Lamu Island is a part of the Lamu Archipelago that sits on rich ancient heritage in Kenya at the East African Coast of the Indian Ocean. The archipelago is a chain of islands
separated from the hinterland by a narrow channel surrounded by impenetrable mangrove forest and sheltered from the Indian Ocean by coral reefs and large sand dunes. The largest of the islands are Pate Island, Manda Island and Lamu Island. Smaller islands include Kiwayu Island, which lies in the Kiunga Marine National Reserve. Another remarkable location that offers a rewarding beach experience is the Shela beach.
Lamu Town dates back to the 14th Century and is a World Heritage Site since 2001. Lamu Kenya’s oldest town and is the best conserved Swahili Settlement. The narrow, cool and quiet alleys lined with stone buildings with thick coral walls of this medieval stone town narrate its history. Despite attracting many people the island has been able to remain remarkably unspoiled. The intimate streets and architecture from a time long forgotten gives the town its distinct colour and texture. Lamu town is one of the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlements in East Africa. The Swahili culture and style of Lamu are a mix of East African, Omani, Yemeni, Indian, and some Portuguese and European influences. Most houses have a flat rooftop which is used as a patio, relaxing and feeling the breeze is important. Siyu, Shanga and Lamu islands are ancient Swahili settlements but have hosted Omani Arabs, Portuguese, British and Chinese settlers in the past. A peculiar legend is that a Chinese fleet Zheng He sunk near Lamu Island leaving the survivors behind who settled on the island. Excursions to Kipugani, Shela, and Manda island to sample the untouched Swahili Culture.
Highlights of Lamu Archipelago
- Water Sports e.g. Kite surf
- Explore the Lamu archipelago by dhow
- Lamu museum
- Cultural festivals that show cases the Swahili Culture, Sports and Music.
- Dhow races and Donkey race
- The Magnificent unique architectural and rich Cultural Heritage.
- Pristine Beaches
Adventure and Pleasure at the Lamu Archipelago
- Kiwayu Island or Manda Island pristine beaches
- Dhow safari
- Windsurfing and sailing
- Nature walk
Kiwayu Island Kiwayu Island portrays everybody’s wish of a delightful desert island Paradise. Set high up north eastern the Kiwayu Island, part of the Lamu Archipelago and is the furthest of the Kenyan Indian Ocean islands. Kiwayu is bordered by three nature reserves one marine and two terrestrial and is part of the Kiunga Marine National Reserve.
Manda Island This splendid Island is part of Lamu Archipelago located on Frangipani Manda Island east coast side of the Indian Ocean. The island is a perfect place for relaxation and enjoying the sun. The atmosphere on the Island quickly allows all thoughts of modern day stresses dissolve. The island is filled with palm trees and other lush tropical vegetation. Manda Island is one of the many unspoiled, idyllic islands of the Lamu Archipelago.
Shela Village Lamu Shela Village on Lamu Island is amaze of narrow sandy lanes, ancient tall stone houses, makuti thatched dwellings, mosques, ruins and a spacious square fringed by a few market stalls, small shops. Old town is the longest surviving settlement in Kenya and also the best preserved Swahili habitat in East Africa comparable to its peer the Zanzibar in Tanzania.