Event

Lamu Writing Retreat

Date

19-24 September, 2022

Guest Capacity

20

Accommodation

Peponi, Kasbah House Villa & Banana House

Production

Georgia Black, Littlegig

Writing Coaching and Facilitation

Sarah Bullen, The Writing Room

Digital Content Creation Coaching

Seth Shezi

Event:
Lamu Writing Retreat

Date:
19-24 Sept, 2022

Guest Capacity:
20

Accommodation:
Peponi,
Kasbah House Villa
& Banana House

Production:
Georgia Black,
Littlegig

Writing Coaching
& Facilitation:
Sarah Bullen,
The Writing Room

Digital Content
Creation Coaching:
Seth Shezi

“Group travel, when it works, is mighty. A part of all of us yearns for the disruption of new energy and new people in new places, and I believe wholly in the transformative joy that springs from a community of new friends. Yet many of us are also deeply drawn to solitude, where we can be and express our true selves, without posturing, copying or comparing. In the words of American rocker John Oates, “You have to know when to strike and when to retreat.”

– Georgia Black, Littlegig founder, House and Leisure, BREATHE edition.

The second edition of Littlegig Lamu Retreat will take place on the tiny, secret archipelago off Kenya’s East African coast from 19-24 September 2022. Once again, the retreat will have writing as its creative pursuit – although you don’t need to be ‘a writer’.

Since the 1960’s, Lamu has attracted artists and nomads, writers and seekers. They have been enchanted by those white sails against that blue sea, and by Lamu’s hundreds of years of invaders and influence: Chinese, Omani Arab, Portuguese, British, Indian, Persian and African, dating back as early as the fourteenth century. Stand on their shoulders, as you embark on your own creative journey, led by international writing coach and facilitator Sarah Bullen, and produced by Littlegig founder Georgia Black.

Not only is Lamu one of the last places where you can experience Islamic seafaring culture, it is also the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa. (Lamu Old Town was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001.) Its perfectly warm weather, pristine deserted beaches, and the ‘pole-pole’ – Swahili for “take it slowly” – way of life make it the ideal place for finding your story.

We Stay at The Peponi, Banana House, or one of Lamu’s Villas

Because Shela Village is famous for its many different accommodation options, accommodation does not form part of the retreat ticket price. Where you choose to stay depends on how you like to retreat. We have reserved rooms at the legendary Peponi Hotel, where the retreat will take place, and at Banana House, a boutique hotel that is a short walk away. Alternatively, if you’re travelling with friends you may prefer to rent one of Lamu’s magnificent villas.

THE PEPONI is the legendary beachfront hotel that is the epicentre of Lamu’s Shela village, and which has been family-run – by the Korschen family – since the 1960’s. At sunset its bougainvillea-shaded terrace overlooking the Lamu Channel is one of the most multi-cultural spots in the world, with travellers, Euro aristocrats, digital nomads, businessmen, local boat owners, celebrities, aid workers and Kenyan leaders gathering for a coconut, a beer or an ‘Old Pal’ (the Peponi’s signature cocktail, made with vodka, bitters, lime juice and soda). 

There are ten airy rooms (Superior and Standard) in whitewashed buildings, shady corners and poolside hammocks, a restaurant with some of the best food in East Africa, and an almost-deserted beach with palm-covered dunes. The right amount of everything – no more, and definitely no less.

The Peponi

A short walk from the Peponi is BANANA HOUSE, with an additional 10 rooms reserved for the retreat. Owned by Monika Fauth (Dutch) and her husband Banana (who is from one of Lamu’s original five families), this spot is ideal for those who don’t want to spend as much, but who want the charm of a boutique hotel that feels like an elegant private home, with rooms spread over three houses in a lush tropical garden with a swimming pool. Banana House is also renowned for its airy yoga studio and morning classes by brilliant instructors, and its organic food prepared by the resident chef.

Banana House

Due to popular demand, we have reserved all 6 rooms and suites at one of Lamu’s most luxurious villas, THE KASBAH. For detailed information about the villa and rooms visit www.kasbah-lamu.com.

The Kasbah

Click below to receive our updated sheeting showing the different accommodation options with pricing, availability and booking contact details for the Peponi, Banana House and The Kasbah.

ACCOMMODATION INFO PLS

How the Days Unfold

The hallmark of Littlegig is our programming. Our mission is to provide a carefully structured experience and to expose you to the extraordinary. Everything is optional; everything is meticulously produced; everyone’s rhythm is respected! 

Imagine…

  • Riding nature’s waves and waking with the call to prayer that rings from the Shela mosques in the distance. 

  • An early morning (depending on the tides) sea swim in the Indian Ocean mangrove channels with a small dhow trailing you.

