6 BEST ACTIVITIES TO DO IN LAMU ISLAND
Lamu Island also known as Lamu Archipelago is a beautiful island characterized of picturesque sandy beaches and its stone architecture, the island is situated just off the shore of northern Kenya in the Indian Ocean and approximately 150 kilometers northeast of Mombasa.
Lamu Island has a small population of just over 25,300 people with European, African, Arab and Asian communities.
Lamu Archipelago lies two degrees south of the equator, just off the Somali border, the largest islands of the Archipelago are Pate, Lamu and Mand. The smallest islands of the archipelago are Manda Toto and Kiwayu.
Lamu Island the capital of the Lamu Archipelago is the oldest town in Kenya, the island boasts the best beach in Kenya, a living African – Arabic coastal tradition and a world – class portfolio of houses and villas.
Lamu Island is a great holiday destination and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001, the island has also been a center of Swahili and Islamic culture for over 200 years.
Lamu Island is worth exploring as there are plenty of thrilling activities today, below are the 6 Best activities to do on your holiday.
- Wander around in Lamu Town
Wandering around through Lamu Island is a top thing to do in Lamu Island, Lamu Town is a maze of small streets, cute corners and beautiful old buildings and there are best explored on foot. Wandering through the town, you will have many surprises on each corner you take.
Pay attention to the beautifully carved doors and their designs which you will find nowhere in the world, the old harbor is also beautiful to see. You will visit the Fort – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the busy market.
As you wander through the streets, you will come across dozens of donkeys and Egyptian cats, animals roam freely on the island.
- Relax on the beach next to Shela
The City of Shela in the South of Lamu borders a long white sandy beach, there is almost no one here, this 12 – kilometers long beach is a perfect place to relax in the afternoon and read a book.
If you get too hot, jump into the azure blue sea water and when you fancy some exercise, you can walk to the Old Fort or.
- Pizza and Movie night at Diamond Beach Village in Manda
Every Friday evening at 07:30 pm, there is pizza and movie night at hotel Diamond Beach Village on Mandu Island, they show quirky, art – house movies and bake delicious brick oven pizzas. You can take a yoga class at 17.00, it takes you only 10 – 20 minutes to get to the hotel from Shela or Lamu by dhow.
- Follow a yoga class
Are you a yoga addict, every day at 09:00 am and 5:00 pm. The yoga classes in Lamu Island are offered at the Hotel Banana House, The Dutch owner Monica often teaches herself and is also the organizer of the annual Yoga Festival.
- Shop in Shela or Lamu Tamu and buy beautiful jewelry, art or clothing
In Lamu Island there is no large shopping streets or tourist bazaars so you should not expect them, however there are a number of beautiful shops in Shela and Lamu Town where you will go for shopping spree for beautiful jewelry, art or clothing. Some of the nice shops in visit on your shopping spree in Lamu Island include
- Mohammed Silversmith – here you will find a silversmith who makes silver jewelry in Lamu, he makes beautiful rings from washed-up ceramic, these shards come from ceramic pots on a 15th – century Chinese – Dutch ship.
- Isiah’s Wooden Fish Workshop – this beautiful workshop makes wooden fish for on the wall from a washed-up wood. Isiah’s workshop is found in the main street (Kenyatta Road).
- Gallery Baraka – this shop is attached to Whispers Coffee Shop and has art and jewelry from all over Africa. It is worth to look around the shop as it is not cheap, you will find Gallery Baraka on the main street – Kenyatta Road.
- Sunset Sailing trip with a dhow
Sunset sailing trip in a local dhow is a fascinating experience to have in Lamu Island, dhow trips are arranged by either tour operators or hotels. Depending on the time of your holiday in Lamu Town, you can see sea turtles hatching out of their eggs and walking towards the sea.
This activity is facilitated by the organization Lamu Marine Conservation Trust (Lamcot).
Other water activities to do in Lamu Island include windsurfing, kite surfing and snorkeling.
Tips for things to do on Lamu Island
Ask for posters of the Lamu Museum – The Museum of Lamu Town has a special collection that tells about the local history, more special and beautiful posters are made every year for the museum. While in the small museum shop, ask about the posters, choose one and take it home as a nice art piece and a perfect reminder of Lamu.
Visit Kiwayu Island – After explore Lamu Island, make sure you visit Kiwayu Island situated about an hour and a half boat ride from Lamu, the island contains only one accommodation that is Mikes Camp – an eco-lodge. On this private island, you can go kiting, surfing or just relax at the camp.
Attend Multiple festivals – Yoga, art, food and hat festival – Lamu Island is renowned for its annual yoga festive that takes place in March, also there are a number of other special festivals such as large art festive hosted in February, a hat festival and an annual food festive which attracts many Kenyans from the inland and many foreign tourists.
A self – built plastic processing system – Most places in Kenya do not have a plastic processing system including Lamu, recently this has changed. Miss Angelica – a lady from Germany who has been living at Lamu for a number of years has devised and set up a plastic collection and processing system. With the help of lifeguards cleaning up the plastic from the beaches and a brand-new plastic incineration system, a community kitchen is now days heated while the plastic is processed in the most sustainable way possible.
Visit The Factory – from art dealer Nicholas Logsdail – a well known art dealer Nicholas Logsdail, the owner of Lisson Grove gallery in London settled on Lamu Island in 2012. Here he converted a large palm oil factory into the art gallery where he invites a number of artists to create and exhibit art every year.