A world heritage site since 2001, Lamu town dates back to the 14th century. It boasts of being
“The oldest and best preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa”
How to get to Lamu: By air from Nairobi, Mombasa or Malindi.or by bus from Mombasa via Malindi. The trip takes5 – 7 hours or hire a car from Mombasa or Malindi.
Accommodation: There is a wide range of budget hotels, luxury rentals and guest houses as well as private houses including the Lamu house.
Food: The sea front restaurants offer excellent sea food at reasonable prices
What to do: Explore the Lamu archipelago by dhow. Visit shella beach on the North end of the Island or the Lamu museum.
Kenya’s old Lamu town is a world heritage site. The town of Lamu has a lively Swahili culture, traditional dhow building, Maulidi and the Lamu festival, unique historic Swahili architecture and outstanding museums, vast mangrove forests full of wildlife and avifauna, untouched sandy beaches, impressive archaeological sites such as Faza fortress and Takwa rains. In the neighboring towns of shela or Kipungani, walk the sand dunes and check in at the luxury resorts.
The archipelago of Lamu stretches to the northern extremes of Kenya and it is fascinating for remoteness, hidden island, sea meadows and mangroves isles and ancient sultanates where the people live in a fest changing world. The Kiunga marine National reserve is the last frontier for the little seen dugong, a sea mammal that could have been mistaken for the mermaid.
Tourist information:Check the Kenya wildlife services Office in Lamu or book excursions to pate, Faza, Kiwayu and Kiunga easily from your hotels. Contact the senior warden in Lamu,
IN SUMMARY (LAMU ARCHIPELAGO)
LAMU HOUSE: Built on the sea front, Lamu house overlooks the island of Manda and the thick wades of mangrove forests with the ancient dhows sailing past. In this dreamy paradise, it’s easy to slip into the life style enjoyed by wealthy Swahili merchants of a by gone age. From the sea front, you can watch dhows ferrying passengers, mangrove poles, fish, building blocks of coral and everyday essentials like soap and salt.
LAMU FORT: Lamu fort is the centre piece of the old town. In 1813, after the epic battle of shela between the Nabhwani of pate island and the sultan of Lamu, which pate lost, the building of the fort was commenced to guard the Island from intruders.
RIYADHA MOSQUE: Riyadha Mosque started in 1900 by the eminent Islamic scholar, HabibSaleh, where Maulidi is celebrated for the prophet Mohamed’s birth.
LAMU MUSEUM: At the Lamu Museum once a prestigious house of a local Swahili ruler in the 18th century, its a must visit during the festival