With its conservation credentials such as using solar paneling to heat water, the lodge ticks quite a few boxes in our view. Mary Jo and Louis are charming hosts and regale many an interesting tale about their years spent in Africa and the areas they have seen. With rooms larger than plenty of London flats, the feel inside is of an airy and calm space and are perfect to relax and forget about the rest of the world. The main issue that they have is a lack of pool, but, with good swimming year round in either the sea or the nearby channel this is not a huge issue. At the price it is offered, this really is a bargain and, as such, will be difficult to get into. A perfect combination with a stay in the nearby Shela village.
Kizingo - The Details
Kizingo is the ultimate 'no news, no shoes’ beach resort - a wonderful secluded and tranquil escape from the modern world. The lodge is situated at one end of a spectacular 12-kilometre beach that stretches from Kizingo (which means 'the point’ in Swahili) to the fashionable village of Shela.
Kizingo is owned and run by Mary Jo and Louis Van Aardt, both of whom were born in Kenya and, after a spell as coffee farmers in Zimbabwe, have managed a similar beach lodge. Because of their long and close relationship with the local village, its chief leased them this stunning beachfront land to build a small resort that is both eco-friendly and very comfortable. Like all the best resorts in Kenya, Kizingo has a symbiotic relationship with the local village, an hour away on foot, and with farmers on the mainland who grow food and make furniture for the lodge.
There are eight very spacious bandas with high-pitched thatched roofs and shaded balconies right on the beach. Each has a large double bed romantically draped with mosquito netting and comfortable chairs for lounging. Bamboo screens unfurl to give complete privacy. The en suite bathroom is well appointed with a flushing toilet, hot water shower, wash basin and dressing area.
The swimming is excellent, both in the Indian Ocean and in the calm waters of the channel that separates Lamu from the mainland. For the more energetic there is a big choice of activities including a guided tour of historic Lamu Town, excellent snorkelling, the chance to swim with dolphins in the winter months and cycle rides to friendly African villages on the mainland. the next civilisation.