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“it's safe!”
Review of Kizingo

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Kizingo
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Lamu Island
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“it's safe!”
Reviewed December 2, 2011

We stayed just along the beach from this fabulous 'no news no shoes' hotel and went there several times during our stay. The welcome from Mary Jo and Louis is always fantastic and barmen Alex and Tom mix the best cocktails ever (try the Lamu donkey, a close cousin to a Moscow mule). The main banda houses the bar and dining room (the food is fabulous) and there are just 8 rooms, each in its own individual banda, combining local style and materials with every comfort you could want. Security is being taken very seriously, there are askaris (watchmen), police, army and navy on full alert discreetly around, and you feel very safe at all times. It is a beautiful unspoilt place, you cannot believe that places like this still exist on our crowded planet - go! you will get a wonderful welcome and have a fabulous holiday.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Catherine H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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120 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Petersfield, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed November 24, 2011

We spent 5 brilliant days at Kizingo in mid November 2011. Never felt so safe on a beech anywhere. The reporting on security in this area of Kenya could hardly have been more inaccurate back in UK. Ironic that the British press are taking a pounding at the same time for being totally irresponsible! We felt very safe at Kizingo. Louis, Dion and Mary Jo are fantastic hosts but their staff deserve equal praise. The Bandas are perfect but it is the stunning location and tranquility that will take your breath away. From the moment you climb into a boat a few hundred yards from where your plane touches down and set off for Kizingo past the mangroves on flat calm water, you get a hint that you may be somewhere special. No car journeys for the duration of the stay was a real treat. Loads to do but the hammocks are so good it is difficult to stop yourself just chilling out. Food was excellent especially the crab. If you are interested in ecology and look for holiday destinations that take sustainability seriously then Kizingo is for you. Louis can clearly grow or rear just about any plant or bird needed by the excellent chef to suplement the freshly caught fish. He has installed solar power and solar water heating across the site and has an inate sense that the local environment must be protected, especially the natural fresh water supply. All in all, a simply brilliant holiday destination.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Nick A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2011

This place should be visited by everyone it is on a beautiful island (lamu). The hosts Mary Jo, Dion and Louis are the kindest most welcoming and helpful people I have ever met and their stories are hilarious. I strongly recommend this hotel to everyone and do not worry about safety at all the press are completely taking the story way over the top so ignore them.

  • Stayed February 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Seagullsarethebest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crediton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
91 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2011

We stayed here for a few days rest and relaxation to round off our holiday in Kenya.

I cannot praise Kizingo highly enough. A truly relaxing and chilled environment in which you can kick off your shoes and forget the world.

Our banda was roomy and comfortable and very private with plenty of solar heated hot water for the wonderful shower, an amazing water saving loo and a huge comfortable bed. It was just divine to be woken up with a flask of tea/coffee in the morning and then to amble over to the lodge for breakfast. We also loved the tea and cake served at your banda at 4.00 pm.

Mary Jo, Louis, Dion and all of the staff (particularly Alex) are all so welcoming and friendly. They all made our stay truly memorable.

The food was superb - fresh fish or shellfish twice a day, delicious salads and scrumptious puddings - all served with smile! My food highlight was the crab with ginger - wonderful!

I'm sad to read the negative press about Lamu. We never felt that our security was compromised at any time during our stay at Kizingo. I have travelled to some pretty dangerous places in the world over the past few years - Despite the apparent risk from Somali raiders, Lamu would rank in the bottom 1%. Kizingo is well away from the deepwater channel between Lamu town and Manda and consequently seems very safe (to me, at least)

I hope to return in the near future.

Room Tip: All the bandas seem to be lovely. Buy your Kikoys here - a great range and much cheaper than elsewh...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Cruwysing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2011

My husband and I recently visited Kizingo during a 3 week stay in Kenya. We traveled the country and saw many wonderful things while we were in Kenya but Kizingo was definitely a highlight. When we walked into our Banda, I was pleasantly surprised about the size and the beauty of the room. While the amenities were great, what really makes this resort unique is the quality of the service. Mary Jo, Louis, Dion and the complete staff were a pleasure to be around and excellent hosts. We unfortunately were there after a security scare on the Kenyan coast but never felt uneasy or afraid about our safety on the island. If you are questioning the security of the resort, be assured that the location is on the south end on the island and there are many towns located along the channel. Although one recent kidnapping occurred closer to Lamu, it would be much more difficult for this to happen here given the nautical logistics, security and number to towns along the way. If this is a concern to you, Kizingo's location should help put you at ease. I will never forget Kizingo and hope to return in the near future.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank andikw24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed September 20, 2011

I recently returned from Kizingo and quite frankly am lost for words to describe this most memorable place other than to say it is "Heaven on Earth". The Banda's (rooms) are extremely spacious and the beds enormous. The hosts, Mary Jo, Louis and Dion are warm, hospitable and most entertaining. I am dining out on the tales of Africa they shared with us over a drink at the bar. The staff are delightful and friendly and nothing is too much trouble. The excursions into Lamu town, Kipingani village and Snorkelling with Louis to view the dolphins must be up there in the 10 most wonderful things to do. I must add to this, walking along that gorgeous uninhabited beach stopping on route to dive into the sea - absolute bliss. We were there in the last two weeks and I felt safe and not in the least bit threatened. We have pretty much travelled all over the world and it just doesn't get better than this. We will be going back soon.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank B H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2011

Kizingo is exactly as you see on the pictures, just by the beach, a lot of funny crabs running around and the bandas (your accommodation hut) which is much bigger than a 5 star hotel room and makes the place very special. But without the helpful, generous and welcoming staff and owners Kizingo wouldn't have been the same. It's the best place we've ever stayed to relax and not do anything perfect after months of stressful wedding-planning. Food is fantastic from crab and lobster to amazing Moroccan fish. When you arrive to Lamu you're picked up in a boat and taken about 40 min through the mangroves to Kizingo - which is a stunning trip. We highly recommend it!

Room Tip: Buy your Kikoy here, much cheaper than the airport Don't be scared about the crabs - they'r...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kirran80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kizingo

Property: Kizingo
Address: P.O. Box 138, Lamu Island, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Lamu Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
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 has eight beautifully appointed bandas (thatched cottages), set well apart from each other. In the early morning you can enjoy tea in bed and watch fishing dhows tack south to Malindi.Guests can be as private or as social as they wish, opting to enjoy fine dining on the balcony of their banda or join other guests in the bar and the dining room with their magnficent views across the bay to mainland Kenya where giant baobab trees spread into the brilliant blue sky.Kizingo is owned and run by the van Aardt family, who were all born in Africa. Due to 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.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. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kizingo Hotel Lamu Island
Kizingo Resort Lamu

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