Happy Thursday! 😀 Welcome to part 1 of our Jambojet in Lamu experience blog post series… If Lamu Island is on your bucket-list, then this blog post is for you!
I will be your Captain, so buckle up your seatbelts and get ready for take-off, as we begin the journey to exploring the beauty of Lamu…
Jambojet In Lamu: It Was Worth the Wait!
I have always wanted to go to Lamu… And for some reason or another, it just never worked out for me to go. So, when the announcement that Jambojet in Lamu flights were being relaunched, I whispered a prayer to God: please let me go on this one.
Now, looking back- I am glad it didn’t work out on all those other occasions… Because it happened at just the right time!
As part of their #NowTravelReady campaign, Jambojet reinstituted flights to Lamu while setting out to showcase all that Lamu has to offer. Thankfully, I got to travel on this inaugural flight, making it all the more special. 🙂
Quick Helpful Tips:
- The new Jambojet in Lamu route currently operates 4 times a week.
- The flight takes about 2.5 hours, with a short stopover in Mombasa.
- The beauty of it is that, you can now fly conveniently from Nairobi to Lamu (NBO-LAU), or Mombasa to Lamu (MBA-LAU) and vice-versa.
- A one-way ticket from NBO-LAU costs Kshs. 7,100/- and MBA-LAU costs Kshs. 4,600/-, while a return ticket costs 14,200/- and Kshs. 9,200/- respectively.
- You can now make your Flight bookings to Lamu, directly on the Jambojet Progressive Web App, now available on Android and IOS.
Of Easy Breezy Airport Runs…
My airport runs exist on 2 extremes: very early or chasing down airplanes! I prefer getting to the airport early enough though…
On some days it’s chaos, so it doesn’t always work out. But when I can, I try to get to the airport at least 2-4 hours early.
And it’s lovely when you are not in a rush, because the airport checks feel like a breeze… I get to watch strangers at the airport, and even have time to chat up the friendly Jambojet check-in attendants. It’s like taking part in a big production, where one good move gives way to the next.
On our Lamu travel day, I got to the airport at 6:30am, for our 9:20a.m departure. With 2 hours to kill, I took my time going through the checks, and taking note of whether the Covid-19 measures are still in place.
Notably, JKIA is one of the institutions in Kenya that has not slackened on the Covid-19 safety measures. I find that very commendable. I would hope that more of us stay on our guard, as the pandemic has not relented on its severity.
While waiting in the lounge, and unbeknownst to me, I happened to run into the Jambojet CEO. With facemasks on, I didn’t immediately recognize him. He said hello & warmly introduced himself as Karanja. It hit me a little later on that -hey that’s the CEO, and I chuckled to myself! I want to be that cool & down-to-earth when I grow up! 😀
Tip>> Check out this blog post on: What to Expect While Traveling by Air in the New Normal.
Flying From Nairobi To Lamu…
The time passed by quickly, and soon enough we were boarding our flight. There were a number of familiar faces on board, like the CS of Tourism Najib Balala, and Dr. Betty Radier the head of the Kenya Tourism Board.
I’d also run into old friends Humphrey, Kevin and Kai Khalid, who were covering the Jambojet in Lamu experience for the day, as well as new friends like Vinnie O, making it feel like a reunion of sorts! 🙂
The Captain graciously welcomed us on board & the flight attendants took us through the safety brief. Our takeoff was smooth and steady as the Nairobi skyline quickly disappeared from view.
I don’t think I will ever tire of looking at the bed of snowy-white puffy clouds through the tiny airplane windows. It always reminds me of back when as a kid, I dreamed of the days I would get to travel on airplanes and see the world… Oh the wonder! 🙂
We experienced a bit of turbulence but our pilot navigated through, landing the plane masterfully at the Mombasa International Airport. The Jambojet staff seamlessly executed the transition from disembarking to boarding of passengers in Mombasa. And before long, we took off for Lamu.
Enter Lamu in all her Glory…
I have seen and heard a lot about Lamu, so my expectations were already high. The views from the sky were as beautiful as I had imagined (if not more)!
We landed at Manda Airport at exactly 11:50a.m, as planned; I certainly appreciate the timeliness with which Jambojet handles its flights.
Manda Airport, in Lamu is small and dated with an aged feel… You can tell that it has withstood the test of time, having been established in the early 1960’s.
As we got off, I was surprised to see the gravel airstrip… Our Aircraft had handled the landing pretty well, and you’d not have easily guessed that the airstrip is yet to be tarmacked. They have been working on expanding the airstrip to accommodate bigger aircrafts, thus making the Jambojet in Lamu flights possible.
We were warmly received by the Airport Staff and a host of officials like the County Governor: Fahim Yasin Twaha. It was a happy affair and the joy on the residents’ faces was evident as we went about the rest of the afternoon. 🙂
Tip>> At the JKIA Jambojet check-in counter, you’ll receive a slip of paper with instructions to a website where you’ll fill in the Covid-19 traveler’s registration. This will generate a QR code that you must present on arrival at the Manda Airport.
Travel Tips: What To Expect When You Visit Lamu
As I’d mentioned earlier, this is part 1 of our Jambojet in Lamu series. In the next blog posts, I will share with you the fun things to do in Lamu and ideas of places to stay… To begin with, let’s familiarise ourselves with this beautiful island! 🙂
Getting Around Lamu…
Located about 350km north of Mombasa, along the Indian Ocean waters, Lamu County is an archipelago of about 65 islands. The 3 main islands are: Lamu, Pate and Manda, while the main towns are Lamu and Shela.
There are about 2-3 cars in Lamu, hence the main mode of transportation is either donkeys or via boats.
And being an island, most of the travels in Lamu happen on water. The most exciting part for me was leaving Manda Airport on a Speed Boat!
You get to see the expanse of the stunning Lamu houses spread out along the shoreline… It’s such a unique and unexpected experience! 😀
Quick Lamu Travel Tips>>
- Find out whether your hotel provides boat transfers from the airport. Most hotels offer free boat transfers to and from the Airport.
- You’ll find porters around the airport exit to assist in carrying your luggage to the boats at a small fee.
- When traveling by a speed-boat, find out before-hand, whether if they have functional life-jackets.
- Lamu is very hot, so carry sunscreen, wide hats and loose-fitting clothes.
- Pack some comfortable shoes as you’ll do quite a bit of walking.
- Lamu is a relatively safe place, so you can travel around with cash. Nevertheless, avoid carrying large sums of cash on your person.
- MPESA is widely accepted everywhere in Lamu.
- Dress modestly when you visit Old Town Lamu, as it’s still quite conservative and predominantly Muslim.
- The people of Lamu are kind and friendly; it is normal for people to greet you or strike up conversations on the street. Go with the flow. 🙂
- The nights in Lamu are shorter, with the sky clearing up around 5:15a.m. Plan to spend the cool early mornings outside, awaiting their spectacular sunrise moments.
>> Look out for Part 2 Of Our Jambojet in Lamu Series coming soon!
Many thanks to Jambojet for making this trip possible and our hosts for the excellent Lamu hospitality!!
Thank you for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed Part 1 of our Jambojet in Lamu series! 😀 I would love to hear back from you! Have you been to Lamu, and what was your experience? Or is Lamu on your bucket-list?
Leave a comment down below with your inputs/feedback and or questions! I’ll be sure to respond! 🙂
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