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.
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 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 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's narrow streets which were built mainly for animal drawn carriages starting in the 9th century
Many of the buildings in Lamu Island exbibit the traditional swahili architecture
Many buildings in Lamu exhibit the traditional Lamu door. This one has a moon and crescent which is considered god luck
Shela village which is 3.2km south of Lamu town is a major tourist area with several hotels
An aerial view of Manda Island
From the 9th century onwards, Manda Island had two prosperous ports: Manda Town and Takwa.
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.