From Faza you’re within striking distance of the desert island retreat of Kiwaiyu (also spelt Kiwayu). The island is a long strip of sand dunes, held in place with low scrub and the odd tree and fronted on the ocean side by a superb beach. The village of Kiwaiyu, near the southern end of the island, has limited provisions at a couple of shops. Twenty minutes’ walk to the south, you reach a private fishing lodge on the high southern tip of the island. From here, the empty, ocean-facing beach, with the reef close offshore, is just a scramble down the sandy hillside. There are one or two first-class snorkelling spots off this southern tip of the island, with huge coral heads and a multitude of fish. Ask for precise directions, as it’s possible to spend hours looking and still miss them. For something a little different, ask your captain on the boat over about a fantastic little hut in a baobab tree where travellers can spend the night. Your captain will make you the most amazing fresh fish, grilled on the back of the dhow over charcoal. Prices for the trip (including food) will vary according to each captain, but expect to pay a minimum of Ksh12,000 per night for up to six guests.
Since the tragic events of September 2011 (see Security in the Lamu archipelago) and the Kenyan military incursion into Somalia, Kiwaiyu Safari Village (the luxury beach lodge on the mainland facing the northern tip of the island that was the location of the first kidnapping) has been closed and tourism to the island has dropped off – check the latest security advice before travelling here.