Manda Bay sits on a secluded peninsula on Manda Island, off the coast of Lamu, Kenya. Surrounded by incredible coral gardens, long sandy beaches and dense woodland, the area is home to a fantastically diverse selection of wildlife. We caught up with co-owner Fuzz Dyer to find out what sets the hotel apart.
As the co-owner of Manda Bay, what is it that you love most about the area? I love the beauty of the area – it is rare to find such a perfect beach that is as long, wide, golden, and, best of all, empty as Manda Bay beach. And don’t just take it from me, Manda Bay beach was named the best beach in the world, in terms of wow factor!
What is unique about Manda bay? Manda Bay has entertained rock stars, royalty, families, friends and couples for many years now. I think Manda’s stunning location, quiet, peaceful, luxurious feel and endless supply of cold beer make it the perfect escape for some relaxation after a high intensity safari. Our guests also love the choice of activities at Manda Bay – whether its waterskiing, wakeboarding, kitesurfing or deep sea fishing – guests here are never bored!
What sort of wildlife does the area boast? The island itself is a paradise for birdlife and many other different wildlife species. As Manda Island has no fresh water on it, the lodge feeds and waters a herd of buffalo along with bushbuck, dikdik, and bush pigs that live in the scrublands behind Manda Bay. These animals would surely not have survived the long drought period without this ecosystem, and we encourage guests to go and visit them at feeding time.
You are heavily involved in local conservation efforts, specifically the Northern Rangelands Trust – Coast Region. Could you tell us about the important work they do? Working with the Northern Rangeland Trust’s Coastal Office (NRT), I spend time working with the communities monitoring and understanding how to better protect wildlife and marine life in the area. The northern coastal regions, which include a number of conservancies that hold a range of exciting, and often endangered species, are critical to Kenya’s landscape. I am lucky enough to spend time in these regions, and love seeing the Hirola – a rare antelope which calls the Ishaqbini Conservancy home.
Can visitors see the work done by these organisations? Yes, some of the conservancies are easy to take people to the marine side and other areas that we work with are in far northern Kenya and take often a whole day to visit.
We hear you’re an excellent pilot… any chance of a private tour? Thanks! Those long, empty beaches do make the most perfect landing strips, and it’s where I taught both of my sons to fly. I think a flight for very special Imagine Africa guests could be arranged!