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Lamu or Lamu Town is a small town on Lamu Island, which in turn is a part of the Lamu Archipelago in Kenya. Situated 341 kilometres (212 mi) by road northeast of Mombasa that ends at Mokowe Jetty from where the sea channel has to be crossed to reach Lamu Island. It is the headquarters of Lamu County and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Lamu is Kenya’s oldest continually inhabited town, and was one of the original Swahili settlements along coastal East Africa, founded in 1370. The town contains the Lamu Fort on the seafront, which commenced construction under Fumo Madi ibn Abi Bakr, the sultan of Pate, and was completed after his death in the early 1820s. Lamu is also home to 23 mosques, including the Riyadha Mosque, built in 1900, and a donkey sanctuary.
Lamu is a magical place of long white sandy beaches, rolling sand dunes dotted with palms and acacia tortillis trees; turquoise seas, bounteous marine life and tranquil back waters; lush mangrove forests, river estuaries, deep forests and yellow grassy plains which hold some of Africa’s last truly wild game and bird life. The Swahili people who inhabit the islands are merchants, fishermen, dhow builders and sailors, many of who still follow these age-old trades. The islands are dotted with fishing villages and ancient towns, including Lamu Old Town where donkeys remain the main mode of transport. Visitors can step back in time – warmly welcomed by smiling faces into a culture that flows in peaceful harmony with the ocean and the seasonal monsoon winds.
Lamu is renowned for its many festivals and more recently is becoming known not only as a wellness destination but also, with the up-and-coming conservancies, a wildlife destination, offering a wealth of unmatchable experiences for travelers and holidaymakers.
With over 120 members including hotels, guesthouses, lodges and private villas; restaurants, shops and galleries; yoga and wellbeing centers; water sports companies; fishing and dhow charters; airlines and bus companies; local businesses; tour guiding and conservation associations; banks and Government bodies, the Lamu Tourism Association can help you to discover Lamu.