Inspired, created, owned and run by the van Aardt family, Kizingo is 8 beach-front bandas on Lamu, off the Kenyan coast. Built from local materials – mangrove, mkuti and mkeka – by local islanders, each banda is as extravagantly large as it is simple, beautiful and natural.
Kizingo is a beach and coastal wilderness. Nature, completely untouched, has been left to her own devices. You’ll share the beach with native birds, driftwood and scuttling crabs. There you’ll find a true sense of the infinity of time; and the timelessness of an old Africa.
As one guest put it, life at Kizingo is “dangerously relaxed”. You’ll eat deliciously fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and home-made bread. You’ll gather in the early evening for drinks around the bar. Dressing for dinner means, at most, a clean shirt and kikoy, never a tie or shoes (“no news, no shoes” to quote another guest).
Those of us who blink away a tear every time we leave do so because Kizingo has shared with us priceless things we’d lost, but hadn’t realised. Things we know we’ll never have at home. Things that no amount of money can buy. Things that make us reassess.
Kizingo is, for many, a life-changing experience.
Kizingo does not have:
television, video, dvd, computer games, jet skis, jet lag, telephones, a conference centre, retail display cabinets in Reception (in fact, it doesn’t even have a Reception), newspapers, a swimming pool, hassle, hurly-burly, hairdryers, quad bikes, loud or piped music, people who sell things on the beach, minibars, air conditioning, a single pretension, inflated prices, much of a profit motive, anything artificial…
Kizingo does have:
wild, untouched beaches; sand that’s talcum powder fine; dry, equatorial heat made luxurious by whispering wind; sunsets so breathtaking they stretch credulity; a blessed near-total absence of mosquitoes; calmness but not stillness, because everything sways and dances to nature; wonderful local staff; a happy, hospitable atmosphere; the eclectic and often eccentric company of people you won’t meet at home; the divine freedom to do little or nothing, or to swim with dolphins, to witness a turtle laying her eggs, to do heroic battle with serious fish, to potter, to explore, to water-ski, to kite surf…