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Kiunga Marine National Reserve is a chain of about 50 offshore islands and coral reefs in the Lamu Archipelago of Kenya. The islands consist of old eroded coral and are known for their unique vegetation, which includes mangrove forests, shrubs, and sandy beaches with dunes. It was gazetted in 1979 and became part of the Kiunga Biosphere Reserve in 1980, which covers 60,000 ha and includes the Dodori National Reserve.

QUICK FACTS

  • The reserve covers an area of 270 sq. km
  • The climate is humid, with mean annual temperatures ranging from 22-34°C and an average rainfall of 500mm per year.

Floral And Fauna

The islands are composed of coral reefs and organic debris. The Kiunga Marine National Reserve has unique vegetation, consisting mainly of shrubs and mangrove forests in some areas. The coastal strip has sandy beaches with sand dunes, which serve as the source of clean water in the area.

The reserve boasts a diverse population of seabirds, including over 5,000 pairs of Sterna dougallii and several other species such as Larus hemprichii, Sterna repressa, S. anaethetus, and Anous stolidus. The seabirds nest from June to September, when rough seas and strong winds make it difficult for humans to access the islands.

The reserve conserves valuable coral reefs, sea-grass meadows, and extensive mangrove forests, contributing to its biodiversity. The reserve is also home to three globally threatened species of turtles, Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricata, and Lepidochelys olivacea, which nest on the beaches. There are also recent records of the globally endangered mammal, the Dugong.

Best time to visit 

The best time to visit the Kiunga Marine National Reserve will vary based on your interests and the activities you hope to enjoy.

For birdwatching, the best time to visit is from June to September

The ideal time for observing turtle nesting is from November to March, as during this time Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricata, and Lepidochelys olivacea come to the beaches to lay their eggs.

For snorkeling and diving enthusiasts, the best time to visit Kiunga Marine National Reserve is during the months of June to September. During this period, the waters are serene and the clarity is ideal for viewing the stunning coral reefs in their full splendour.

How To Get There

Kiunga Marine National Reserve is located in the remote and unspoiled village of Kiunga, about 150 km east of Lamu. There are several ways to get to the reserve:

  • By air: There is an airstrip at Dodori National Reserve, which is part of the Kiunga Biosphere Reserve.
  • By sea: Travel to Kiwayu Island from Lamu by either dhow or speedboat,

Accommodation Near to Kiunga Marine National Reserve

Video Source Mike’s Camp

Mike’s Camp on Kiwayu Island is a serene and rustic retreat surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. The camp offers a unique blend of sophistication and simplicity, with chic rooms (or “bandas”) that are open to the stars and the ocean breeze. The atmosphere at Mike’s Camp is remote, wild, and peaceful. The camp focuses on sustainability and an appreciation for the surrounding natural beauty.

Admission fees to Kiunga Marine National Reserve

Admission fees for the Kiunga Marine National Reserve are as follows:

Citizens:

  • Adults: 130 KSH
  • Children: 125 KSH

Residents:

  • Adults: 130 KSH
  • Children: 125 KSH

Non-residents:

  • Adults: 17 USD
  • Children: 13 USD

Visit Kiunga Marine National Reserve Responsibly

  • It is recommended to verify the local weather and tide conditions before visiting the Mombasa Marine National Park or Reserve, as these factors can affect water activities.
  • Some marine life is dangerous; do not touch anything under water.
  • Do not damage or remove the coral, it’s a living organism which takes many years to form, and is host to many rare and endangered species.
  • Visitors should not remove shells, starfish, or any other sea flora or fauna. Not only is it illegal, but it can also harm the ecosystem. Excessive shell collection outside of the park and reserve threatens the areas and affects the hermit crabs and some fish that use empty shells as homes.
  • Do not buy shells and other marine animals products as souvenirs as this encourage further plundering of reefs
  • Never dispose of litter on the beach or in the sea. It is illegal and environmentally unfriendly. Marine turtles can confuse clear plastics waste with jelly fish and they die if they eat it.
  • Visitors should not hand-feed fish, as this disrupts their normal feeding pattern.
  • Support traditional coastal livelihoods and industries, and do not give money to children on the beach, as this can encourage them to stay away from school.
  • Respect the cultural heritage of Kenya, never take pictures of the local people in their habitat without asking for their permission, respect the cultural traditions of Kenya and always dress decently.
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fireworks in mombasa 2021

One of the best things about celebrating new years eve is sitting under the stars with your favourite drink and of course with family and friends while waiting for the “kabooms” that light up the night sky.
Unfortunately, last year, New year’s events and firework displays were cancelled in most places around the country due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus. Thankfully, restrictions have been lifted off as more and more people get vaccinated.
Whether you are spending this holiday weekend at the beach, camping, or hosting a backyard cookout, there is sure to be a fireworks show near you that you can watch near you.
But if you’re not sure where to see the best displays of fireworks near you, we’ve rounded up a selection of where you can watch fireworks tonight.

