Lamu town in Kenya is less traveled but of recent may visitors are coming to this land for business and tourism. If you are visiting Lamu area for the first time, don’t expect much but still a must visit if you happen to be in Kenya. This page is to guide you to all you need to know about this place before you visit.
Lamu town is a small town on Lamu Island, which in turn is a part of the Lamu Archipelago in Kenya.
Lamu town is a living throwback to the Swahili culture that once dominated the entire Indian Ocean coast.
The winding streets, carved woods and traditional houses evoke the everyday sights and sounds of another age, and Lamu’s World Heritage listing is entirely justified.
Lamu is not a typical tropical beach holiday. Do not expect to find beaches swept by attendants and dotted with fiercely contested umbrellas and sun-loungers.
There are no parasails or large yellow inflatables being towed up and down the channel nor are there beach bars every twenty metres.
However all our good places are only a few minutes walk from the sea, where the dhows and local fishing boats are moored.
The water laps at the foundations of Shela's front row houses and the walk to the Peponi Hotel and the miles of open beach beyond may require a detour through the village to avoid wet feet if the tide is in.
Sadly after that all the place has to offer is miles and miles of virtually deserted beach.
Shela village is a maze of narrow sandy lanes where the only oncoming traffic you are likely to meet is a donkey and even bicycles are almost unheard of.
There are three or four cars on the island, not that they can go very far, as there are only a few hundred meters of road; a track from the outskirts of Lamu town to the D.C's house and another along the breakwater to the hospital.
The road does not extend as far as Shela so there are no cars at all in our little village!
The four kilometer trip from Shela to Lamu town is a pleasant walk or a few minutes boat ride in one of the frequent taxi boats.
Lamu Town, despite its wealth of sights, smells and sounds is a really sleepy little port with a harbour front, one narrow main street and a shady Town Square, ideal for people watching.
Sip on a passion juice and deal with the day's big decision....the crab or the lobster for lunch?
Lamu is for people who enjoy a destination steeped in the tradition of bygone times, spiced with Swahili style and mulled with the mellow companionship of family and good friends.
The generosity of the sea and the benevolence of the climate have bestowed on the Swahili people a security that has been supplemented for half a century by the benefits of a steadily growing flow of foreign travelers, most of whom return year after year and some like us, who buy houses and make a bigger investment in Lamu.
There is a feeling of all people being equal under the sun in Lamu and a warmth shared by all...perhaps that is why so many celebrities find the simplicity and privacy of Lamu so attractive.