Peacefully hidden away, yet close to the centre of Lamu, a substantial, spacious and fully-restored 19th Century Swahili town house with five/six bedrooms and very attractive walled garden
Tucked away amid the maze of narrow streets and alleyways of the Old Town, yet only moments from the bustling town square, 19th Century Omani fort and busy waterfront, sits bougainvillea-drenched Hijani House. Quietly situated behind high stone walls and entered through a traditional daka entrance porch and carved hardwood doors, it is a private and elegant oasis in the midst of the town.
The house, which was renovated and extended some years ago, and which has been very well maintained by its American and English owners, is built around a large and attractive walled garden - with its own well, lawn, flowerbeds, banana trees and a mass of colourful flowering shrubs and plants. The garden is also home to Yorick, a small tortoise, and Hijani’s other permanent resident is Tangawezi, a lovely ginger Lamu cat.
On the upper floors, the house boasts an airy and imposing master bedroom with makuti-thatched ‘cathedral’ ceiling (recently re-thatched) and en-suite bathroom, four further double bedrooms (two of which are currently used as a study and dressing room), another bathroom, a large breezy thatched roof terrace with baraza seating and lovely views across the town rooftops, spacious first floor gallery sitting rooms and a small open-air courtyard area.
Downstairs on the Ground Floor there is a large and fully-equipped, eat-in kitchen, spacious garden terrace with dining area and baraza seating, single bedroom with en-suite bathroom (which could serve as staff accommodation), a scullery, store room and a huge water tank. The house is available partially furnished with Swahili antiques and other examples of local craftsmanship.
Hijani is a place of great privacy, seclusion and character – and offers generous and flexible accommodation in a conveniently central location. The house is named after the Hadeda Ibis – the Kwarara Hijani in Kiswahili
Hijani House also features in Swahili Chic by Bibi Jordan (Thames & Hudson)
Price - 175,000 Pounds