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28 October 2014

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Fancy touching paradise?
Sunset over Manda
Sunset over the island of Manda of Africa
Overwhelmed by the beauty of a tiny island off the east coast of Africa, gallery owner, Helen Feiler ended up buying a plot of land.

Now known as Diamond Beach Village you can also have the chance to touch paradise.
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Find out more about the eco-friendly resort and what activities are available.


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Helen 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.

Click here
to view a gallery of photos from
'Diamond Beach Village'
on the island of Manda off east Africa

In 2002 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.

Once 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.

Guest accommodation at Diamond Beach Village
Guest accommodation at Diamond Beach Village

During 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 venture.

They 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."

"We 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".

Local wildlife of the island of Manda
Local wildlife of the island of Manda

"My 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.

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