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Beautiful Lamu Island is a remote paradise best visited by plane. The oldest living settlement in Kenya Lamu is both an island and a trading town in the northern corner of Kenya. It is truly a different country that invites the visitor to travel back in time. The entire Swahili Safari Coast has a thousand year history of monsoon dhow trading in this country. Lamu is today the most impressive remnant of this era.

One of the birthplaces of Swahili‚ the seventh most spoken language in the world‚ Lamu is a World Heritage Site and the oldest and best-preserved Swahili city in East Africa. Even today it retains its traditional functions. Built of coral stone and mangrove wood‚ the ancient stone town is simple in structure and enriched with features such as courtyards‚ porches and intricately carved wooden doors. Lamu hosts major Swahili festivals and has become a major center for the study of Swahili culture.

Although the beaches near Lamu are the best in all of Kenya‚ Lamu is not yet overdeveloped and has retained the feel of a small‚ friendly town that is not overcrowded with tourists.

Lamu Town with its waterfront promenade is where most of the official business takes place. As you stroll through the narrow streets‚ you will be amazed by the old buildings‚ the Lamu Museum and the many shops selling a wide range of traditional jewelry spices and local cuisine. There are several hotels along the waterfront. Nearby Shela is a small exclusive waterfront village where accommodation is more upscale.

Dhow crews are ready and willing to take you to all the sights around Lamu. Take a trip to Matondoni Village to see how dhows are traditionally built or repaired as they have been for hundreds of years. A full-day excursion leads to the famous Takwa ruins on Manda Island‚ where a mosque tomb and other abandoned buildings from the 15th century can be explored. Other popular half-day trips include snorkeling‚ diving‚ and fishing. Many cruises include a seafood lunch provided by the dhow crew. Prices are flexible and you will be expected to negotiate.

 

 

 

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Dhow cruises

Deep sea fishing

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