Rating: Basic Price from: £55 - £60 pp B&B
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 visi Lamu island for shopping or sight seeing. Many other boat trips, island excursions, snorkelling and cultural trips can be booked here. Yoga classes can be attended across the water in Shela town.
There is a small friendly bar and a garden seating area. Diamond Beach's five double rooms have a double bed downstairs and a single bed mounted in the roof, each has a front porch, en suite shower, sink and flush toilet. There is also a tree-house built round a baobab with a double and 2 single beds. There is a family banda too. All bandas are provided with sheets, mosquito nets and towels. Each has a mains plug with a British socket and all have electric lighting in the evening. The rooms are made from local materials and environmentally friendly policies for waste disposal, energy use, firewood and water usage are all employed. The floors and walls are made out of star palm which is woven locally, the roofs are a thatch of coconut palm. There is no fresh water on Manda Island water is recycled from the sinks and showers to water the garden.
The treehouse sleeps between two and six people, with wooden floors, branches coming through the walls and a large veranda on the first floor stretching right around the tree, where there is an open air bathroom with sink, shower and flush toilet. There is another bathroom on the ground floor.
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!
Diamond Beach Village has a small coral reef conveniently situated a stones throw from the beach. It is a safe and easy way for all ages to view the underwater world. There is a vast array of colourful fish that inhabit this reef and everyday there is something new to see. Snorkeling trips can also be arranged to a larger reef which is an hour and a half boat ride away. If you are lucky you will see schools of dolphins playing around the boat. Snorkeling is tide dependant.
A 10 minute walk along the shore line leads you to the point of Manda where the open sea meets the island. Along the way it is possible to see the colonial history of Lamu district evident in the ruins with rusty cannons inside. Dhows sail past but it is unlikely you will meet another person on this rugged stretch of coast. The lodge dogs, Mambo and Diamond, will keep you company and amused as they chase crabs along the way.
You can also take a guided walk to the ruins of an old Swahili settlement, Takwa, which was built in the 16th century. This walk takes you through the heart of the island where dig dig (small deer) roam. You also pass the quarry where locals cut out the coral by hand for their traditional building blocks.
"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."
Tribes Travel, The Old Dairy, Wood Farm, Ipswich Road,
Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
Office hours: Monday - Friday: 9am to 5.30pm
Telephone: 01473 890499