Fireworks Near Me

Xanas Restaurant And Lounge

Location: Cowrie shells Beach Apartments

http://www.zanaslounge.com/

Phone: 0728 140105

MoonShine Mombasa

Location: Nyali Mombasa, Coast Province, Kenya

http://www.reefhotelkenya.com/moonshine

Phone: 0722 904681

Kilua Beach Resort 

Location: Dolphin Rd Mombasa, Coast Province, Kenya 80100

http://www.kilua.co.ke/

Phone: 0759 001001

EnglishPoint Marina

Location: Silos Road, Mombasa

https://hotelenglishpoint.com/

Phone: +254 730 930107

Char-Choma Restaurant

Location: Aga Khan Beach Cottages, Mombasa

http://www.charchoma.co.ke/

phone: 0794 673598

GOVERNOR’S FIREWORKS 

Mamangina Drive

Location: Mombasa Island Mombasa, Coast Province, Kenya 80100

Phone: 0750 856511

Fort Jesus Sound and Light Show

https://www.fortjesusmombasa.com/

Location: Fort Jesus Mombasa, Coast Province, Kenya

Phone: 0726 520759

PrideInn Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa

Location: Shanzu Mombasa, Coast Province, Kenya 80109

http://flamingobeach.co.ke/

Phone: 0709 374000

Kusini Tavern

Location: Mnarani-Kilifi Kilifi, Coast Province, Kenya 80108

https://www.facebook.com/kutavern

Phone: 0115 976370

Kingston Beach Lounge

Location: Baobab Rd, Mombasa

https://www.instagram.com/kingstonbeachlounge/

Phone: 0714 555666

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Whispers Café

Off the bustling streets and alleyways of Lamu’s Old Town, Whispers Café is a well-hidden gem. An oasis amid Lamu’s old town hustle and bustle. A small cozy garden at the back where tourists can rest and recharge. It’s owned by a friendly Aussie lady who’s been living in Lamu for more than 30 years.

Whispers Café offers tasty homemade desserts, snacks, finely blended healthy smoothies, fresh juices, coffee, and more.

The garden at the back is shaded with beautiful vines running on the walls, flowers, and trees. It connects to Baraka Gallery where you’ll find a collection of unique pieces from across Africa including carving, masks, wall hangings, jewellery among others.

More

  • Family friendly
  • Good coffee
  • Mid- range budget

Contact

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Donkeys on lamu island

Lamu County

by admin
People ferrying goods in Lamu
No cars in Lamu

Lamu County is located on the Northern Coast of Kenya and is one of the Six Coastal Counties of Kenya. Divided into two constituents (Lamu West and Lamu East ) Lamu county borders the Tana river in the southwest, Garissa county to the north, and the Indian Ocean to the South. With 130 kilometers of coastline, Lamu county stretches across 6273 kilometers of land surface and is home to over 65 beautiful islands that form the Lamu archipelago and 43,920 people, according to the 2019 census.

Lamu

Believed to have been established around the 1370s. not only is Lamu town one of the original Swahili settlements along the coast of East Africa, but also Kenya’s oldest continually inhabited town. Its most popular attraction – Lamu

Old Town, was accorded the UNESCO heritage site status in 2001, making it the only cultural landscape in Kenya to be bestowed a cultural title. Lamu town is also one of the few places on earth where there is almost no motor vehicles, and life moves at the pace of a donkey or a dhow.
It also contains several historical sites including, the German Post Office, the Lamu Museum, and the Lamu Fort.

Main Attractions In Lamu County

Lamu Old Town

Lamu Old Town is the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa. Characterized by narrow streets and magnificent stone buildings with impressive curved doors, influenced by a unique fusion of Swahili, Arabic, Persian, Indian, and European building styles. The well-preserved buildings show the development of Swahili building technology.

Lamu Museum

By far one of the best museums in Kenya, Lamu Museum is dedicated to giving its visitors a glimpse of the past including, boat-building, domestic life, weddings, intricate door carvings, Swahili ruins, and the nautical heritage of the coast.
There are guides at the reception who will happily walk you around while offering an in-depth explanation about the available artifacts.

Lamu Fort

Located in a central position of Lamu town, about 70 meters (230 ft) from the main jetty on the shore, Lamu fort was built by the Sultan of Paté between 1810 and 1823. From 1910 right up to 1984, it was used as a prison. It now houses the Island’s only library, which holds one of the best collections of Swahili poetry and occasional holds community events. Entry is free with a ticket to Lamu Museum.

