Lamu Island

Lamu Island

LOCATED
–     In the Kenya North Coast

ALTITUDE
–     0m to 12m

AREA
–     6,497km²

ACCOMMODATIONS
–     Plenty of choices

ACCESS
–     By Air Daily flights from Nairobi, Malindi, Mombasa

ATTRACTIONS
–     UNESCO World Heritage Site, Shela Beach, Donkeys as main transport source, Lamu Fort

Going to the remote archipelago of Lamu is like traveling back in time. The town has narrow streets, no cars and the only means of transport on land are donkeys, or by sea, dhows or motor powered boats. The Lamu Archipelago contains some of the world’s last truly deserted tropical beaches and also features an abundant wildlife. Cast into the Indian Ocean off the Kenya coast, the island is heir to a distinctive tradition over a thousand years old. The Swahili culture are a mix of East African, Arab, Indian and some Portuguese and Victorian influences. Lamu is a place like no other, a peaceful tropical island where life is lived at its own relaxed rhythm, but a place whose history is as mysterious and fascinating as the winding streets of its medieval stone town. The island itself is a beautiful place of rolling dunes and endless beaches, where tiny villages nestle among coconut and mango plantations and lateen sailed dhows ply the waters. But Lamu’s real attraction is its Old town. The town of Lamu began life as a 14th century Swahili settlement, but the island has seen many visitors and influences, including Portuguese explorers, Turkish traders and the Omani Arabs. All left their mark, but Lamu developed its own particular culture, which has ultimately endured. Lamu’s narrow streets remain unchanged, and in the markets and squares around the fort life moves at the same pace as it always has. There are no vehicles on this island, and the donkey and the dhow remain the dominant form of transport.

 

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