The Cabanas grew from the belly of a love story.

Born and raised on opposite sides of the globe, each surrounded by a contrast of culture & creed. Shawn, a professional kitesurfer in the waters of Hawaii and Anna, a neuroscientist turned filmmaker in the wilds of East Africa. We still reminisce about the day we met, mystified at how two far reaching strangers can feel instantly and completely aligned. Despite the 11,700 mile commute between Kenya and Maui and concern from loved ones as we flipped all prior life plans, there was no doubt for us, we needed to be together. We trusted our instincts and blindly followed our hearts. Today we reap a beautiful reward from that risk everyday, building a life together at our off-grid island nest.

Here, we share our passion for yoga, wellness, kitesurfing, nutrition and the beauty of mindful living.

Our excitement around health, happiness and sustainability grows as we do and we designed The Cabanas to embody it all. To learn more about our health coaching visit Healthy Happy Wild. To grab a space on one of our bespoke retreats visit Island Surf & Soul. To learn more about the legacy behind The Cabanas, read below.

Leslie Duckworth was one of a kind,
a brilliant and brave creative.

She was married in Lamu and started her ‘villa design’ chapter by building 4 stunning houses in Shela Village, Beach, Palm, Garden and Shela House. She then found her paradise on Kizingoni beach, a peaceful and private sanctuary. She wanted to protect this stretch of the island, which was mostly desert, she spent a decade diligently planting palms and trees across the 24 acres. WIth a vision to preserve the beach from over-development she designed 8 beautiful swahili style villas.

She made them sandy in colour and nestled them into the flora she had planted so they blended into the scenery.

Whilst building the Kizingoni Villas, Leslie lived in a grass hut on a hill, the original and first dwelling on Kizingoni beach that still stands today, known as Ohana Cabana. Growing up, her youngest daughter Anna helped her mum in the school holidays with hosting guests and watersports until she left for University. Later in life Anna and her husband, Shawn moved back to Kenya to support Leslie in her extraordinary endeavours, and to create their own dream, The Cabanas. They spent 4 brilliant years as the “three musketeers”. Leslie passed away in August 2020, leaving a hole in the hearts of all who knew her. The beautiful spaces she created still remain for all to admire and enjoy, Anna and Shawn continue to preserve and protect Leslie’s legacy today.
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