There’s no place like Lamu, a peaceful tropical island where life goes by its own relaxed rhythm. The island itself is a beautiful place of rolling dunes and endless beaches, where tiny villages nestle among coconut and mango plantations and lateen sailed dhows ply the waters. Meet lovely escorts out to have fun in Lamu Town on Exotic Kenya.More Less
Lamu or Lamu Town is a small town on Lamu Island, which in turn is a part of the Lamu Archipelago in Kenya.
The island itself is a beautiful place of rolling dunes and endless beaches, where tiny villages nestle among coconut and mango plantations and lateen sailed dhows ply the waters.
Lamu is a place like no other, a peaceful tropical island where life is lived at its own relaxed rhythm, but Lamu’s real attraction is its 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 as inner courtyards, verandas, and elaborately carved wooden doors.
The town of Lamu began life as a 14th century Swahili settlement, but the island has seen many visitors and influences, including Portuguese explorers, Turkish traders and the Omani Arabs. All left their mark, but Lamu developed its own particular culture, which has ultimately endured to date.
Lamu is best accessed by air. There are scheduled flights daily from Nairobi, Mombasa, Diani Beach and Malindi. The island is serviced by an airstrip on neighbouring Manda Island. The strip can also be used by private charters. A dhow ferries arriving passengers to either Lamu town or Shela. Many yachts also come to Lamu, often sheltering in the channel near Shela.
Lamu town is characterized by narrow streets and magnificent stone buildings with impressive curved doors, influenced by unique fusion of Swahili, Arabic, Persian, Indian and European building styles.
The buildings on the seafront with their arcades and open verandas provide a unified visual impression of the town when approaching it from the sea. While the vernacular buildings are internally decorated with painted ceilings, large niches (madaka), small niches (zidaka), and pieces of Chinese porcelain. The buildings are well preserved and carry a long history that represents the development of Swahili building technology, based on coral, lime and mangrove poles.
Lamu Archipelago reeks of historical gems, golden beaches and some of the liveliest people on earth, these combined with its all year round festivals and celebrations transforms the Island into a paradise on earth.
One place you should definitely check out in lamu is Lamu museum. It is located on the waterfront next to the town jetty, it is the second largest building in Lamu old Town after Lamu Fort.
The building was originally owned by Abdalla bin Hamed bin Siad Al-Busaid and its construction was completed in 1892.
Lamu fort, this massive multi-storied building with a central courtyard dates back to 1813, shortly after Lamu’s victory over Pate and Mombasa in the battle of Shela.
A walk through this Swahili house museum will give one a glimpse of the traditional setup of a Swahili home, with its well-planned bedrooms, bath, Kitchen and Living areas; period furniture has been used throughout the rooms and give tis museum its authentic character. It is located in the northern part of the town and has been restored to illustrate a Swahili home of that period.
To capture and celebrate different aspects of its unique cultures, Lamu holds never to be missed festivals strategically spread across all year round. One such popular festival is Lamu Cultural Festival is a celebration of both the past and the future and the beliefs and traditions that are the heart and soul of the Lamu community.
Each year, Lamu comes to life during the annual Lamu Cultural Festival, tourists and locals alike get a chance to experience Lamu life at its most exuberant and joyous.
Several competitions and races are staged during this week-long festival ranging from dhow racing to donkey racing. Started in 2001, the Lamu Cultural Festival has grown exponentially and has become a major cultural event in the region drawing local and international crowds.
Atmospheric and somewhat chaotic, this quintessential Lamu market is best visited early in the morning. You can bargain for fresh tuna and sailfish, wade through alleys teeming with stray cats and goats, and experience Lamu at its craziest.
There are plenty of guesthouses offering great deals from high-end lodges to cheap hotels in Lamu to book for a stay. On the edge of Lamu town, sits Lamu House Hotel. This stylish hotel offers quiet seclusion away from the fray. The entrance opens up into a charming open courtyard, small pool, and petal-bedecked seating.
Some rooms overlook the seafront, giving a quite different perspective on a Lamu sunrise. The hotel has its own beach club for guests on Manda Bay.
If money is no object, try taking a dhow for a night for something completely different, Chefs whip up tasty fare in the open-air galley, while guests sleep out on the deck under the stars.
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