Lamu Island | Kenya Coast Travel Guide

Lamu Island view of the beach from the Kipungani Explorer pool.
Lamu Island, part of the Lamu Archipelago, is located just off the northern coast of Kenya. This Unesco World heritage site, Lamu Old Town, is the oldest and well preserved example of a Swahili settlement in East Africa. Lamu Island with its white beaches fabulous food and people and variety of accommodation are for those that want to get away from the rat race and relax.

Lamu Archipelago is made up of several large and small islands - the largest being; Lamu, Manda, Pate and Kiwayu Islands.

The town is characterized by narrow streets and magnificent stone buildings with impressive carved doors, influenced by unique fusion of Swahili, Arabic, Persian, Indian and European building styles. The buildings on the seafront with their arcades and open verandas provide a unified visual impression of the town when approaching it from the sea. The buildings are well preserved and carry a long history that represents the development of Swahili building technology, based on coral, lime and mangrove poles.

Once a center for the slave trade, the population of Lamu is ethnically diverse. Lamu was on the main Arabian trading routes, and as a result, the population is largely Muslim. From respect to the Muslim inhabitants, tourists in town are expected to wear more than shorts or bikinis.

Explorers can snorkel, take part in sailing trips with a sail around the island being a top activity and partake in walks along the beach. Guided tours through the town visiting the Lamu Museum and Siyu Fort will make you look forward to sundowners or meals at different spectacular locations.

Watersports

Windsurfing is one the popular activities in this area.  water skiing, sailing, wind surfing, kitesurfing, banana, knee boards, wake boards and doughnuts, kayaking, snorkelling and motor boat tours as well as deep sea fishing are all available from Manda Bay and Lamu Islands.

How to get there

Fly540 offres daily flights from Mombasa to LamuFlights land at Manda Island then a boat across to Lamu Island.

There are flights from Wilson Airport (Nairobi) to Lamu daily - Air Kenya and Safari Link which takes 1hr 25 min There are also daily flights from Mombasa to Lamu - Air Kenya and 540.

If you are travelling by road - the road is at the moment a temporary one for 125 Kms and is not in good repair. You will have to leave the car at Mokowe Jetty and take a boat across to the island.
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