Updated: Oct 5, 2020
Lamu or Lamu Town is a small town on Lamu Island, which in turn is a part of the Lamu Archipelago in Kenya. Situated 341 kilometers by road northeast of Mombasa that ends at Mokowe Jetty, from where the sea channel has to be crossed to reach Lamu Island
A peaceful tropical island where life is lived at it's own rhythm, Lamu island is a place like no other. An island whose history is as mysterious and fascinating as the winding streets of its medieval stone town.
The town of Lamu which its existence dates back in the 14th century has seen many visitors and explorers . Portuguese explorers, Turkish traders and Omani Arabs, all left their mark but Lamu developed in its own particular culture, which has ultimately endured. The streets in the island remain unchanged, and in the market and squares around the fort life moves at the same pace as it always has.
Donkeys and shows remain the dominant means of transport in the island as there are less vehicles.
Lamu island is a hypnotically exotic experience, made even more enjoyable by the relaxed and welcoming attitude of the locals. The locals are great believers in tradition and culture , and this makes the society strong as it is built on respect for the past. It is another world which when you visit you become part of it. Life slows down and long days are spent strolling along the waterfront, exploring the town and relaxing on beaches. The island is home to ancient ruins, isolated villages and a number of luxurious and exclusive resorts.
The winding streets of Lamu are best explored on foot. The best spots for a beach stroll is a couple of kilometres south of Lamu town, on the eastern tip of the island where the channel opens to the ocean, around the Shela village. Not much more than a pretty
waterfront and a jumble of narrow sandy pathways, in Shela you are never far from the sand dunes and the deserted beach. The Shela village is popular with Western experts and even occasional celebrities who come to unwind. While in Shela, you will no doubt have to navigate the sand-lined maze of pathways of this tiny settlement. It's a tangle of donkey-wide alleys, winding among tall stone townhouses, small thatched huts, few mosques and ruins and a spacious square ringed with some market stalls.