Snuggled in the middle of Kenya’s north coast, desert islands called Lamu Archipelago has become a breathtaking appeal for many tourists both domestic and abroad. Since the coastline of Kenya receives some influences from Arab and Portuguese, this archipelago is renowned as Seven Isles of Eryaya among Arabs.
The natives, Swahili left the strong roots of their culture in this place which become one of the unique attractions among visitors. Besides, this place is home to a lot of amazing landmarks that every visitor should not be skipped when spending a holiday or just having a couple of days getaway in Kenya.
How to Reach
Abroad tourists can reach Kenya through the capital city, Nairobi by air. They can arrive either at Wilson Airport or Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. You also can get into Lamu from Mombasa airport by taking budget-friendly flights like Fly 540 or Jambo Jet.
An alternative option for traveling by air is across Diani Beach and Malindi. Count on the airline, affordable flights to Lamu range between 10,000 to 15,000 Ksh.
For visitors that are more comfortable traveling by land, they ride an overnight bus from Nairobi or Mombasa to reach the closest bus terminal to Lamu called Mokowe. From this terminal, people can use a boat to arrive in Lamu.
Reaching Lamu Archipelago Kenya is more affordable by bus because each person only needs to spend money around 2,000 KES Sh for one go, although it needs a longer time to arrive.
What to Enjoy
Offering an alike-atmosphere to Stone Town Zanzibar, Lamu Archipelago is very cozy with numerous small villages among coconut trees facing directly to several wonderful beaches in Kenya as well as Africa.
When visiting Lamu, never skip its main landmark, The Old Town. This place cannot be accessed by cars due to numerous narrow streets that channeling the location. Instead, visitors commonly use donkeys to move from one location to another or just on foot.
Strongly hold the customs and till believe in genial spirits, the locals of Lamu are friendly and get along well with the visitors. Not just learn the Lamu traditions with its warm inhabitants, you also can explore some small beautiful islands nearby such as Kiwayu and Manda by riding dhows.
What to Do
There are a lot of things that you can do to enjoy the beauty of Lamu, some of these activities are recommended to try when you visiting the amazing islands.
1. Strolling on the Beach
The beaches on north Kenya coastline are thrilling and admire them only by having a few kilometers walk will never make you disappointed. One of the spectacular beaches, called Shela Beach is available for swimming. There are also cooking classes and local yoga often held in the location if you want to join.
2. Tasting the Local Cuisines
Your visit to Lamu will never be complete before trying its local cuisines. There are many tantalizing Swahili foods that visitors often try such as pilau, coconut rice, as well as seafood that often accompanied by fresh coconut water. It’s quite easy to find restaurants that serving local foods along with fresh juices here.
3. Trying the Beach House
Checking various accommodations is important when you visit Lamu Archipelago. For instance, if you want to have an unforgettable experience, you can try staying in a Swahili beach house. This traditional-inspired house has unique decoration and furniture as well as an open design for enjoying fresh air.
4. Exploring The Old Town
Known as one of UNESCO world heritage, the Old Town has labyrinth-like narrow streets where visitors can stroll around. Otherwise, they can admire the spectacular architecture on this site by riding a donkey. The houses in this town have iconic balconies or verandas and mostly come with huge wooden doors.
During your visit to Old Town, you can see the daily life of the locals. Visitors can see the locals’ activities such as when they are doing laundry or cooking, even when children play outside the house. They are friendly to any tourists exploring the site.
5. Enjoying Getaway in Manda Islands
Want to enjoy me-time in Lamu Archipelago islands? Visiting small nearby islands can be interesting. Manda’s islands as an example are known to be a perfect spot to enjoy sunset. You can enjoy the tranquility by tasting fresh cocktails.
Enough exploring the lands, you can move to the water now. There are many locals offering dhows ride to explore Lamu coast while there are some other interesting water activities like snorkeling and surfing.
Sailing with traditional dhow should not be skipped since you not only can admire the horizon spectacular views but also get new friends along the ride. Making new friends with other tourists is normal to happen such as when you are traveling for 3 days in Virginia Beach.
The Best Way to Enjoy Lamu
Preparation is important before you start to explore this island. Bring your map to know the locations of each landmark you want to visit. Open your heart and mind to get along with locals, learn their traditions, and try the traditional foods.
By having an open mind, you start to learn and adapt to the locals’ lifestyle. Many tourists find Lamu people’s laid-back lifestyle is interesting and refreshing to embrace.
Where to Stay
Haven’t got any idea where you will stay during your visit to the Lamu Archipelago? Villa near the beach can be a perfect option for you who fancy something luxurious but still want to get the amazing natural view of Lamu.
There are also many hotels in this place that provide you with comfortable rooms to have a rest after an all-day-long journey exploring the archipelagos and mingling with locals. If you want to have a different experience, Swahili beach house will worth to try especially if you want to connect with the Lamu nature.
If you’re attracted to nature and culture, Lamu Archipelago is the best destination for your holiday. Here, you not only can enjoy the breathtaking nature but also learn the traditional cultures directly from the warm locals while at the same time respect their lifestyle. Something you probably can’t get from other places.