Kenya is one of the most beautiful and exciting tourist locations in the world and is home to the stunning Lamu Island, a popular hotspot in the Lamu archipelago of Kenya. This breathtaking island offers a great vacation for visitors, providing a chance to explore through the winding streets of the historic town, sail away into the sunset, relax on the beach, enjoy the mouth-watering cuisine, or have an enriching experience of learning about the history and culture.
Lamu Island is one of the best travel destinations in the world, and should be on every tourist’s wish list!
Kenya Beach, Image Source: @LindaAnne via Pixabay.Com
Lamu Island is home to sandy beaches, coconut and mango plantations, and Old Town. This medieval town started as a Swahili settlement in the 14th century and was then visited by the Portuguese, Turks, and Arabs, all of whom left their influence on the culture. Even today, the people of Lamu believe in custom and tradition, and so, there are no vehicles on the island; tourists can find only dhows and donkeys as the mode of travel.
How To Get There
The best way to get to Lamu is by air, so visitors should book flights online beforehand. They can catch flights from Nairobi, Malindi, Mombasa, and Diani beach. Alternatively, they can access the island through a dhow ferry, a yacht, or a boat ride, which takes around one hour.
Tips To Remember
Lamu is a Muslim town so visitors should bring some modest clothing items, especially for ladies, in order to be respectful and considerate towards the culture. Moreover, visitors should show respect to the locals at all times, and be tolerant towards religious, and cultural differences. Tourists should also carry mosquito repellent, reusable water bottles, and important medication etc.
9 Fun Activities to do on Lamu Island
1. Explore Old
Town It is essential for tourists in Lamu to pay a visit to the Old Town, where architectural features such as carved doorways and enclosed courtyards show the influences of Arabic and European cultures. Being a UNESCO heritage site, it offers an authentic insight into the region, and has charming cafes and lovely souvenir or craft shops where tourists can buy keepsakes!
2. Sail a Dhow
Dhows are one of the means of transport on the island so visitors should enjoy a leisurely ride on a traditional dhow. Dhows can be booked beforehand, and the prices can mostly be negotiated!
A Dhow, Image Source: @MonikaP via Pixbay.Com
3. Visit Shela Village
3km away from Lamu, this fishing village is home to some of the most spectacular beaches in East Africa, with sand dunes, and the scenic view of the pristine ocean. Moreover, it allows guests to explore the beautiful marketplace, where they can taste savoury Swahili dishes.
4. Enjoy the Cuisine
The exquisite cuisine exists as an amalgamation of African and Eastern tastes, with delicious foods such as biryani, curry, couscous, pasta, chapati, coconut rice, mango chutney, mahamri (spiced doughnut), and fresh, mouthwatering seafood, all made with unique flavours such as cumin, cinnamon, clove, and coconut milk!
Spices from the Cuisine, Image Source: Peter H via Pixabay.Com
5. Go to the Ruined City of Takwa
The coral-stone ruins are the remains of settlements from the 17th century and serve as tourist attractions due to their beauty and history.
6. Visit Lamu Museum
This charming and well-designed museum allows tourists to observe the amazing history and Swahili culture. The patient, friendly and knowledgeable guides can show the enriching archives and beautiful archives to the travellers.
7. Walk Along the Beaches
The deserted beaches of Lamu are sandy, scenic, and serene. Without any crowds, the tourists can relax or walk along the peaceful beach. The scenery looks like a beautiful painting, and makes the experience even more special and unforgettable!
8. Visit the Lamu Fort
Constructed in 1830, this Fort was once a slave getaway and later became a prison. Today, it exists as a reminder of the island’s rich history, and the influence that the Omani Arabs, British, Chinese, Turks, Indians, and Portuguese have had on the island.
Lamu Fort, Image Source: @BwanaHenry via Pixabay.Com
9. Visit Manda Island
This stunning destination is located just across the channel from Shela, and is mostly uninhabited so it offers peace and tranquillity, and acts as the best spot to watch the sunset behind the Lamu island. The unspoiled beach is a great place to relax and enjoy the view! At Manda Bay, tourists can enjoy water sports such as kayaking and waterboarding etc.