Complete Guide to Lamu Island, Kenya

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Lamu Island is located on the northern part of Kenya’s white sandy coasts, surrounded by turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Leave behind the rush of daily life and pause at the wonderful sunset while filling yourself with a sense of serenity. The lack of roads helps create the feeling of stepping back in time or of a little isolated paradise getaway. Instead of speeding cars and buses, walk or ride donkeys and enjoy the calmly paced lifestyle.

Best time to visit

With the dry season heating up the air from January to March and the wet seasons filled with rain from April to June, it leaves the months from July to December a great time to travel.

Shella Village Lamu

Shella Village Lamu, Image Source: TheAfricaSpecialists.Com


The Lamu Archipelago is not easily assessable unless you take a route through Kenya first. A flight from one of the airports of Mombasa or Nairobi to Lamu would be your best option.

For commuting around the island however, walking is most convenient, or if you plan on travelling far you could hire a donkey or travel along the coast on a beautiful dhow.

Lamu Old Town

Lamu Old Town, Image Source: Agoda.Com

Things to Do

Visit Lamu Old Town

The town of Lamu on Lamu Island is Kenya’s oldest continuously inhabited town and also the oldest Swahili settlement. It is definitely a sight worth seeing when visiting the island. Its architectural designs will simply blow you away, and the Lamu Museum would provide a really helpful insight on the Swahili history and culture.

Mosque Lamu Old Town

Mosque Lamu Old Town, Image Source: MagicalKenya.Com

Swing by Neighboring Islands

The archipelago has quite a number of islands besides the main Lamu Island. With Lamu as underrated as it is, these islands feel even more quiet and calm, like a stolen piece of paradise just for you. With enchanting white coasts and open ocean to snorkel and dive in, Lamu is a destination for everyone!

Sit Back and Relax

There are so many things you could do, which includes doing nothing. The calm pace at Lamu Island helps disconnect you from life’s rush, so take a pause and just unwind on a walk around the friendly town or go for a dhow ride at sunset or sunrise.

Manda Bay Lamu Island

Manda Bay Lamu Island, Image Source: AfricaOdyssey.Com

Watch the Stars

With little to no streetlights and skyscrapers, light pollution is at a minimum here and the stars are much clearer than they would be in most other places. The sky no longer looks like a dark abyss, but a lit stage for the play put up by celestial bodies for our eyes to enjoy.

Tips and Tricks

  • When taking walks around the island at dusk, make sure you bring along a flashlight or some sort of light source as there are no streetlights clogging up the roads.
  • The island’s culture is rather conservative, so please mind yourself and remain respectful by dressing a bit modestly in loose clothing (e.g.: loose t-shirts and tops, loose fitting maxi) when in public spaces, but in private properties you may do as you wish.
  • Take your time. Seriously, there is no need to rush. You will need at least 3 days of stay over at the island, so make sure you allow yourself enough time to properly enjoy the atmosphere.
  • Once again, the culture is very conservative and a tad bit averse to alcohol, so it is only served at large establishments and properties.

So, what are you waiting for? Head over to Lamu Island and have a wonderful time there! Don’t forget to Take The Best of Kenya Safari while you’re there!

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