Lamu is a tropical island where life is lived at it’s own relaxed rhythm, an island rich in history and culture. The town began as a 14th century Swahili settlement, and has since seen many visitors and influences, including Portuguese explorers, Turkish traders and the Omani Arabs settlers. All left their mark, but Lamu developed its own particular culture, which has ultimately endured the test of time.
Apart from the pristine beaches, Lamu old town and its winding medieval narrow streets is a center of attraction. There are no cars on the island, and life around the fort and market squares remain unchanged. Enjoy a donkey ride or traditional dhow ride, which are the primary mode of transport in the Island.
The people of Lamu are great believers in tradition and custom, and this is a strong society built on a respect for the past.
For the traveller, Lamu is a hypnotically exotic experience, made even more enjoyable by the relaxed and welcoming attitudes of the locals. To visit Lamu is to enter another world, and the visitor finds themselves becoming a part of this world. Life slows down, and long days are spent strolling along the waterfront, exploring the town or relaxing on the beaches.
Dhow safaris can take you beyond Lamu into the surrounding archipelago, where isolated villages, ancient ruins and a few luxurious and exclusive resorts lie hidden among the islands of Manda, Siyu, Pate and Kiwayu.
This idyllic island speaks to the heart and soul, and a trip to Lamu is a romantic experience that can become a lifelong affair.
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 neighbouring Manda Island. The strip can also be used by private charters. A dhow ferries arriving passengers to either Lamu town or Shela. Many yachts also come to Lamu, often sheltering in the channel near Shela.
There are no vehicles on Lamu. The winding streets of the towns are best explored on foot. Shela village and the beaches are also accessible by foot. To access the surrounding islands of Manda, Pate or Siyu, we can organise a Dhow Safari and explore. We can also get you donkeys to ride around the island.