Rating: Mid-range Price from: £195 - £295 pp full board
You reach Kipungani Explorer by a flight to Manda Island and then a boat transfer to the lodge which is on the southwest of Lamu Island. Kipungani Explorer is set on the edge of a bay and at the end of a 12 kilometre long beach. Not only does this lodge offer a lovely 600 metre long beach and great swimming and snorkelling facilities, it also has a great link with the local community.
Kipungani Explorer has 13 simple but comfortable wood and thatch chalets. The bathrooms are en-suite, with showers and flush loos. Each of the chalets has a king-size bed (with mosquito netting) and the furniture is locally made from local materials such as mangrove wood and palm. They also have a beach-facing verandah with cosy chairs from where you can sit and enjoy a sundowner.
There is a lounge and terrace with hanging moon-beds and driftwood furniture. The dining room looks out to a small garden and across to the ocean. The meals served are usually based on freshly caught seafood. There is also a library and small shop.
The electricity is from a generator, and there is marine radio connection to phones in Lamu Town.
Open: This property closes during April, May and June for the long rains
Location: South-west of Lamu island. To get here you take a 90 minute flight from Nairobi, and then a boat transfer to the lodge which enjoys an idyllic location on the edge of a 12km mostly deserted beach
Rooms: There are 13 rustic bandas here, all en-suite (including freshwater shower), and have a sea facing veranda.
Activities: So much to do from here! Snorkeling; swimming with dolphins; water-skiing; kayaking; Dhow sailing and sunset cruises; fishing; crab catching; bird walks; historical visits; excursions to markets; tours of local industries such as boat builders and mat weavers
Facilities: There is a fresh water swimming pool; a gift shop; and an all day bar service. A safe can be arranged for you should you need to use one. A laundry is also available. Relax in the comfortable lounge or on the terrace where you can doze on one of the hammocks.
Dining: A great place for sea food lovers!
Children: Children of all ages are welcome
Health: This is a malarial area. Mosquito nets are provided but please make sure you take advice on prophylactics
Communication: There is generally good mobile reception here and there is also VSAT internet
"I loved Kipungani! The staff made this place stand out from other places I visitied on Lamu. They were genuinely friendly and service was superb. We did a walk to the village with one of the staff workers and spent hours talking to the locals, seeing inside peoples houses, watching the fishermen mend nets ... it was obvious that the villagers feel the difference having got support from Kipungani for the school and medical facilities and openly acknowledge that tourism is good for Lamu as the men of the families now stay on the island and work for lodges instead of going away for months on end to the Kenyan mainland to find work. At the lodge, the food was really good and the rooms very comfy and breezy."
Tribes Travel, The Old Dairy, Wood Farm, Ipswich Road,
Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
Office hours: Monday - Friday: 9am to 5.30pm
Telephone: 01473 890499