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“Heaven on earth”
Review of Kizingo

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Kizingo
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Lamu Island
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Heaven on earth”
Reviewed February 16, 2013 via mobile

My third but most definitely not my last visit to Kizingo was full of amazing experiences as always, the van Aardt family and their fantastic staff provide luxury and relaxation in equal measures. Food is always superb and all my son's veggie needs were catered for perfectly. The beach is as beautiful as ever and I challenge anyone to find a more beautiful beach. Far from being frightened of a so called threat of pirates I had nothing but calm and peace at Kizingo. If you visit you will realise just how absurdly impossible it would be for any intruder to get close to the bandas. This time I stayed in Banda 8, which experienced visitors will know is set back from the beach. I thought that I would miss the sea and beach sights but the view was stunning and the Banda is fit perfectly for families as it has two interconnecting rooms. Don't miss the chance to swim with dolphins it changed my perception on the world forever, and that's from an old cynic. To sum up, just go!

Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Belinda G
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
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  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2013

We have just spent 7 wonderful days at Kizingo - our 5th visit. We couldn't go last year because of the so called threat from pirates - don't believe it! There is no threat, no problems apart from the fact that the island and beaches are empty of tourists. Now is an ideal time to visit as it is so quiet and unspoilt that you really feel you are in paradise. The staff are as friendly as ever, even though their numbers are a bit depleted due to lack of visitors but it really is an amazing place to relax - not to mention the wild dolphins and Lamu town.

Room Tip: All the bandas are private - they are all the same size, they are all excellent.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank ANGELA H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2013

This place captures the essence of the true beachfront hideaway. The bandas/beach huts are big and well furnished without compromising the African coastal atmosphere. The central bar and restaurant, situated in a huge palm and wood building, provide the perfect place to congregate with the owners and other guests and to sip the home spun cocktails. The food is flawless and varied in cuisine, with an understandable emphasis on fish. Efficiently run with a group of friendly and excellent staff. Well worth the flights and boat ride to get to.

Stayed in January 2013 for 5 nights.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank BizRich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne UK
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We first went to Kizingo in 2006 and have been back twice since then. We took 4 friends in 2008 and they loved it too. The food is excellent, the accommodation bandas superb and the relaxed atmosphere just what we want on holiday. The Van Aardt family are really welcoming and impressive in their attitude to guests. The Kenyan staff, never forgetting Alex, are superb. We would recommend it to anyone (well almost anyone; theres always someone who wants a beach holiday without the sand!).

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Moira43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 6, 2013

Kizingo blew away all expectations. We were looking for a place to unwind and disconnect, but couldn't have imagined a place as amazing as Kizingo. The secluded beach meant not being bothered by people trying to sell things and it was a quick 30 min boat ride to Lamu Town to check out the sites. MaryJo, Louie and the entire staff were incredible hosts - the daily happy hour was always something we anticipated and we made lots of new friends during our stay. Besides unparalleled snorkeling and swimming with dolphins, the kayaking in the mangroves was stunning. Not to be missed if you want to enjoy beauty and explore the Indian Ocean in a peaceful and secure setting.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a good breeze.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank AlanaKB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2012

Kizingo is a lovely place to stay. I wanted to be on Lamu but not in town so I avoided Lamu town and shela and felt like I had e island to myself. These open air bandas had good ventilation surprisingly even the hottest days. The shower and bathrooms were perfect and I'm quite picky about them. Eco loos and good water pressure were welcome. I scheduled visits to the towns for my exploring and shopping with ease and my other excursions for dolphins were also easily scheduled with Mary Jo and Louis. Ad if you liek town you can stay longer and hVe meals at the hotels there before coming bAck. Three meals a day are included and the food is lovely and I am vegetarian and never felt like my food was less satisfying.

Because it is so hot I am glad I brought a few snacks to get me through in between meals. BuT when I needed some snacking in between meals the staff at the bar gladly cut me some fresh fruit. Mary Jo and Louis are wonderful owners and hosts. I also had two massages in my Banda which were great. If you want to o this treatments and are there for a short visit do ask bout it early to give the women time to take the bus and reach Kizingo. They are not always on site full time.
All in all a great place to stay away from it all with lovely people!

You can charge your gadgets between 11-2 and 6-10 in the main Banda and tag was never a problem.

The beach is great but a a little walk to the ocean so its not quick to take a cooling dip but I liked it. The tides are quite strong so follow their advice about where to swim!!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank SujTej
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed December 10, 2012

Absolutely lovely, very natural Bandas, beautifully done, right on the most wonderful natural sandy beach, great food and run by Mary-Jo and Louis. Kizingo is at the opposite end of Lamu Island from Shela, so if you want Town life then have a few days at Kizingo then a few days in either Lamu Town or Shela

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Anthony D
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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