Diamond Beach Village is a small, rustic beach lodge with 6 huts and strong eco- tourism ethics. One of the first lodges to be built on Manda Island, it sits on a lovely wide sandy beach and directly opposite Shela Town. Boat transfers can be booked to visit Lamu island for shopping or sight seeing. There are no cars on Manda or Lamu, you get around on foot, donkey or by boat, so if you want to get away from it all this gem could be just the ticket - a combination of relaxed atmoshphere, friendly hosts, exquisite modern food and Swahili culture.
The restaurant is open all day serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks inbetween. Also on the menu is pizza, hailed by some as the best pizza in Kenya. Given the location, fresh fish features heavily on the menu, dishes vary daily depending on what the local fishermen bring in but you can be assured of high quality meals prepared under the watchful eye of head chef Kazungu who has been with Diamond Beach Lodge for over 13 years.
The bar is the spot to enjoy a sundowner either with an ice-cold Tusker or a tasty cocktail. Fresh fruit juices such as baobab, watermelon and ginger go down well and quench your thirst. It can be a lively venue of an evening.
Diamond Beach has a variety of accommodation. Perhaps most unique is the Treehouse, built on three floors surrounding an ancient baobab tree. The wooden veranda on the first floor goes right around the trunk and has outdoor tables and chairs. Sleeping up to six it has a large private garden with sun beds and swing beds, great for couples or those wanting privacy. Also for families is the Family Banda, it's 2 large bandas (1 double, 1 twin) sharing a veranda but each is en-suite.
Franjipani House is perfect for a honeymoon couple or a small family. There's a downstairs bedroom and bathroom and a top floor bedroom with veranda looking out to the ocean. It's different in style to the bandas and is a more permanent structure. There are three double bandas, each one different to the next though all are ensuite and have a large double bed and small private shady garden with swing bed, tables and chairs. Kisura House caters for larger groups and can sleep 8. It's set in its own acre of gardens and runs on solar power and the water supply is from rain water.
All rooms are provided with sheets, mosquito nets and towels. Each has solar lighting - there are charging facilities in the library. The rooms are made from local materials and environmentally friendly policies for waste disposal, energy use, firewood and water usage are all employed. There is no fresh water on Manda Island water is recycled from the sinks and showers to water the garden.
Swimming, relaxing and enjoying the sun are the usual activities here, but if you want to be more active, plenty of activities and excursions can be arranged! Many other boat trips, island excursions, snorkelling and cultural trips can be booked here. Diamond Beach has its own chill out area. It's a relaxing place to come to escape the heat of the day, there are plenty of books, a swing chair, games, newspapers and it's also got WiFi. Yoga classes are held here twice a week.
Open: Diamond Beach Village is open all year round.
Location: Diamond Beach Village is on Manda Island directly opposite Shela village on Lamu Island. Most people access the lodge by boat from Lamu Airport jetty, it's a short 15 minute journey.
Rooms: There are 7 rooms and houses for guests. They have Swahili beds, en-suite bathrooms with flush toilets and hot water showers, and private garden areas The Tree house has room to sleep up to 5 people and Kisura house can sleep up to 8. Sheets, towels and mozzie nets are supplied.
Activities: Most people come here to get away from the rat race and chill out, the hammocks and swingbeds are perfect for this. You can enjoy yoga and if you want a change of scenery then take a boat across. On Manda itself the ruins of Takwa are accessible and it's possible to arrange snorkelling, fishing and dhow trips while you are here.
Facilities: The main area has the bar and pizza oven by the restaurant and dining area. There's also a small shop, and a chillout area where you can do yoga, browse the library and just relax.
Dining: Meals are eaten at separate tables.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome. There are 2 family cottages.
Health: This is a low risk malaria area.
Communication: There is WiFi in the bar area and chill out zone and the mobile network is quite good.
"Diamond Beach is lovely but it's very basic and rustic so be prepared! The atmosphere is very laid back and the beach is right opposite Shela Town so there is a lot to see and do in the area. An excellent budget option for Lamu."