Arriving at the building site that is JKIA, it felt more like we were going to Alcatraz with the barb wired roll top walls. Surprisingly the customs was a lot quicker & efficient than the old airport and I was delighted to see that my Fly540 check in assistant was thoroughly awake to welcome me. He looked how I felt!
My first stop was Tusitiri in Lamu. Tusitiri is a stunningly restored old sailing dhow which is run by Lulu and John Clark who have been working on the dhow for 4 years & have been running lodges/camps for over 20 years. John is a qualified safari guide but also a very keen deep sea fisherman & they are perfect hosts – great company but also sensitive to the fact that most guests are keen to do their own thing on board.
Tusitiri is moored in Lamu Channel just off Shela and has 4 tenders (35 foot fishing boat, two open skifs and a traditional dhow) so guests have the flexibility to go off exploring, go fishing, water skiing whenever they want. The average length of stay on board Tusitiri is 4 days which would be perfect. That will allow you one day exploring Lamu & Shela whilst still giving you enough time to go exploring further afield. . Depending on the trade winds. John & Lulu take their guests either down to Kipungani or up to Manda. Feb/March & Oct/Nov is a best time to come to Lamu.
Tusitiri can sleep up to 10 people but I think 8 would be the perfect number. Downstairs they have a very neatly designed storage room, loo and dressing room but the majority of the time is spent upstairs on the deck. There is plenty of space & it is very cleverly designed with chill out areas, seating area and dining area. Everyone sleeps up on deck under the stars. I was intrigued & a little apprehensive as to how this might work but it was surprisingly private. The team cleverly create a wall of cushions between each person & divide up the deck so that John & Lulu sleep on the other. Falling asleep under the full moon & stars with the sound of waves lapping against hull was unbelievably relaxing & the perfect way to recover from an overnight flight.