Feiler - owner of the Helen Feiler Gallery in Newlyn, Penzance - visited
an island named Manda off the coast of Kenya, Africa in 2002.
Little did she know that after the trip she would fall in love with
the place so much so that she would end up buying some land.
Helen fell in love with the beauty of the people and the surrounding
landscape and thought it would be a fantastic place to come and paint
in the winter months.
to view a gallery of photos from
'Diamond Beach Village'
on the island of Manda off east Africa
that dream turned into buying the 1 acre beach front plot on Manda,
building local huts, banda's, a restaurant - if people were to come
and stay - and finally, because of having a massive Baobab tree on
the land it seemed appropiate to build a treehouse.
all of that was in place Helen's daughter Rachael and her partner
Aaron flew out straight after she finished her degree in Cultural
Studies to open the lodge. They hired Kahindi their trusty room
boy and a chef named charo.
accommodation at Diamond Beach Village
the first year Rachael and Aaron were mainly sorting out all the
legal documents which come with opening any business, especially
in a forigen African country. They then left the island of Manda
and returned to the UK in order to market and advertise the new
explained, "It was fantastic coming back to the lodge after
so long and seeing it again, it felt much bigger and the trees and
flowers were looking beautiful. We had a lot of work to do, many
repairs, setting up the kitchen, sorting out the garden, building
more huts and we had to put in flush toilets for every Banda. But
it was all worth it, as the health officers came and approved us
for our licences."
now employ over 10 staff, waiters, gardeners, sailor, chefs and
watchmen. We have a great team and always have a laugh. High season
is upon us - December, New Year - and it is very exciting to think
that Diamond Beach Village will soon be full of clients enjoying
the sunsets, the empty white beach, the amazing snorkelling, sailing
to Lamu - Manda's sister island - and eating fantastic local food
and drinking cocktails in the hammocks".
wildlife of the island of Manda
aim for the future is to put a percentage of our profits into the
Manda community, ideally to supply water to the farmers so that
we can buy their produce".
"I am also arranging a "clean the beach day" next
month which will be an annual event. I feel so lucky to be living
on Manda island therefore I think it necessary to try and give something
back to the small community".
Diamond Beach Village is the perfect place to come and relax for
days or weeks, away from the stresses and strains of everyday life
which offers a wonderful experience of the Swahili history and culture.
There are no cars on Lamu or Manda, the only form of transport is
donkey or boat, both of which are an experience in themselves. The
pace of life is inevitably slow and relaxed.
The island is located roughly 3 degrees south of the equator therefore
you can guarantee that perfect island getaway, whether it is lazing
in your airy Banda, on the beach or exploring the surroundings.