If ocean adventures don’t tempt you there is plenty to be seen on dry land

Explore the rich history of Lamu

Spend your days experiencing the marvels that Lamu Archipelago has to offer. Shopping in Lamu Old Town a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visiting remote island communities, exploring ancient ruins or embarking on a guided birdwatching tour. There is so much to offer!

Spend a morning wandering through the maze of streets that is UNESCO recognised Lamu town. Here you will encounter hand-drawn carts, beautifully carved doors, donkeys galore and so much more! You’ll have the chance to learn about the rich history of the best-preserved Swahili settlement in Eastern Africa and what has made Lamu island so important over the centuries.

Take some time to stretch your legs or find a nice spot to swim at Shela’s 12km unspoilt beach. Only a short walk from Shela village will take you to where the channel meets the vast Indian Ocean. A short hike up the dunes will give you spectacular views of the ocean, the island and a stunning sunset!

Located on the other side of the island from Shela is the small village of Matondoni. Famed for their palm weaving and boat building. You can explore the village with a local guide, learn how the women weave palm to create baskets – kikapu, floor coverings – jumvi and so much more!

On Manda, you can find even more peace and quiet. Manda is far less populated than its neighbour so often you’ll feel as if you have the place to yourself.

  • Takwa Ruins, a well preserved 16th-century trading town can be found at the narrowest part of the island, only a short boat ride from Shela it is a perfect afternoon excursion.
  • If you fancy something not quite so abandoned you can head to the village of Maweni, here you will find the coral cutters. Here you can see how coral is cut and hauled by hand. These coral bricks are widely used as the main building material across the archipelago.
  • Directly across from Shela you’ll find Manda beach, where there is a selection of restaurants perfect for enjoying a sundowner or light snack after a swim.

An hour away by speed boat or a longer trip by dhow will bring you to the largest island in the archipelago; Pate. Home to some of the oldest known Swahili settlements namely Situ Fort and Pate Town. Also home to the Bajuni people, a vibrant Islamic community of fishermen and sailors.