A Travellerspoint blog

Lamu island. Kenya

sunny 26 °C


Lamu Old Town, the principal inhabited part of the island, is one of the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlements in East Africa and built in coral stone and mangrove timber. The island entirely surrounded by Indian Ocean.

There are no roads on the island, just alleyways and footpaths, and therefore, there are few motorized vehicles on the island. Residents move about on foot or by boat, and donkeys are used to transport goods and materials. A port was founded on the island of Lamu by Arab traders at least as early as the fourteenth century and prospered on the slave trade. In addition to Lamu Town, there are three villages on Lamu Island: Shela, Matondoni and Kipungani.

Lamu is mostly muslim populated island where islamic tradition still lives in community as it was brought by Arab traders in 14th century. There are about 4 mosques on the island and one catholic church.

Princess Caroline of Monaco owns five houses on the island. Some white rich people bought houses on the island and make their own winter vacation home. But because of white folks, mostly from England prices on the island started going up. Hopefully, the Government of Kenya could place a limit or regulate prices on the island to make it better for local people rather then those who come here in winter for holidays.

If you visit Lamu, and you definitely should, once in your lifetime, stay at local guest houses, they are affordable, do not stay at Peponi Hotel unless you don't care about your money. Eat at local places, support local business. Places like SeaSuq, Stopover, and others; food there is great and affordable. You can get food from KS250 to KS500 with drinks, depends on your order but no more then that. If you eat at Peponi Hotel prices there bite and starts from KS1,800 up to KS3,000. Peponi Hotel is for white people enrichment only. There prices oriented towards white rich elite, and they really do not care about island development which they should.

One thing you will be struggling with is internet as it is very very very slow. Most places do not have TV in the room and lobby. So you should be prepared to bring more books, or just be like myself, try to fight with internet until it would work for a little bit.

For coffee people, bring your own gears as coffee here sucks, instant or dark roast.


Posted by MikeSebastian 13:59 Archived in Kenya Tagged kenya lamu shela traveling_barista

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