Shela Beach – Long sandy beach on the edge of civilisation
Shela Beach is also known as Shella Beach and is on the island of Lamu in the north of Kenya. It is about two kilometres from Lamu town, the capital of Lamu. You can easily get to Shela Beach by walking along the water’s edge, or by using a boat hired from the locals as a water taxi. There are no proper roads or cars on Lamu and the only means of transport is by boat and donkey. Shela Beach is about 12 kilometres in length and is a sandy dream beach with dunes in the background and where you will only find buildings at either end. The rest of the beach has been completely left to nature.
Swimming, nice beach houses and delicious food at Shela Beach
The beach begins in the village of Shela at a pier which is mainly used by the locals when swimming. Children jump into the water, enjoy snorkelling and building rafts from old plastic to practise from an early age sailing and fishing which are the main sources of income for the locals here, together with tourism. The houses in the village behind Shela Beach are mainly used for holiday accommodation and are built in the same style as the houses of the locals, but more modern and luxurious. There is also one hotel to which the only restaurant at the beach belongs and which is popular with holidaymakers as well as locals, who come here for lunch or a few drinks at the bar in the evenings. Also on the hotel site is a shop where you can buy nice souvenirs and high quality regional clothing. In addition there is a water-sports supplier here offering windsurfing courses and kayaks for hire.
Shela Beach – Beautiful, natural, sandy beach with dunes in the background
From the terraces of the houses and from the beach you have a view opposite of the island of Manda whose beach, Manda Bay, runs parallel to Shela Beach and is only one kilometre away. On the water In between these beaches speedboats and Dhows, the traditional sailing boats of the fishermen in this region, can be seen at rest and in motion. If you go from the impressive white buildings at the eastern end of the beach towards the west, you will notice after a short time that there are no more buildings, the beach becomes wider and you have a great view of the nice dune landscape in the background. Here Shela Beach has been completely left to nature and its natural beauty becomes even more obvious and you will also find driftwood, a few stones and nice shells here. Thankfully, what you will rarely find here is any rubbish, which is unfortunately often part of the landscape nowadays on long, deserted beaches like this. However, Shela Beach is cleaned regularly by the locals and other volunteers, which is an important factor in making this a real dream beach.