How random can you be?? A few weeks ago I saw a post on a friend’s instagram stories about an upcoming trip to the coastal part of Kenya. I decided to ask for details and that is how I got myself in an island. Weirdly the friend who had posted the post was not going for the trip since she was a bit busy so she gave me a number of a third party person who was organising the trip. I was added to a whatsapp group with like 20 other people planning to go for the same trip. I knew no one in that group but me being me in about a week it felt like I knew practically everybody especially the members who were pretty active. The group had members from Nairobi, Mombasa and Netherlands. I decided to plan a meet and get to know each other meeting with the Nairobi Crew so that at least I get to know who I am travelling with. Four people showed up and it was an amazing experience as they were the most bubbliest crew I have ever met.
Planning group trips is not an easy task especially when you do not have a personal connection to the people. You are planning a trip for strangers and money is involved. At some point we almost lost the house we were to stay at because we had not paid the amount they needed for deposit. Our trip date was to be from 21st February to 25th or 26th February. This dates were the same dates when the Lamu Art Festival was taking place and so there were alot of tourists coming in to the place and accomodation was going to be an issue and a bit expensive. By 25th January, there were no available flights from Nairobi to Lamu. All flights were fully booked and the only option left was to do connection flights, sgr, bus or do a self drive to Mombasa then get a flight from there.
Luckily the home owner gave us an extra one week to clear the deposit and we finally cleared. One problem down. Now we were stuck on how to get to Mombasa from Nairobi.In this life connections really matter. Your network is your net worth. When I was booking our flights from Mombasa to Lamu, I made friends with the bookers/travel agents. I told them that I am in Nairobi and if by any chance they get a free seat from Nairobi to Mombasa to let me know. A few days to our travelling date, one of the friends I had met during out meet and greet called me and informed that there were three seats available from Nairobi to Mombasa which also happened to be the same airline we had booked earlier. That’s how our transport was sorted. We got a connecting flight by Silverstone Airlines from Nairobi to Mombasa, Mombasa to Lamu.
We had the trip was planned well, deposit paid , transport sorted and we were ready to go. On 21st February the three of us travelling from Nairobi met at wilson Airport for our departure to Mombasa then Lamu. Their service was quite impeccable.
It was so fast and smooth. We checked in, gave out our luggage, then we were transferred to the plane and in 30 minutes we were off to Mombasa.
Since it was a short flight for about an hour and ten minutes, the only thing we got served was a drink and biscuits. A choice of tea/coffee/soda or water.
We arrived in Mombasa and stopped for around 15 minutes before we continued our journey to Lamu. Lamu is about 45 minutes away from Mombasa by flight.
Lamu is waaaaay hotter than Mombasa!! or that is what I felt. As soon as we landed, I could feel myself sweating and I was wearing black! I actually almost lost my luggage. It was tagged for Mombasa instead of Lamu. So after everybody had got their Luggage, I could not find mine.Apparently it had been returned back to the flight to be sent back to Mombasa!! The luggage attendant was so nice he literally ran off to stop the plane from taking off and he got me my luggage.
So, anyway here we were in Lamu, super hot, super hungry because it was at around 2 pm. Lamu is an island with very narrow streets so the only means of transport is either by boat or by donkey or walking.
From the airport to the other side of the island we had to use a boat but it was quite affordable. It was just 100 shillings per person. Our host had organised transport for us.
We got to the other side of the ocean and headed to our home for the weekend. The place was really beautiful and I felt like their social page does not do them justice!! We were staying in AMU HOUSE. The house is massive. The rates are as attached.
It is a four storey building with 7 bedrooms. Two bedrooms in the 1st and 2nd floor and 3 bedrooms in the 3rd floor. They also have a beautiful rooftop lounge where you can chill and play games as you watch the beautiful beach and star gaze. Most rooms have two beds, either a queen/king bed and a single bed or two double beds or two single beds. There is a dining area on the ground floor and also a kitchen.
Our host was only providing bed and breakfast so we had to find a local place with affordable swahili foods. We found one restaurant where we had a deal with them for them to cook for us all the days we were in Lamu at a fee. Drinks are quite expensive in Lamu as they range from 400 for local beers and bottle service is a bit expensive. But you already you me and my crews we come fully self contained heheh. We had bought bottled drinks in Nairobi as they are free to transport to Lamu so all we needed was “chasers” i.e sodas and water. Lamu island has like 3 clubs only. One was near where we stayed called petleys inn, another one was a floating club and another one was a bit far away in another beach. So the only option we had was to go to petleys or the floating restaurant. Our house did not have a swimming pool but the neighbouring petleys inn had one and they were charging 500 shillings for a day but you can negotiate when you go as a group.
Another option we had was of cos to go and swim at the beach!!! Like normal people haha.
We then had to go catch sunsets as always.
I had so much I even forgot that this was the first time I was meeting like 85% of the people that were in that trip. We had bonded so well and there was no drama at all. This for sure is something I can do over and over again.
By the time we were done with this trip I had already felt like all these people were family.
Coming back to Nairobi was so boring!! I actually did not want to come back it is just that I had to come back otherwise I could have extended my stay in Lamu. I had another connection flight to make. From Lamu to Malindi then Malindi to Nairobi. At least I had company all the way to Malindi which was a 30 minutes flights from Lamu then I was left to come back to Nairobi alone. My other Nairobian friends had left in the morning so that is why I came back alone.
The saddest part about travelling is the ending. Be on the lookout for the next post as I break it down for you guys on costs, how to plan a group travel and all the activities we did while in Lamu.
Would you travel with strangers??