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Located on Lamu Island, Lamu is Kenya's oldest living town, and one of the original Swahili settlements of East Africa.  There are many examples of Swahili architecture throughout the city, which has a UNESCO World Heritage site designation. 

Travel Tips from people who've been to Lamu
For the fit and adventurous-minded I highly recommend a walk down the full length of Lamu beach. Once you get away from the tourist-haunted strip of sand next to the small town of Shella you will have almost the whole 12km to yourself. You will find peace and seclusion, lost camels and thousands upon thousands of small pink crabs basking on the shore line. Be quick if you want to catch one, and watch your thumb! Make certain that you take enough water with you, however, and a blanket or umbrella might proove useful to ward off the afternoon sun. At the far end of the beach (and island!) you will come to the small village of Kipungani and an up-market holiday resort run by a somewhat less than welcoming White Kenyan. His staff and neighbours make up for it though and can provide you with fresh water from the tap or a well - very safe and very necessary for the long slog back, which ever route you choose to take.

Unfortunately, dense mangrove swamps make it impossible to circle the entire island on foot (and if you did the distance would be too great to cover in a single day). Thus there are two options for the return journey. One is to retrace your steps along the beach. This is the shortest route and the one most employed by locals. The other is to follow an inland rout with will ventually bring you back to Lamu town. The only problem with this is that it is several kilometres longer and with all the paths and side tracks in the interior you run the real risk of getting lost.

Lamu beach, then, is much more than a sunbathers' paradise. It is also a place of trial and adventure that will bring you closer to the 'real' Africa.
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Lamu is the land that time forgot, and definitely a place to be "off the grid." However, those seeking the calm coastal life be warned: you cannot arrive without being approached by a throng of "guides" offering their services, which can be annoying to those wanting to be left alone. Frankly you just have to find one that you feel comfortable with and accept their offer because you can't do anything in Lamu without a guide. They will become your best friends, and are indispensible in figuring out how things work in Lamu. They will organise day trips, dhow boat rides, tours of historic ruins, snorkelling/diving, and partying in local hotels (even if they are not permitted to enter the premises)... they will even leave you alone when instructed to do so. Bring a sarong, and a hat, and try to rent a house with a rooftop terrace / bedroom.
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Lamu is absolutly an amazing little nice wild place! You can get there practicly only by a small plane landing in a short dirty road than sail to the village that's over the sea. If you like the paces where there is no energy, no fridges, no ice, no hospital, ho hotels, NO CARS, no turists, nothing but old walls and nature with some mens than you'll simply LOVE it! What to do there?...nothing but walk around and enjoy the absence of modern life... I've been there my first time when I was 12 with my grandpa and we had absolutly no problems so I beleave it's a safe place where to go. Yust logically respect their traditions. The sea is not nice to swim. The food is fine. Pay atteantion to the water you drink. To sleep look for local accomodations. I've been in the Lamu Hause...I really suggest it! It's WONDERFUL!
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Recent Updates for Lamu
Amrita N. wrote a review on Baba Cafe , Lamu
2 years ago
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Daniel A. wrote a tip on Lamu
3 years ago
For the fit and adventurous-minded I highly recommend a walk down the full length.. (More)
Clark T. updated lodging The Majlis Resort in Lamu
3 years ago
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