Islands can be the perfect romantic getaways for couples wanting to share unforgettable memories or singles wanting to experience life differently. Every island offers a unique experience.
Kenya is blessed to have several islands, each with different cultures and sites.
Lamu and the nearby archipelago
Lamu is an Island famous for its astounding history, diverse culture and ancient architecture. In the 14th Century, only Swahili people settled there until the Portuguese explorers, Turkish Traders and the Omani Arabs started visiting. After the visitors left, Lamu developed its own distinct culture that has survived to date.
Everything seems to get to a standstill while you are at Lamu. The pristine white sand beaches, laid-back lifestyle, luxurious dhow sailing and traditional cuisines are a great distraction from work and family stress. The small town has narrow pathways which makes it possible to embrace adventurous options in getting around- Dhows and Donkeys (The double Ds.)
You will experience breathtaking sceneries in dhow safaris on your way to the nearby archipelago including Manda, Siyu, Pate and Kiwayu, where you see where isolated villages, ancient ruins and luxurious resorts.
Over the centuries, the Lamu fort in the old stone town has evolved from a defensive position for the Omani Arabs in the pre-colonial period, to a prison in the post-colonial period and today an exotic space for community events. At the Lamu Museum, you will meet natural, cultural and artistic exhibits that are unique to the lives of the people living on the coast. Anyone wanting to experience the thrills and the true lifestyle in Lamu should visit the Lamu Cultural Festival, which is held annually in November. There are also other festivals including the Lamu Food Festival, and the Kite Festival.
If you’d like to experience magical sunsets, exotic nature, bountiful wildlife and superior culture – Rusinga is the place to go. Immerse yourself in new experiences around this Island. International and local tourists are attracted by its raw authenticity. One of the best ways to experience Rusinga Island is to attend the Rusinga Cultural Festival in December.
Rusinga Island, the land of the Luo and Suba people is situated on the eastern side of Lake Victoria, Homa Bay County. Hundreds of years ago, the Suba people migrated from Uganda as refugees of war and intermarried with the Luo people.
From an aerial view, this island resembles a green crescent moon surrounded by crisp water. This peninsula was formed in 1988 when the waters of Lake Naivasha dropped significantly, to open up land. Crescent Island Game Park can be accessed from the East by boat or from the west by driving through a swampy path from the Sanctuary farm.
You are allowed to walk around the park alongside the giraffe, eland, wildebeests and impalas. Visitors are however cautioned to be on the lookout for the occasional hippo, hyena, python and buffalo. The shores of the Island attract birdlife, making it a thrilling experience for bird enthusiasts and photographers. If you hike to the top of the hill, you will get an amazing view of sites around Naivasha such as Longonot, Hell’s Gate, Eburu and Aberdares.
Chale Island is well-known for its ancient mangroves, amazing resort, and magnificent sceneries of pristine white sand beaches and coral reefs. The indigenous and beautiful tropical vegetation attracts birds, monkeys, bush babies and butterflies.
At any time, you can choose to walk along the beach or take part in the activities that are set. Anyone looking for a romantic getaway or planning a honeymoon, where good food and luxury are a priority should definitely consider this place. From the mainland, there are two ways to access the Island. When the tides are low, you will get there by a tractor; when the tides are high, you will get there by boat.
Funzi Island and Funzi Keys
Funzi Island is situated on the south coast of Mombasa. It’s recognized for serene beaches and magnificent eco-spaces including mangrove forests, indigenous forests and wetlands. This island serves as a habitat for the five native turtle species including the Green Turtle, Olive Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle, Leatherback Turtle and Loggerhead Turtle.
Visitors are taken to Ramisi River and to the village for cultural tours. Between June and December, they can experience the annual migration of Humpback whales from the Island’s outskirts.
Within Funzi Island, you will find a private beach lodge known as Funzi Keys. The main attractions are its perfect seclusion and tranquil environment.
Islands in Lake Turkana
Lake Turkana is home to adventure and beautiful scenery. The lake itself is the largest permanent desert lake and the largest alkaline lake in the world. Since the area has been untouched by mass tourism, its beauty is still intact.
The three Islands in Lake Turkana include North Island, Central Island and South Island.
The North Island is a crater of a volcano gone extinct. On its south side, you will find hot springs and steam vents. On the other hand, Central Island, also known as Crocodile Island is one of Kenya’s best-kept secrets. Within the Island, there is Central Island National Park which is run by KWS. It contains small other lakes namely Crocodile Lake, Flamingo Lake and Tilapia Lake teeming with wildlife, birds and fish. Lastly, there is the Southern Island, the home to Nile crocodiles, hippos and snakes. The boat safari from Loiyangalani to Southern Island is an adventurous one.
Hannah Kageche is a creative writer and a content creator. In her writings, she explores matters of the heart, environment & wildlife, career development and lifestyle. She has written here, there, on this and that, as Cera Moon. Nobody knows why she calls herself that. Hannah is busy. Visit her at wisdomoflivingblog.wordpress.com.