A few miles off the coast of northern Kenya, the Lamu archipelago is peaceful and beautiful. Transport is by donkey or on foot, beaches are deserted and the most common sounds are the wind in the grass or the creak of a dhow. There are two main islands in the archipelago, Lamu Island and Manda Island. Sprinkled about these in the turquoise sea are tiny coral atolls and white sand banks. Most visitors to the archipelago settled themselves on Lamu Island. At 16 kilometres long and seven kilometers wide, it resembles a miniature version of Zanzibar but is much quieter. On the northeast coast Lamu Town is a World Heritage Site that simply must be explored. Venturing further afield you will find the 12 kilometer beach on the south coast and the pretty fishing village of Shela. A short boat ride away, Manda Island is quieter still, with beaches just made for picnics and relaxing in the sun.
Watersports on the Lamu Archipelago includes diving, snorkeling, sailing,
fishing and exploring the endless beaches which is a safari in itself. Manda
Bay is a sanctuary for wildlife which includes many mammals, butterflies and
reptiles. Birdlife here includes bush shrikes, bee-eaters, fish eagle,
herons, ibises, weavers, sunbirds, mousebirds and more
The town of Lamu has its own distinctive architecture and among the mango
and coconut plantations traders sell their wares and are more than willing
to engage in bartering with tourists. Along the coast, white-sailed dhows
dot the coastal waters.