Dating back to the 14th century, Lamu was a trading post for the sultanate of Oman and was once one of the most important locations in East Africa for the slave, ivory and gold trades. Today the island's towns and the thriving fishing industry offer a fascinating and charming insight into the Swahili way of life.
There are miles and miles of beaches on Lamu Island, but sad to report, they are not that great. This is really not the Maldives, Seychelles, Zanzibar or Mauritius! Don't believe the tour operator brochures... At low tide, Lamu's beaches are full of seaweed and not remotely attractive. However, off the coast of Lamu lie a number of small islands with much better beaches, that are home to some great little beach lodges. These are a much better option than Lamu itself.
(Please note however that overall we much prefer the beaches and islands of Tanzania and Zanzibar to those of Kenya, why not consider going there instead...)
Lamu: where to stay
Peponi's is arguably the best accommodation on Lamu and is always worth considering. Although it lacks a beautiful beach, its undeniable atmopshere and character have made the hotel very famous over the years and it still offers reliably good service and accommodation.
Kizingoni is a rustic little reed-and-thatch beach lodge on Lamu's best beach and offers a wide choice of complimentary activities. Manda Bay is a popular choice due to its location close to Lamu and Shela town, backed up by stylish managment and funky design. Off the coast however lies Kiwayu, our favorite lodge in the area.