancient ruins, and natural caves all offering a new adventure. This satisfies different activities whether you’re a keen fisherman, diver or kite boarder.

The ‘beach side’ offers 7 miles of untouched beach with hammock and cushion clad beach huts for shade. Step off the beach and enjoy some of the best snorkelling around, or try other beach activities such as sand yachts, kite boarding, body board surfing and beach kites.

On the ‘creek side’ a whole different ecosystem exists with fantastic bird watching on offer, viewed from kayaks or dhows. Watch monkeys play on the shoreline or snorkel in different coral gardens, learn to water-ski in glassy waters, or swim off the jetty in the crystal-clear calm water. Other creek activities include laser sailing, doughnutting, banana boating and wakeboarding.

Take in some Kiwayu culture the Swahili way by spending a morning in the local villages Chandani, and Kiwayu. The beauty of the island is that you can walk anywhere hassle free. All villagers are more than happy to welcome you in and show you how they live and maybe teach you some local crafts! Or take a day trip to the cultural town of Lamu for sightseeing, and great shopping.

The ‘wild side’ offers you a vast expanse of wilderness packed with mammals, fish and birds. The Camps is surrounded by an abundance of wildlife protected by the government and game drives are offered. Whales migrate through from September to late January; dolphins are seen throughout the year and often allow guests to swim with them. Turtles visit the island to nest in February onward and hatchlings begin in April through to September.

Diving is fantastic from mid-October to mid-December and again from mid-January through to the end of March. In these months the wind drops and water clears offering very adventuress dives. Dive sites include a wreck dive, creek drift dives, coral garden dives and offshore dives on the knolls. The Camp have enough equipment for 8 divers and access to a high-level instructor who will lead all dives, probably one of the best-known divers on the Kenyan coast.

At Mikes Camp they regularly take the speedboats north or south to different snorkelling spots, and to empty beaches, coral caves and islands. This usually involves picnics of crab, lobster, fish caught on the way, bottles of rose and fresh oysters chipped off the rocks. If you wish you can camp out overnight on a beach.

Some of the best fishing on the Kenyan coast takes place a mile offshore from Kiwayu island. This is a huge attraction to those serious fishermen. Mikes Camp has two smaller fishing boats at the camp that will take you out for a fun days fishing for sailfish, tuna, dorado, skip jack, wahoo, marlin, or creek fishing for snapper, rock cod, trevally, bone fish (rare) and many more species. For those who wish to get serious i.e. catch a sailfish on fly, the Camp will book you onto a skippered deep-sea fishing boat that operates in the area.

Take a 3-day course in kite boarding with some of Kenya’s top kiters. Kiwayu provides a great variety of safe locations for kiters take the calm waters of the creek, the surf on the beach, or kite off sand bars on the south end. Or for the more adventurous catch a dhow north to Kui Bay, camp overnight and kite all day. Mikes Camp is also equipped with kites and boards for those who have no kiting experience.

Early morning or late evening scenic flights with Air Lamu in a five seated Cessna or a two-seated super cub, is the true way to spoil yourself. This is an ultimate experience. Flying low over beaches and crystal-clear seas and into the Dadori and Boni reserves buzzing over huge herds of buffalo or a pool of hippo. Top it off by landing on the beach for a champagne breakfast!

SafariLink flies directly to Kiwayu, as well as to Lamu, a two-hour flight from Wilson Airport. From Kiwayu you will be picked up and transported to the island, a 10-minute road transfer and 15-minute boat ride away. If you fly into Lamu town Mike’s Camp is an hour and a half away by speed boat, or 6 hours by dhow. The Camp offers a fully decked out dhow set up for comfort with cushions, kitchen, cold drinks and crew. Sailing can be enjoyed day and night (if there’s a moon). A relaxed and fun experience if you have the time!

Why we like it

  • Adventure, adventure, adventure at this remote beach camp.
  • Rustic but comfortable accommodation with great views.
  • So many activities and places to explore, you will need to stay for two weeks…..
  • Some of the best kite surfing, diving, and fishing on the Kenyan Coast.
  • Do as much or as little as you wish at this gem of a Camp.

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