It has been a while! How have you been?
Dreams do come true even if it seems like they are taking forever. Going to Lamu had been on my mind for the longest time and on some days I felt like it was a farfetched dream that would remain nothing but a dream. I finally got to visit at the end of July and that is the happiest I have been so far this year.
To date, I still do believe that Lamu is a different world as much as it is part of our country. The moment you land and breathe in the crisp air mixed with ocean scents then later step out and see the environment that gladly welcomes you as you walk towards the jetty.
Yes, you have made it to Lamu so what next? Here is a list of things to do in Lamu. In case you are wondering how much this trip will cost you, mimitimes did a detailed post with a budget breakdown.
Getting to Lamu
This is the most important part of this trip. You can go by road or fly there. I am for the flying option since it is faster and you won’t be fatigued at all. Skyward Express, Safarilink, East African air fly to the Island, and Jambojet is starting to fly there from the 15th of this month so that means you have options.
Things to do in Lamu;
- Wander through Lamu Old Town
This old town is one of a kind. You can’t help but notice the narrow streets, magnificent stone buildings that have nicely carved doors of course with an influence of both Arabic and Swahili building styles. Wander through these streets and enjoy every bit of it because trust me every corner on these streets has something that will leave you amazed. Most locals live here so you get a chance to interact and live with them. During our visit, we chose to stay in Lamu town to get a full experience and to interact with the locals more. This here was the best decision ever.
2. Sail to Takwa ruins
Not far from Lamu Old town is Takwa Ruins. These are ruins of a village that was once inhabited and abandoned. You can still see the remains of the buildings which gives you a glimpse of how they lived back then. When visiting this place, be cautious of the tide times so that you do not get stuck because of low tides.
3. Pass by Lamu Museum
On the main street of Lamu, you will spot the Museum and of course, the door cannot go unnoticed. This harbors history about the Island and practices that the early inhabitants engaged in from way back. It also gives you an idea of the inhabitants’ way of life and some are still practiced to date. When walking inside you can’t help but notice the amazing architecture.
4. Lamu fort
This used to be on the seafront but right now it is somewhere in the middle. You can still see the ocean from the top though. There is a big arena at the center which locals are allowed to hire for events e.g. weddings. In the fort is a library that is opened to the public and students are allowed to come in and do their studies from there. One thing I loved about this place is that it has so many photography spots and you or any photographer will love it apart from the history that you get to learn about while here.
5. Enjoy Donkey Rides
There are a good number of donkeys on this Island, and they are used for transport too. While here, you can enjoy donkey rides since they easily maneuver Lamu streets, and that narrowness has nothing on them. Also, do it because I know you haven’t lol.
6. Walk through the clean sandy beaches.
The beaches here are pristinely clean and are not crowded at all. Take a walk here, play, feel the sand on your feet and live in the moment. If possible sit here and manifest all that luxury into your life because that is what these clean beaches scream. I haven’t been to so many beaches but this one at Manda has a place in my heart.
7. Relax on the dunes in Shela
The dunes in Shela are a sight to behold. They are located south of Lamu town and for some reason, there is no one here not even on the 12-kilometer beach that is right below it. So if you ever dreamt of having a whole beach to yourself then go actualize your dreams here ooh and remember to carry a book. You will love it. If you can watch sunrise and sunset here.
8. Enjoy a sunset sail on the traditional dhows.
This here is one of the reasons I wanted to visit this Island so bad. I could feel Lamu sunsets calling me by name and all I wanted was to respond. It is one of the best experiences and now for sure, I am convinced that that kind of life was meant for me. The dhows are huge and can carry many people and all you need to do is to sit back and enjoy the sail. Our sail was made possible by Lamu sailing and it was quite an experience make sure you do it.
9. Shella village tour
This is a small village not far from Lamu town. Word has it that it was previously mostly occupied by ex-pats. Unlike Lamu town that has a dozen of activities, this side is quieter and the streets scream rich people’s vibes. You can’t help but notice the beautiful doors, those famous houses, and the hotels we know of. It is easily accessed by boats from Lamu and in case you are not in a hurry then you can walk here.
10. Shop in Lamu and buy beautiful pieces.
The shops are not as huge as you would expect but then they are small shops that do have amazing pieces. You can’t miss them for anything and in case you do, ask anyone they will show you. Get yourself or your loved one’s souvenirs both of you will love them.
11. Visit the floating Bar
As the name suggests it is a bar right in the middle of the ocean. I must admit I was scared about this one and the fact that we had to be on a speed boat at night. I could feel the rush but it was a good experience. This is where the party is always at and for some reason you will meet most people that you met during the day. Be careful though as you party here small small mistake you are in the water.
My experience in Lamu was out of this world and a month plus later I am still not over it. I plan on going back here again alone, with a group of friends, or even with someone’s son (lol) because the beauty of that Island needs to be shared.
Pro-tip: Book houses on the Lamu side they are quite affordable you are welcome. Also, bargain the prices are not fixed. You will be surprised how little bargaining will save you.
Honestly, I hope you get to visit Lamu and enjoy every bit of it.
Till next time; Live, Laugh, and Love.