Lamu Island

 

 

Lamu is a place of fantasy and other-worldliness wrapped in a cloak of medieval romance. With an almost exclusively Muslim population, Kenya's oldest living town has changed little in appearance or character over the centuries. Remote and self-contained, this once thriving port town is now a gloriously relaxed and relaxing destination. No other Swahili town, other than Zanzibar, can offer you such a cultural feast and uncorrupted traditional style of architecture - if you can ignore the TV aerials. A couple of hours spent in the waterfront Lamu Museum is an excellent introduction to the town's culture and history. And if the museum stokes your interest in Swahili culture then you should also check out the beautifully restored building nearby housing the Swahili House Museum. One of Lamu's quirkier attractions is the Donkey Sanctuary - no doubt a haven for all those donkeys seeking political asylum. Taking a trip by dhow is almost obligatory.

Nestled away on Lamu Island on Kenya's upper east coast, Lamu itself is reached by diesel-powered launch from Mokowe on the mainland, or there's an airport on nearby Manda Island.