Manda Bay, Kenya
On the island of Manda, just off the famous colonial town of Lamu, lies Manda Bay. This lodge has been setting standards in terms of accommodation, activities offered to guests and of course the fishing for many years. It is the perfect place to relax post-safari or as a stand alone trip as it is so easy to get to.
On the equator, the weather is consistently excellent and while the species targeted will vary seasonally, the fishing is superb throughout the year. Non-fishers will feel especially at home and it can offer a superb holiday for everyone from the hard core fanatic to those with children who just want the odd day's fishing.
There are two distinct fisheries at Manda. The first is the inshore fishing where you can target many species of trevally, including the Giant Trevally which most agree ranks as one of the hardest fighting fish in the world. You can also target Rainbow Runners, Ox-eye tarpon, snappers, barracuda and more, only 20 minutes from the lodge.
The lodge is very well equipped with pangas for this fishing and the guides know exactly where to take you depending on the tides and bird activity. The lodge can offer a limited range of fly rods and reels but serious fly fishermen should take their own equipment.
The second feature is the bluewater fishing from either Chezza or Shakina, the lodge's two very well equipped and crewed boats. Chezza is a more traditional bluewater boat whereas Shakina is a 33ft catamaran. Perhaps the most important feature of Shakina is that she is powered by 4 stroke petrol engines so there are none of the bad fumes that have traditionally been associated with this type of fishing.
Sailfish and marlin will be the main species targeted, depending on the time of year but tuna, wahoo, kingfish, dorado etc are available throughout the year.
Manda Bay in Kenya's tranquil Lamu Kiwayu archipelago could hardly be better. Set on a secluded peninsula, it is surrounded by seemingly endless empty beaches, calm waters and magnificent coral gardens. Although it is relatively easy to reach, the entire place is imbued with a beguiling air of remoteness.
Just 16 spacious cottages with makuti thatched roofs and cool matting floors and ceilings are strung along the bay, sheltered by groves of coconut palms, acacias and tamarind trees. Looking straight onto the immaculate sands of the beach, each has undergone a recent facelift with bright new soft furnishings, hot and cold running water and open walls to maximise the view and the breeze. With 97 staff to a maximum of 32 guests, everything is thought of and their attention to detail is superb.
The food is excellent with fresh fruit and seafood featuring as you would expect. Dinners are often served on the beach with the African sky offering a wonderful canopy to end your day.