Lamu is a UNESCO World Heritage site on the coast of Kenya. Home to wandering donkeys and lazy dhow boats sailing by, this historic Swahili town is magical, mystical and idyllic. I wrote this article for Rough Guides about why now is the time to visit: Original article on RoughGuides.com Why should I go? Founded in the 14th century, Lamu is the best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa. Over the centuries, the island has been inhabited by Asians, Persians, Indians, Europeans and Kenyans, and as a result it has a unique charm of blended cultures. Crumbling old forts lie next to… View Post

The rumours are true. We’ve moved our base from Nairobi to Johannesburg. Worst part of all this? We can’t go to the Kenyan coast every month. In our 2.5 years in the county Owen and I visited the magical cobbled streets of Lamu, ran around on the empty pure white beaches of Kilifi and crashed into the waves in Diani. We left one of the best spots on the coast to last: Watamu. A friendly town in the middle of the Kenyan coast, Watamu is just 30 mins drive from Malindi airport. Like all of the Kenyan coast, the sand… View Post

I wrote this piece for Nomad Magazine and it appeared in the July 2017 edition It’s 7am and I’m on the back of a boda (motorbike taxi), winging my way down the Mombasa road toward Nairobi’s shiny new railway station to take the much lauded, somewhat controversial (here’s my piece about the cost), (and my piece about lives ruined by sand harvesting needed to build it), Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) train to Mombasa. After 40 minutes of careering along, cutting through the traffic and hanging on to my boda driver for dear life, I decide this should not be called… View Post

Set down a narrow cobbled street in the heart of charming Shella Village, Zahir House is a traditional Lamu home with whitewashed walls, wooden shutters and intricately carved furniture. The bedrooms are spread over five floors, two of them with terraces offering views of sand dunes in one direction and dhow boats sailing across the water in the other. On the ground floor, there’s a lovely plunge pool for cooling off from the Lamu heat, and a hot tub on one of the higher floors to warm up of an evening in the chilly months. We visited back in February,… View Post

This piece was originally published in Nomad Magazine. “These are the last campers,” joked my friend, Ruthie, motioning towards the dusty, cracked jawbone of a zebra lying discarded on the ground. We’d been strolling across the parched Laikipia landscape for the past two hours with our guide Joseph, and couldn’t help noticing that the remnants of prey seemed to increase as we approached the camp where we were to spend the night. Joseph chuckled at our observations. In his 20 years working at El Karama Lodge, many of them as a guide, he has used the gun he carries. So… View Post

Surprising as it may be to some, Nairobi is filled with quirky shops, delicious restaurants, wild nature walks, tranquil little cafes and great party spots. Here’s a handpicked selection of my absolute favourite things to do in the city: Moniko’s, Valley Arcade Nairobi is full of little oasis’ that help you escape from the traffic and tribulations of daily life in the city and this may be one my favourites. Located in the back court of Valley Arcade, Moniko’s is owned by a food passionate Swede who emigrated to Kenya over 10 years ago. The restaurant looks like to belongs… View Post