***This is the second post of a two part series from my trip to Kenya***
Island of Lamu
Before we dive in, I want to make sure I’m 100% transparent. Prior to leaving for this trip, I had not done a lot of research on where it was we were actually going. We were sent an itinerary and I was told that we would be making two stops on the trip; one to an island off the East coast of Kenya and then to area known for its reservations.
Once we arrived on the island, I was kicking myself for not learning more. The island of Lamu is filled with so much history and everything about it completely surprised me. If you’re unfamiliar with the island, the actually town of Lamu Town is Kenya's oldest continually inhabited town, and was one of the original Swahili settlements along coastal East Africa. For a while U.S. citizens were not able to visit, up until 2012, due to the ongoing violence near the coast.
If you’re curious as to why we were visiting this remote island, I wrote a whole post about it here. On this particular stop, we were visiting a previous installed water filtration system on the south side of the island. The goal was to see the progress had been made, on behalf of the community.
The Moon Houses
While staying on the island, we called The Moon Houses home. These were a collection of villas on the northern part of the island nestled in Shela village. Each room was situated on a hill, looking over the Indian Ocean and the views were absolutely stunning.
There was a beautiful common area with dining tables and a pool, where typically gathers with other members of our group. It also helped that it was the only area where you could get wifi on the whole island. Each night the chefs would prepare delicious meals from the local market, in the morning a platter of fresh fruit and at night the most fresh tasting fish I’ve ever had in my life. While in the compound, we never really felt unsafe. They had a Maasai Warrior watch over the houses each night, in order for us to feel an extra level safety.
One afternoon we headed into Lamu Town to see more of what the city had to offer. We weaved our way through the tiny alleyways of the town, all bustling with activity; if it wasn’t for our tour guide, we would have definitely gotten lost. Aside from the friendliness of everyone we met, wha blew me away was the amount of wild cats running around the town…they were everywhere. Even though I’m not that found of cats myself, a lot of the time they kept to themselves and minded their own business.
Sea Turtle Hatching
After a long day on Pate Island, where we went to a local school to help acclimate the students to their brand new tablets (donated by the Kenyan government). We were about to head back to the Moon Houses, when our guide informed us that there would be a bunch of sea turtle hatching on another island. Even though we were extremely exhausted, we couldn’t say no to this once-in-a-lifetime experience. So we hopped into the brigade of small boats and made our way through the jungle.
It was so magical seeing all the little sea turtles making their way into the Indian Ocean. There must have been over 40 babies in that particular nest, all scurrying along trying to avoid the crabs and other predators waiting for them at the shoreline.
Being able to experience the island of Lamu, was truly amazing. It’s still so hard to put into words how much this trip meant to me. Even though I was so nervous to go, seeing as it was the farthest I’ve ever been from home. I’m so happy I took the jump and went. So, if you ever get the chance, I HIGHLY recommend booking that plane ticket.