German Post Office Museum

The German Post Office Museum once housed the first German Post Office ever established along the East African coast. Established on November 22nd, 1988, by the Germans. The German Post Office was under the leadership of Clement Denhardt. It was in full operation for more than two years before its closure on March 3rd, 1891, following the withdrawal of the German settlement in Witu.

Donkey sanctuary

The donkey sanctuary was established in 1987 by Dr. Elisabeth Svendsen from the UK. Following her first visit to Lamu Island in 1985, Dr. Elisabeth was moved by the treatment and health condition of the donkeys in Lamu and decided to open a donkey sanctuary to help the abused or sick donkeys. The Sanctuary currently provides treatment to the 3000 donkeys on Lamu county for free.

Shela Village

A 15-minute dhow ride from Lamu town or a 45-minute walk along the sea shoe will land you at Shela Village, a bohemian beach paradise known for luxurious beachfront accommodation properties, unfussy, barefoot atmosphere, friendly residents, and unclouded pristine beaches.

Manda Bay

Besides the allure of the beautiful quiet beach, Manda Bay is home to some lavishly luxurious beachfront accommodation and the only airstrip on the islands. Manda Bay is also known for its archeological sites including, the ruined towns of Takwa and Manda.

Manda Toto Island

Manda Toto island lies to the west of Manda Island, an uninhabited island known for its abundant sea life, stunning coral reef, and pristine waters. Though not regularly visited Manda Toto Island offers one of the best snorkeling locations in Kenya.

Manda Maweni Kisumu ndogo

Although located on the mainland of Manda island, the easiest way to get there is by boats or dhows that regularly cruise on the Lamu waters. Unlike other villages around the Lamu archipelago, Manda-Maweni was founded by quarry workers in the 1980s, and stone mining is still the main occupation of the 1000 residents. Guided Walks around the village and the quarry sites are offered at a small fee. The mining of the coral blocks is done manually with the aid of a few hand tools. The bricks are ferried to the shores of Lamu, where the growing population is driving the increasing demand for housing.

Takwa Ruins

Founded around the 1500s and probably abandoned around 1700. Takwa town was tactically placed at the narrowest part of the island. A strategy that was supposed to render the Takwa town inaccessible during the low tides. Notable structures still standing include the Jamaa mosque, the perimeter wall, and the Pillar Tomb, which has an inscription with the date 1681–1682. The village has later abandoned due to the salination of its freshwater. Its inhibitors settled across the bay, now Shela village but twice a year, the people of Shela come to the Pillar Tomb in Takwa to pray for rain. The Takwa Ruins were designated a Kenyan National Monument in 1982 and are under the primary care of the Kenya museums.

Matondoni Village

Matondoni lies at the NW coast of Lamu island, 7.3 km (4.5 mi) near Kenya’s border with Somalia. The village is equipped with a modern jetty which makes the logistics of the more than 3000 village residents easy.
The village is famous for the production of some of the finest dhows in the world, a craft that is quickly disappearing due to the emergence of the more modern and low-maintenance fiberglass boats.

Kipungani Village

The village is known for its hand-woven straw mats, baskets, hats, and kifumbu (a woven strainer used to squeeze milk from mashed-up coconuts) KipunganiVillage can be easily reached by boat or walking.

Pate Island

Pate Island is situated 20 kilometers to the northeast of Lamu Island. Pate island comprises several smaller settlements including, Faza, Pate, Siyu, kizingitini, and Shanga.
Compared to other parts of Lamu county, Pate Island receives a significantly small number of tourists although, it has some of the most well-preserved ruins in the region. The ruins are found at Nabachani and further up the coast at Shangu.

Shanga Ruins

Located in Pate Island Shanga Ruins is an archaeological site that covers an area of 13 acres. First settled between the 8 and 9 centuries by the Swahili people, it was dated back to 200 years. The excavation of Shanga ruins took place in the 1950s under the leadership of Dr. James Kirkman.

Siyu Village

Siyu settlement is located on the North Coast at Pate Island and is believed to have dated back to the 13th century. Unlike the Mombasa and the Lamu forts (which were constructed by foreigners), the Siyu fort was built by a local -Bwana Mataka, in the 19th century, with the sole aim of safeguarding its residents from Omani Arabs domination. It is now under the management of the Kenya museums.

Kiwayu Island

Kiwayu

Kiwayu Island is arguably the most beautiful of all the islands along the Kenyan coast. It is also a renowned biodiversity hotspot in the greater Kiunga Marine National Reserve and a priority conservation site in the Western Indian Ocean.

Kiunga Marine National Reserve ( Kiwayuu )

Stretching about 60km along the coastline Kiunga Marine National Reserve lies in the confluence of northern East Africa – coastal currents and the South flowing, nutrients rich Somali current.
The Kiunga Marine National Reserve is known for its teeming marine life, coral reefs, seagrass, and extensive mangrove forests that provide a refuge for sea turtles and dugongs. The reserve offers ideal opportunities for windsurfing, diving and snorkelling, water skiing, and sunbathing.

