Uzio House, Shela, Lamu
A lovely, authentic and historic 3-bedroom house situated on a quiet and sheltered stretch of Shela seafront, Uzio – Kiswahili for ‘fish trap’ – looks out over the dhow harbour and enjoys panoramic views across the Lamu channel.
“Uzio house is in a perfect location. The home is beautiful and well taken care of. What makes this home special are the team of Justin, Kahindi and Paul. They made us feel at home from the moment we set foot in Shela. Justin is an impeccable chef and Kahindi and Paul ensure everything runs smoothly. They work well as a team and they were polite and attentive to all our needs. Words cannot express our gratitude. Looking forward to visiting again.”
Uzio House is one of the most historic and welcoming houses in fashionable Shela village. Refurbished and redecorated in 2018, it retains its authentic Swahili character and is full of traditional decorative and architectural features such as carved wooden doors, intricate zidaka plasterwork and painted wooden beams – plus antique Lamu furniture and quirky rustic fixtures and fittings – all lovingly assembled by the house’s Italian owner.
The house is laid out over three floors. On the top floor is the Master Bedroom Suite which has its own private interior sitting room and bathroom. It leads onto a makuti-thatched terrace with built-in baraza sofa seats and lovely views of Manda Island and the Shela waterfront. Below are two more bedrooms – one twin-bedded and one double-bedded – both with their own bathrooms. Also on the First Floor is a spacious dining, sitting, veranda and terrace area – part interior, part open-air and part makuti-thatched.
“This house is in an excellent location, right by the sea and the little fishing port, and not far from the beach and the Peponi Hotel. I took hundreds of photos of the same scene because it was very nice to watch all the boats go by. The house is extremely well-designed to be shaded and well-ventilated. Apart from the night when we needed to use the fan, the temperature was generally very comfortable. Kahindi, Justin and Paolo took great care of us! Justin is an excellent cook, and we ate extremely well the whole time. Shela is a gorgeous place to stay, charming, interesting and with a gorgeous beach. We loved our stay!”
The traditional galleries of the historic Ground Floor lead on to a covered dining terrace with sitting area and a small harbourfront garden full of vibrant bouganvillia and its own coconut tree. Chef and house manager Kahindi and the two other friendly and helpful house staff, Paulo and Justin, are on hand to shop, cook and look after guests as required – they can also do laundry and help organise dhow trips and other excursions.
Often available to rent in conjunction with the Main House, and accommodating 2 additional guests, is the 1-bedroom Uzio Cottage annexe. Just next door to Uzio House this self-contained annexe consists of double bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and private makuti-thatched roof terrace with sofa seats and dining table.
“My wife and I stayed in this wonderful place for 5 nights, and everything was excellent. We will be back for sure and highly recommend Uzio House to our friends. Asante Sana!”
- An atmospheric, traditional and stylish Swahili home
- Filled with antique furniture, Lamu character and charm
- Lovely sea and village views from multiple terraces
- Just steps from Shela beach and Peponi Hotel
- Accommodates 6 guests in 3 double/twin bedrooms
- Additional 1-bedroom annexe also sometimes available
- Standard accommodation rate – ksh 40,000 per night for up to 6 guests
Uzio House sits right on the waterfront in Shela village close to the eastern tip of Lamu Island, and looks out north and east across the Lamu channel. Peponi Hotel is just two hundred metres away – a short stroll along the seafront or through the village – and the island’s main beach is only a minute or two away from the house. Lamu Town is two miles north of Shela, and Manda Island and its airport are a short boat ride away.
How to get there
Lamu is best accessed by air and there are usually several scheduled flights per day to and from Nairobi. Some flights also arrive or depart via Malindi. Airlines serving Lamu include :
- Safarilink (from Wilson Airport) www.flysafarilink.com
- Safari Air Express (from Wilson Airport) www.fly-sax.com
- Fly 540 (from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport www.fly540.com
- Silverstone Air (from Wilson Airport) www.silverstoneair.com
- Skwyard Express (from Wilson Airport) www.skywardexpress.co.
“My favourite house in Shela, filled with gorgeous memories. The best location, the best view, always a lovely breeze. And such lovely people!”
“We were extremely happy with Uzio House – the staff were great, it was beautiful and the location is perfect. I suspect it will be very busy come high season! Thanks for organising the house – hopefully we will be able to visit again soon.”
Main House – ksh 40,000 per night
Cottage – ksh 10,000 per night
Please contact us for Christmas & New Year rates
The Cottage is only rented in conjunction with the Main House
Minimum stay – 3 nights
Maximum occupancy – 6 guests in the Main House and 2 guests in the Cottage
All stays are on a ‘self catering’ basis including the services of chef and housekeeper
Please contact us for Christmas & New Year rates
Airport boat transfers organised at additional cost
Check in – 3 pm, Check out – 10 am
These rates, terms and conditions are valid for stays up until 8th January 2024
Please contact us to make a booking
Please familiarise yourself with all our terms & conditions when making a booking
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