The Lamu Archipelago

The Lamu archipelago is a group of islands located on the Northern Coast of Kenya. The three main islands are Lamu Island, Manda Island and Pate Island. Minor islands include Kiwayu and Manda Toto.

Map of Lamu Archipelago

 

Introduction to Lamu Island

Lamu Island is part of the Lamu Archipelago that is located on the Northern Kenyan coast, 341 kilometres North of Mombasa City.

Lamu Town

 

 

Lamu Fort

Lamu Fort was built between 1813 and 1821. The Fort was built by the government of Lamu with cooperation from Seyyid Said, the Sultan of Oman. It initially served as a Fort for Soldiers. It later became the trading center of the town. Between 1910 and 1984, it was used as a prison. It is now primarily a tourist site run by the Nation Museums of Kenya.

Lamu Fort

 

Lamu is famous for having very narrow streets that are not passable by vehicles, Most of the streets were constructe in the 17th century prior to the advent of the automobile.

 

Lamu Narrow streets

 

Lamu streets

Lamu's narrow streets which were built mainly for animal drawn carriages starting in the 9th century

Lamu Street

Swahili Architecture

Lamu swahili architecture 

Many of the buildings in Lamu Island exbibit the traditional swahili architecture

Lamu Door

Many buildings in Lamu exhibit the traditional Lamu door. This one has a moon and crescent which is considered god luck

Lamu Door

Shela Village

Shela village which is 3.2km south of Lamu town is a major tourist area with several hotels

 

Shela Village

Shela Village

Shela Village

Manda Island 

Manda Island

An aerial view of Manda Island

From the 9th century onwards, Manda Island had two prosperous ports: Manda Town and Takwa.

Takwa Ruins

The Takwa Ruins located to the South of Manda Island represent what is left of the town of Takwa which was a thriving Swahili Trading center in the 15th and 16th century. 

 

 

 

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