Lamu, Kenya's oldest living town, was one of the original Swahili settlements along coastal East Africa. There are some other accounts that mention Chinese ships of Zheng He's fleet sinking near Lamu Island in Kenya in 1415. Survivors settled on the island and married local women.This has been proven recently by archaeological work on the island ... Read more
that has resulted in the finding of evidence to suggest this connection. Further DNA testing done on some residents show that they indeed have Chinese ancestors.[1][2].[3] The port of Lamu has existed for at least a thousand years. The town was first attested in writing by an Arab traveller Abu-al-Mahasini who met a Judge from Lamu visiting Mecca in 1441. The town's history is marked by a Portuguese invasion which began in 1506, and the Omani domination around 1813 (the year of the Battle of Shela). The Portuguese invasion was prompted by the nation's successful mission to control trade along the coast of the Indian Ocean. For considerable time, Portugal had a monopoly in shipping along the East African coast and imposed export taxes on the pre-existing local channels of commerce. In the 1580s, Lamu led a rebellion against the Portuguese, prompted by Turkish raids. In 1652, Lamu was assisted by Oman in lifting Portuguese control. Lamu's years as an Omani protectorate mark the town's golden age. During this period, Lamu became a center of poetry, politics, arts and crafts as well as the trade. Lamu is a popular destination for backpackers in search of an authentic experience. source: Wikipedia

Lamu Hotels

Things to see and do in Lamu

  • Lamu Old Town
    9.02 reviews
    Sights and Museums
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  • Manda Island
    9.02 reviews
    Outdoors
    Popular withOutdoorsyAdventure
  • Lamu Museum
    7.02 reviews
    Sights and Museums, History Museum
  • Swahili House Museum
    8.01 review
    Sights and Museums, Art Museum, Historic Site
    Popular withArtsyHistory

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Lamu reviews

  • 9.8
    Backpackers
  • 7.6
    History Buffs
  • 7.5
    Adventure Travellers

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Portland

Lamu Island is popular with backpackers, who come for its pretty beaches and cheap accommodation. The town itself has an old fort, a donkey sanctuary (and lots of donkeys--but no cars), and many mosques. The population is primarily Muslim, so dress accordingly.

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Menlo Park

Lamu is a beautiful island off the coast of Kenya. The old town, which dates back more than 500 years, oozes history - with narrow winding streets and a laid back atmosphere - is now a UNESCO world heritage site. The beaches are nice as well.

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London

As part of the Lamu Archipelago of Kenya, Lamu is the country's oldest living town. It's remote, boasts the best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa - and, until recently, used only donkeys as transport, which is a top reason to visit.

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Vancouver

Warm, friendly and peaceful. The streets are too narrow for cars, and cats and donkeys roam freely. There are a couple of great, inexpensive seafood restaurants along the waterfront. Hire a dhow for a day of sailing and a little fishing.

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Pohang

Lamu is the heart of Swahili culture in Kenya. Get lost among the narrow cobblestone streets winding their way through white-washed coral brick buildings. Play soccer with the locals on the beach in the warm light of the setting sun. Swim with dolphins on a dhow ride among mangrove forests. Eat seafood off the boat and drink fresh fruit juice on the white sand. But most of all, relax.

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Fantastic. Relaxed, interesting culture. Rent a dhow for a day and sail away...

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London

A UNESCO heritage sight, an antique village, no cars, beautiful beaches. A little piece of heaven.

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Madrid
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Nairobi
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