Lamu: Is it the best-kept secret of Magical Kenya?

Imagine a place of ancient Swahili traditions. An archipelago of remote islands. A town with no cars, just donkeys and dhows. Mesmerizing sunsets and a lively atmosphere. It nearly sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? But this magical place does exist. Here are three reasons why a visit to Lamu must be on your bucket list…


Escape the daily grind and tourist masses

Manda Island Jetty in Lamu

Once you step off your plane on Manda Island, you are catapulted into a different time. A boat takes you across the channel to Old Town Lamu; a beautiful sight awaits you when the sea front with restaurants, bars and shops appear behind a forest of dhow masts. The only way to get around the island is either by foot, dhow or donkey. No traffic and no crowds. The theme for your stay: Back to basics – immerse yourself in the mellow island rhythm far away from traffic noises, metropolitan buzz and crowds. You should learn one phrase though ‚Pole Pole’ which means ‚slowly slowy’ in KiSwahili and this is exactly what Lamu is all about…

Experience truly ancient culture

Traditional LamuLamu’s traditions are over a thousand years old. It is one of the most complete Swahili town in existence characterized by a mix of East African, Omani, Yemeni and Indian influences. Wake up at dawn to the first call to prayer – the Al Fajiri – and the hee-haw of donkeys protesting to going to work at such an early hour. It nearly is my favorite time of the day, sitting at the seafront and experiencing how Lamu wakes up: men sipping their tea, women passing by in full-length “bui-bui” doing their market shopping, street vendors setting up their stalls and fishermen coming in with their catches. Explore the many ancient ruins in the Lamu Archipelago on a dhow safari – the most popular one is Takwa Ruins, a village that thrived in the 15th and 16th centuries. Do you wonder what my most favorite time is? Sipping a G+T, watching the sunset while being seated on comfy cushions at the ‘floating bar’ and waiting for the sparkling stars to appear above me…

Marketsquare Old Town Lamu

Enjoy a lively beat

Seafront Lamu, Kenya

You probably ask yourself if you won’t get bored. Believe me, you don’t. Spend your days taking walks along Shela Beach – a 12km long stretch of sand, dunes and nothingness. Explore the other islands such as Pate on dhow trips through the mangroves and blue waters; or visit Kiwayu Island with a speedboat. And there is always something happening in Lamu; this little place boasts with festivals. The Lamu Cultural Festival celebrates Lamu’s unique heritage with musical performances and dances, local artists showcasing their traditional craft and dhow and donkey races. If you love local delicacies, then don’t miss the Lamu Food Festival where you can sample the tastes of the Swahili cuisine. And for those yoga lovers amongst us, check out the Lamu Yoga Festival.

A fly-in safari to Kenya is simply beautiful. Combined with a beach holiday on Lamu Island you will experience an adventure of a Thousand and One Nights. See for yourself…

I am sure you will fall in love with Lamu in no time…

Why do you want to visit Lamu?

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