Stephanie von Watzdorf, Founder and Creative Director of Figue
I try to go to Africa every year, and this December, I was fortunate enough to spend two weeks there. We were in Nairobi for a couple of days and the rest of the trip were off the central coast of Kenya in three areas near Somalia - Manda Bay, Lamu and Kiwayu.
Arriving at Panda Airport on Lamu Island with my friend, Kate Fleming
Lamu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is filled with interesting artifacts, beautiful churches and mosques. It has a very European feel to it. Lamu was an original Swahili settlement and you can still feel that authenticity when you are there. I am animal obsessed, so I love going to the donkey sanctuary. We go for sails on a dhow boat and snorkel in the all the little inlets in the turquoise waters. The dhow races are a couple times a year, and they are so much fun to watch.
Bungalow at Manda Bay Hotel
In Lamu, we stayed at the Manda Bay Hotel in Manda Bay which has a very rustic, traditional feel in the spirit of Robinson Crusoe.
Mikes' Camp Sunset Lounge Area
In Kiwayu we stayed at Mike's Camp which is fabulous!!!! All the rooms have incredible views because they are on top of the sand dunes.
Fuzz's Airplane, the best way to get around the coast!
Artisians in Shela Town working with recycled materials to create art.
Aman has the best jewelry and is the chicest little boutique on the coast.
Figue Tova Traveler Tote is the ideal beach and travel bag. Easy to pack!
Pack lightly - kaftans, tunics, sandals - NO heels anywhere!! The vibe is super casual and bohemian, so you aren't rushing to your room to change for dinner. It is really hot, so white is always good to wear, and one should cover up to show respect to the Muslim community. Men look great in a shirt and kikoys wrapped like a sarong. A lot of stores sell the vintage kikoys that are soft and weathered and the colors are beautiful.
Photos by Michael Lucas