The City

A Travel Guide to Lamu, Kenya

Step back into East Africa’s history and uncover the enchanting charm of Lamu, a town on the Lamu Archipelago in Kenya which is the best preserved Swahilli settlement in the region. Around the old town, the archipelago is peppered with fruit plantations and humble villages and is entrenched with a sense of rich history and culture. Time goes by slowly on this tropical island, and you won’t spot a car or motor vehicle during your stay here. Embrace the relaxed pace of life and wander through the narrow streets of the medieval town, stumbling upon markets, gazing up at the intriguing coral stone architecture and breathing in the sea breeze rolling in from the idyllic coast. Our travel guide to this lesser-known part of East Africa takes you to the best hotels, restaurants and attractions in Lamu.

Sleeping

Where to Stay in Lamu: The Majlis Resort

Nestled on a golden beachfront on the island of Manda in the Lamu archipelago, The Majlis Resort is a luxury boutique hotel and one of the best places to stay when exploring Lamu. All of the 25 beautiful rooms and three beachfront suites embody quintessential Swahili style with a contemporary twist and of course, all the modern comforts you will need during your stay. Cool ocean breeze sweeps through this idyllic resort and the friendly and welcoming team of staff are on hand to fulfil your every desire. Boasting a peaceful and remote location, the hotel is conveniently only a 10 minute boat journey away from the town and offers trips and excursions to villages and historical sites of interest. On the island itself, you will be spoilt for choice with the recreational activities on offer from sailing and water sports to fishing and child-friendly activities.

Best Hotels in Lamu

Tusitiri Dhow : A perfect accommodation choice for the adventurous among you, the Tusitri Dhow is a spectacular boat where guests are invited to sleep on deck under the stars.

The Dhow House: A 5 bedroom luxury villa on Shela Beach with panoramic views of the ocean. The perfect choice for families or groups of friends.

Eating

Where to Eat in Lamu: Baitil Aman

The rhythm of life in Lamu is relaxed and while you’re here, you may as well succumb to this. Enjoy a slow and romantic dinner set in the whitewashed coral stone 18th century palace in Shela Village on Lamu island. A magical guest house welcoming visitors from around the world, Baitil Aman offers a traditional roof-top dining experience where you are invited to sit on a cushion on the floor and enjoy a four course meal by lantern light. The owner of the restaurant will bring out the tantalising plates of Swahili cuisine bursting with spices and flavour for you to enjoy as you sit under the twinkling stars in the dark skies above you.

Best Restaurants in Lamu

Diamond Beach Village: Diamond Beach Villa is a family founded and run eco-lodge that boasts stunning views of sparkling waters, great pizza and refreshing beers.

Peponi House: Enjoy an exciting blend of seafood, sushi and traditional Swahili cuisine on the restaurant’s roof terrace as you watch Dhows go by on the waters beneath you.

Seeing

What to do in Lamu: Dhow Safari

Setting sail on a Dhow Safari while in Lamu is an absolute must. These unique and traditional boats are a common sight on the waters around Lamu and have become an iconic symbol of the region. With your guide, take to the calm waters of the Indian Ocean and explore the archipelago by boat. Spot dolphins frolicking in the waters, enjoy the luxury of basking on deserted beaches and discover nearby fishing villages and ancient ruins.

Best things to do in Lamu

Shela Village: A relaxing and stylish village sitting on a stunning 8-mile long beach.

Lamu Old Town: The beautiful Lamu Old Town was once a trading centre in the region in the 14th Century and its history is well preserved to this day.