Much of Lamu Island, just off Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast, is made up of dunes, with the occasional fertile oasis providing relief. But the chief attraction is the fascinating port town, also called Lamu. Step back in time in this UNESCO World Heritage site, a maze of winding lanes lined with elaborately carved houses. There are no cars here, so transport options are the ubiquitous donkeys or your own two feet.
Learn more about the area’s history and unique culture in the town’s Swahili House Museum, located in a beautifully restored 18th century house. And for some of East Africa’s finest white sand beaches, travel by traditional dhow boat to the town of Shela, at the eastern end of the island.
Lamu Island is on Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast. It’s a long and sometimes dangerous overland journey from Nairobi; a better option is to fly to nearby Manda Island and then travel the short distance to Lamu by ferry.