Floating bliss – serious beach life!

Saturday, October 5th, 2019 00:00 |
Floating Bliss.

They might say Pwani si Kenya, but the way people in Lamu enjoy themselves proves everyone wrong! On this island, it’s serious beach life!

I was attending a workshop on the Island recently on a weekend to learn about the mangroves restoration in the area.

We flew from Mombasa to Lamu, but once we landed, we travelled exclusively by boat (Lamu is a carless town).  And gosh don’t ßI love the sea! So, I was definitely having the time of my life.

After spending the better part of Friday on our field trip on Manda Island, we got back to Lamu at around 2pm. It was hot and I was looking forward to a chill evening.

Fortunately, one group from our team mentioned a floating pub. So the squad and I decided…this might be the one.

Thirty minutes later, we are on a speedboat heading to the Floating Bar, situated just five minutes into the ocean.

The bar looks like a traditional house: all makuti, from the walls to the roofing. The interior is made from strong mikoko (mangrove trees) and the floors matted with mikeka (woven mats).

The coastal feel is completed with beautifully crafted wooden chairs and pretty throw pillows. 

The management assures us the bar is properly anchored, and that there have never been any accidents. The pub depends on solar energy to power everything, including the soft coastal music we are listening to.

A jolly young man ushers us in and tells us the pub can hold up to 30 people. It is not full as we settle down, but people start streaming in after an hour. By then, we were already having a good time.

It was then that mama Zeinab Bin Hajj approaches us. The moment she introduced herself as a henna artist, my evening turned for the better.

I have always wanted temporary henna and it seems fate approved by placing me exactly where Mama Zeinab operates.

She told me she moves everyday from Shela Island to most hotels to conduct her business and even gets called out of Lamu to apply wedding henna.

“I am here every day. Sometimes I get just one customer. Other times two or even more; it all depends with the day. But the best is the weekends,” says Mama Zeinab.

Henna on the arm costs between Sh500 and Sh1,000, but since I was so sweet to the old lady, she only charged me Sh300. 

After that it was all party going down, complete with beautiful sunsets and breeze. And the bathrooms…beautiful but your business goes directly to the ocean. Disgusting, Methinks, to the mermaids and sharks, though. For us humans, we were having a blast. 

Just in case you are planning to visit Lamu, take the five-minute trip to the Floating Bar: it’s a sure guarantee for a good time.

For the carless city generally, you need sunscreen; Lamu is hot. Be ready for a full sea experience, so pack a camera to capture all these moments.

Most importantly…please don’t drink alcohol and swim. If you try, you will drown and end up as food for the sharks and octopuses.

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