Main Festivals celebrated in Lamu County

Maulid festivals

Lamu county annually hosts the historic Maulidi festivities. Maulidi or Maulid is the popular name given to Milad-un-Nabi an Islamic festival held during the third month of the Muslim calendar (Rabi ul Awwal) to celebrate the birth of the Prophet Mohammed. The Maulid festival attracts thousands of Muslims from Kenya as well as other parts of East Africa. During the last four days of the festival, the National Museums of Kenya organizes various community-building competitions such as swimming, dhow races, henna competition, tug-of-war, and donkey races.
On the last day of Maulidi, the men of Lamu gather at the town cemetery and surround the town of Habib Swaleh. Following quiet prayers, groups of men and boys join together and begin a procession (Zefe) into town, holding hands and interlinking arms. The colorful, energetic procession winds along the seafront towards the center of town, with the crowds reciting qasidas together.

Lamu Cultural festival

People taking part in Yoga Festival in Lamu kenya

Each year, Lamu comes to life during the annual Lamu Cultural Festival. Several competitions and races take place during this week-long festival. These events are designed, to encourage local skills or practices that are central to Lamu’s life including, traditional Swahili poetry, Henna painting, and Bao competitions.

Lamu Yoga Festival, mid-March.

Initiated by Monika Fauth of ” Banana House and Wellness Centre ” the event features, over 150 yoga classes taught by 26 professional practitioners during the four-day festival. The participants have an opportunity to try the many, and perhaps yet unknown, yoga varieties. Activities include numerous yoga workshops and meditations, a chance to taste the Swahili cuisine, sail on a dhow and interact with yogis from all around the world. The festival activities are held in Manda Island, Lamu Old Town, and Shela Village.

Dhow Racing-various dates throughout the year.

The renowned Lamu Dhow Races occur on New Year’s Day, at Easter, in August, and also during other annually scheduled Lamu Festivals as their final celebration.

Accommodation In Lamu County

Ranging from private beach villas to barefoot luxury resorts, Lamu has enough options to suit all tastes, budgets, and trip types. Whether you’re looking for an exclusive island getaway or a remote off-the-beaten-track beach holiday, our selection of Lamu accommodation is sure to inspire you. Browse through the accommodation section or contact us for your perfect Lamu stay.

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A Swahi Dhow in Shela

Fly to Lamu with Jambojet

by admin

“Fly to Lamu with Jambojet: Discover the new route”

Regional carrier Jambo jet on the 15th September 2021 made its first flight to Lamu town, the new route will be its second new destination this month after the inauguration of Goma, Congo on the 10th, of September.

In a bid to diversify its product offering, Jambojet launched Charter services in October 2020 and the additional two new routes will see the airline increase its presence in the African region. The airline is taking advantage of the increasing demand for air transportation in Africa, which is expected to become one of the fastest-growing aviation regions in 20 years, with an average annual expansion rate of almost 5%.

Fly to Lamu with Jambojet

Fly to Lamu with Jambojet

Flying four times a week to Lamu, passengers from Nairobi are expected to part with Ksh 14,200 for a return journey, which is much cheaper compared to the Ksh19, 900 charged by its competitor Safarilink. A passenger flying from Mombasa to Lamu will pay Ksh 4,600 for a one-way ticket. With a sitting capacity of 80 passengers, a journey to Lamu from Mombasa will take the new Dash 8-400 carrier less than an hour and two and a half hours to Lamu from Nairobi.

This new route to Lamu is a great opportunity for travelers to experience the beauty and culture of this coastal town. Lamu is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is known for its ancient architecture, beautiful beaches, and rich Swahili culture. The town is also home to the Lamu Old Town, one of the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlements in East Africa.

Jambojet is making it easy and affordable for travelers to experience all that Lamu has to offer. “Fly to Lamu with Jambojet” and discover the town’s charming streets, bustling markets, and delicious seafood. The airline’s new route to Lamu will also open up new opportunities for business and tourism in the region.

Since its inception in 2004, the IOSA certified (IATA Operational Safety Audit registration) airline has achieved remarkable business growth with a fleet of 6 brand new De Havilland Dash 8-400 which has seen over 4 million passengers transferred across all its destinations.

Jambojet currently flies to six other destinations including, Mombasa, Diani, Eldoret, Kisumu, and Malindi from its Jomo Kenyatta International Airport hub, Nairobi. The airline is committed to providing safe, reliable, and affordable air travel to its customers. With the launch of its new route to Lamu, Jambojet continues to expand its network and provide more travel options for its customers.

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