Zuhura House

A classic Lamu townhouse in the heart of the ancient stone town - beautifully refurbished and full of character, comfort and charm.

  • Spacious master bedroom with sultan-size bed
  • Colourful walled garden with covered dining terrace
  • Roomy second floor makuti-thatched living room
  • Comfortable and welcoming – full of character and history
  • Attentive staff, delicious cooking - and Lamu’s most delightful dog
  • Sleeps 2-4, Standard Rental Rate 150 Euros per night

"We had a great stay on Lamu and really enjoyed the Zuhura House experience. Joshua and Dixon were very accommodating, and we enjoyed spending time lounging around the house with Pepper when we weren't out exploring. We'll definitely recommend it strongly to friends! Thank you again for your help and for opening your wonderful home to us." Andrew and Rebecca, Algeria and DRC

"Thanks so much for accommodating us at your home - and above all for having such impeccable taste in your interior design. We gave you a very good reference to a Belgian couple who were considering staying at one of your places - I hope they ended up with you.
Here is a photograph of us happy as pie at your house (we just don't look that happy because we're pretending to be the statue!)"
Harrison and Suzy, Kisumu

Tucked away in the maze of streets of Lamu’s oldest neighbourhood, yet just a couple of minutes’ walk from the town’s main street, seafront and town square, Zuhura House is named after the planet Venus which shines so brightly in the Lamu night sky. With one very large master bedroom, one smaller double bedroom and one occasional single room, we particularly recommend Zuhura for a couple or small family.

Accessed from what is almost certainly Lamu’s narrowest street, Zuhura’s ground floor follows the traditional plan of an 18th Century nyumba – a semi-public daka porch with baraza seats is used for receiving visitors and conducting business – and an intricately carved teakwood front door opens onto the secluded and private interior of the house.

A series of high-ceilinged galleries running from east to west are enlivened with zidaka niches, traditional carved plasterwork designs and decorative ceiling friezes. As well as the imposing entrance gallery, these now house the spacious kitchen, pantry, downstairs cloakroom and store.

Attached to the rear of the house and looking onto the garden is an attractive, makuti-thatched terrace – with dining area, baraza sofa seats and a mass of cacti and pot plants. Meals can be eaten here or upstairs on the second floor roof terrace.

From the front courtyard, open stairs climb to the first floor where the two bedrooms lead off the north-facing gallery. The generous master bedroom – with ensuite shower room - features an exceptionally large 7ftx7ft double bed, ‘live-in’ mosquito net and ample built-in wardrobe space. Also on this floor is a second bedroom with double bed – and a second guest bathroom artfully concealed under the stairs that lead up to the second floor.

The second floor living room with makuti-thatched ‘cathedral ceiling’ is unusually large and airy – it has an expansive and very relaxing built-in baraza sofa and side tables, traditional long-armed planters’ chairs and bar area with fridge. The semi-covered, semi-open roof terrace is a nice and breezy place to dine alfresco in the evenings.

Also on the second floor is the ‘teahouse’ - a small study with writing desk, bookcase and single bed - best used as occasional bedroom accommodation or as a lovely place for a sleepy afternoon’s siesta.

Zuhura House is furnished and decorated in typically eclectic Swahili style – with local Swahili and Indian furniture – ancient and modern, with masks and headrests and other antiques and objects from around the continent - and with photographs, maps and prints from Africa and Arabia – old and new. There are also plenty of good and interesting books and magazines to read.

Zuhura is our own house in Lamu – we have tried to make it as comfortable and welcoming as possible and we hope your visit will be a very enjoyable one. During your stay you and the house and garden will be very well looked after by Joshua and Dixon. Joshua is a particularly good cook who enjoys discovering new recipes. Zuhura’s other permanent inhabitant is Pepper – a very happy and lively cross between a Jack Russell and Cairn terrier.

 

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