  • Breakfast on the Peponi patio, watching the fishing boats as they leave.

  • Yoga at the enchanting Banana House with Kenyan instructors renowned for their soulful, island-style practice.

  • A mid-morning writing session, led by Sarah Bullen of The Writing Room. 

  • Time and space to work on your own creative pursuit. And one individual session with Sarah during your stay, which will focus on planning, writing feedback, or telling your story.

  • Lunch on the famous Peponi pool deck overlooking the moving tides, or at the local Swahili Cafe on the Maasai market square.

  • Afternoons exploring (on your own or with a carefully-chosen guide) old hidden passageways, shaded villas, tiny villages accessible only by boat. ‘Not your usual Lamu itinerary. 

  • Evenings together, where we gather together for dinners in the perfect warmth on dhows or secret beaches. Storytelling or writing feedback. Moonlit dancefloors in the dunes…

How the Days Unfold

The hallmark of Littlegig is our programming. Our mission is to provide a carefully structured experience and to expose you to the extraordinary. Everything is optional; everything is meticulously produced; everyone’s rhythm is respected! 

Imagine…

  • Riding nature’s waves and waking with the call to prayer that rings from the Shela mosques in the distance. 

  • An early morning (depending on the tides) sea swim in the Indian Ocean mangrove channels with a small dhow trailing you.

  • Breakfast on the Peponi patio, watching the fishing boats as they leave.

  • Yoga at the enchanting Banana House with Kenyan instructors renowned for their soulful, island-style practice.

  • A mid-morning writing session, led by Sarah Bullen of The Writing Room. 

  • Time and space to work on your own creative pursuit. And one individual session with Sarah during your stay, which will focus on planning, writing feedback, or telling your story.

  • Lunch on the famous Peponi pool deck overlooking the moving tides, or at the local Swahili Cafe on the Maasai market square.

  • Afternoons exploring (on your own or with a carefully-chosen guide) old hidden passageways, shaded villas, tiny villages accessible only by boat. ‘Not your usual Lamu itinerary. 

  • Evenings together, where we gather together for dinners in the perfect warmth on dhows or secret beaches. Storytelling or writing feedback. Moonlit dancefloors in the dunes…

Who Should Join?

You, if you need an adventure, plus the gift of time and space in an extraordinary island setting. If you’re ready for a shakeup. Lamu will ever-so-gently blast through the inertia or overwhelm that might have crept in through life’s back doors. You’ll be joining an international mix of 20 travellers, creatives, writers, academics and seekers. You don’t need to be a writer or to have a grand project in progress. You may be halfway through a novel, you may just want to write a special letter, create a video of your trip, or you may choose to absorb the other-worldliness of Lamu while your story brews. All seekers are welcome! You do have a story in you…

Please note however that Lamu Writing Retreat is not a Littlegig Festival. it is a deep dive into the act of writing and storytelling. While you do not need to be a published author, our mission is to run a retreat that is conducive to creation and deep reflection.

Your Retreat Hosts

Georgia Black, Littlegig Founder & Producer

Georgia Black has worked as features editor of Marie Claire magazine, and then a freelance journalist, with work published in The Telegraph, The Guardian, and most South African newspapers and lifestyle magazines. She founded Littlegig in 2014 as a series of music concerts in Cape Town and then a 24-hour Festival in Stellenbosch, showcasing some of the country’s best musicians, chefs, winemakers and designers. A frequent traveller to East Africa for the past twenty years, Georgia conceptualised and produced the first Lamu Writing Retreat in 2021:

“I’ve always made sense of my world by writing and by bringing people together. This is the result.”

Sarah Bullen is a multi-published author, international writing coach and literary agent. Founder of The Writing Room and Kent Literary, she has had over 100 books published by writers she has mentored. As well as being a regular guest on talk shows, podcasts and writers’ circles, Sarah has been leading international writing retreats and adventures for the past decade. 

Her books include Write your Book in 100 Days!  and  Love & Above – A Journey into Shamanism, Coma and Joy.

Seth Shezi, Digital Content Creator and Influencer

Seth Shezi is a digital content creator and influencer and is currently one of the leading minds on instagram strategy. He is known for his art direction and compelling video content, which he makes on the fly using easy tools and hacks. 

Seth will give you the confidence to present yourself digitally, help you develop your personal brand, and show you how put a beautiful spin on your trip, no matter your technical level. Instagram: @seth_shezi

Retreat Line-up

International Guest Speaker

We are excited to have our first international guest speaker and author, Ruby Wax, on our Lamu ’22 lineup.

