Lamu Island Kenya

Lamu Island Kenya

Ringed by sandbanks, bobbing dhows, mangrove swamps, and the lapping waters of the Indian Ocean on the eastern edge of Kenya, little Lamu Island still plays host to one of the most historically rich towns in the nation.

Named – appropriately – Lamu Old Town, this historic port of whitewashed facades and tropical timber wood houses are tagged by UNESCO for its exposition of traditional Swahili building methods.

But that’s not it, because the villages of Shela and Matondoni further along the coast of Lamu also boast a series of fascinating ports and mosques from centuries gone by, while the age-old celebrations of Mawlid are a must for any culture vultures!

How to get to Lamu Island Kenya

Lamu is best accessed by air. There are scheduled flights daily from Nairobi, Mombasa, Diani Beach, and Malindi. The island is serviced by an airstrip on neighboring Manda Island. The strip can also be used by private charters.

Things to do in Lamu Island Kenya

Explore the narrow streets of Lamu Island

Lamu Island is an incredibly interesting place with no roads and only alleyways. Explore Old Town with its unhurried pace of life and old-world charm.

Hiring a dhow for a leisurely cruise around the archipelago is a must-do

A dhow is the only way to explore the Lamu Archipelago, Visit Manda Island, Pate Island, and Kiwayu Island to appreciate its various facets.

Stay at a beautiful Swahili townhouse

Forget hotels; rent a Swahili townhouse to get a deeper sense of Lamu Island’s way of life. Swahili beds, a Makuti canopy – it doesn’t get better than this.

Sunset gaze on Manda Island

 Manda Island boasts new luxury homes and resorts alongside the ruined town of Takwa. Explore the island and wait for the evening when the sun sets in a rainbow of colors.

Visit the ruined city of Takwa

Takwa was abandoned in the 18th century. Today, it draws tourists from all over eager to see the remains of a time long gone.

Participate in Bao competition at Lamu Cultural Festival

Attend the Lamu Cultural Festival and participate in Bao, an old strategy board game. Dhow races, swimming, and a cross-country challenge are also organized.

Explore the terrains of Kenya by quad biking or buggies near Lake Baringo

Get a feel of Kenya’s terrain by quad biking near Lake Baringo. Tour operators, lodges, and camps regularly organize trips for the same.

Where to stay at Lamu island Kenya

Peponi hotel

Peponi Hotel is a small boutique hotel on the remote island of Lamu, situated in the Indian Ocean off the North Kenyan coast. Run by the Korschen family who happened upon the old building by chance in the 1960s. The story begins on the family’s final holiday in Malindi; Aage and Wera Korschen had been farmers in upcountry Kenya until their land was acquired during independence. As Kenya had become home for them and their three children; Lars, Hanne, and Nils, they tried to find a suitable replacement career. However, after a few years and not much luck, they solemnly come to the conclusion to move to Argentina and continue their life there. During these last days Aage decided that, before leaving, he must visit a part of the coast he had always been drawn to; the Lamu Archipelago.

Lamu house

Lamu House is a collection of properties in Lamu Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Our hotel is located on the seafront and has ten individually designed rooms, several swimming pools, courtyards, terraces, and more. The apartment building is minutes away through the narrow streets of the town. There are nine apartments with magnificent views, suited with all the comfort of modern facilities. We offer a truly personal experience; with dedicated staff that will look after all the details of your stay. An excellent chef completes this voyage of the senses with a variety of gastronomic delights from local dishes naturally combined with the best international cuisine.

Msafini hotel

Located in Shela, 2 minutes’ walk from Shela beach and a 10 minutes’ boat ride from Lamu Town UNESCO Heritage Site, Msafini Hotel offers an outdoor pool and a restaurant. Free WiFi access is available. Each room features a balcony, views of the pool, ocean, and sand dunes, and is equipped with an en-suite bathroom fitted with a hot shower. Offering views of the pool, sea, dunes, and the entire village, the on-site restaurant is located on the top floor and features authentic Swahili cuisine. Cultural activities and experiences around Shela can be arranged at a fee.


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