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Rating 1.1 (174 votes)

Lamu Island

Listed under Islands in Coast-Tsavo, Kenya.

  • Photo of Lamu Island
  • Photo of Lamu Island
  • Photo of Lamu Island
  • Photo of Lamu Island
  • Photo of Lamu Island
Photo of Lamu Island
Photo by flickr user whiteafrican
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Lamu is one of Kenya’s first settlements and despite the influences of other cultures brought in through ocean trade and occupation, the area has retained its own character. The island is known for its narrow car-less streets and wooden furniture and doors decorated with detailed carvings.

Most of the buildings in the main town of Lamu were built in the 14th Century, the architecture is in the Swahili style. As well as the interesting historical and archaeological sites on the island it has several beaches, thought by many to be the best in Kenya.

Locals say that the area has yet to become as built up as Zanzibar and that the lack of car traffic means it won’t become so. The island is Islamic so make sure you pack clothes that cover your shoulders and knees.

Written by  Lindsay Drury.

Other expert and press reviews


I have been close but not got there. Plays on its Arab past, like Zanzibar. Some expensive laid back accommodation there, but I suspect it could be a boring place after the first couple of days. Read more...

Written by  Ian Wilson.

“Lamu Old Town”

'Lamu Old Town is the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa, retaining its traditional functions. Built in coral stone and mangrove timber, the town is characterized by the simplicity of structural forms enriched by such features a… Read more...

Written by press. UNESCO

“My secret Kenyan isle retreat”

BY: Max Hastings for The Sunday Times First Published: March 22, 2009 Lamu island, just off the coast and a two-hour flight from Nairobi, has become a favourite destination with all sorts of people who want almost empty beaches and a touch of the exot… Read more...

Written by press. Continue reading on

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