Ruby is a highly successful comedian, presenter and writer, who had her own show on the BBC for 25 years and whose one-woman theatre shows have toured both internationally and in London’s West End.

She is the author of four Sunday Times best- selling books: Sane New World, A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled, How to be Human and A Mindfulness Guide for Survival which combine neuroscience, mindfulness and comedy.

Ruby has a Master’s degree in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy from Oxford University, and is a highly-acclaimed TedTalk TedTalk Global speaker. In 2015 she was awarded an OBE for her services to mental health.

Cost

Retreat Ticket: 22,500ZAR (1,430USD)

Includes

  • A structured writing journey for your full retreat, including:

  • One daily group session on a different aspect of writing and/or storytelling, led by international writing coach, author and mentor Sarah Bullen.

  • One individual session with Sarah, to assist with any aspect of writing your story, from structure, to tools, to inspiration, or publishing advice. 

  • One individual session with digital content creator and influencer Seth Shezi (@seth_shezi) who will  help you develop your personal brand and show you how put the right spin on your trip, no matter your technical level. 

  • All breakfasts, one group lunch, and all dinners. We gather together before sunset each evening in the perfect warmth on dhows or secret beaches, in palm gardens or wonderful villas. Storytelling, writing feedback, moonlit dancefloors in the dunes…

  • Access to the full programme of optional daytime Lamu experiences. Note that some of these will carry an extra charge.

 

Excludes

  • Accommodation. 

  • Flights.

  • Alcohol, lunches (other than one group lunch) and room service.

How to Book

1. Book your retreat ticket on Quicket. If you book prior to 1 June ‘22, you can choose to pay a R10,000 (640USD) deposit, with the balance of R12,500 (785USD) due on 1 July ‘22. For bookings after 1 June, full payment is required.

BOOK NOW

2. Book your accommodation. We have rooms reserved at Peponi Hotel and rooms at Banana House, both at a discounted rate. Accommodation is allocated on a first come first serve basis.  Get in touch to receive our updated sheet showing the different rooms, availability, and booking contact details for Peponi and Banana House, as well as details for Lamu’s villa rental agents.

ACCOMMODATION INFO PLS

How to Book

1. Book your retreat ticket on Quicket. If you book prior to 1 June ‘22, you can choose to pay a R10,000 (640USD) deposit, with the balance of R12,500 (785USD) due on 1 July ‘22. For bookings after 1 June, full payment is required.

BOOK NOW

2. Book your accommodation. We have rooms reserved at Peponi Hotel and rooms at Banana House, both at a discounted rate. Accommodation is allocated on a first come first serve basis.  Get in touch to receive our updated sheet showing the different rooms, availability, and booking contact details for Peponi and Banana House, as well as details for Lamu’s villa rental agents.

ACCOMMODATION INFO PLS

If This Sounds Like Heaven That You Can’t Afford…

Why not apply for one of our Sponsored Residency programmes? Our Main Sponsored Residency covers all costs excluding flights, and our Partial Sponsored Residency covers the Retreat Ticket (value: R22,500) but excludes flights and accommodation.

APPLY FOR SPONSORED RESIDENCY

Cancellation Policy

We will refund you 75% of your Retreat Ticket if you cancel before 1 August (6 weeks before the event) and 50% if you cancel up until 5 days before the event. Unfortunately no refunds in the 5 days before the event. If there is a COVID-related lockdown in Kenya which makes travel to Lamu impossible over the time of the retreat, you will get a full refund, minus a 5% administration fee. Please note that accommodation refund policies vary depending on where you’re staying, and it is up to you to deal directly with your hotel/villa in that regard.

Getting There

Anyone who has watched Zanzibar become a mass tourism destination applauds the fact that Lamu remains relatively inaccessible! Daily flights between Lamu and Nairobi are detailed on the Peponi website. Please note that these flights are limited and on small aircraft, so don’t leave this leg of your booking too late.  

We are happy to recommend a travel agent though you will need to book all flights yourself.

Getting There

Anyone who has watched Zanzibar become a mass tourism destination applauds the fact that Lamu remains relatively inaccessible! Daily flights between Lamu and Nairobi are detailed on the Peponi website. Please note that these flights are limited and on small aircraft, so don’t leave this leg of your booking too late.  

We are happy to recommend a travel agent though you will need to book all flights yourself.

Want to Speak to Us?

Contact Georgia Black for trip enquiries:
georgia@littlegig.co.za / +27 (0)82 389-5151

Contact Sarah Bullen for Writing enquiries:
sarah@thewritingroom.co.za /  +27 (0)82 373-6129

You can also download a PDF with this event information here.

Our events are small and sell out quickly. Sign up to our mailing list if you don’t want to miss out.