The Island of Festivals
Culture, history and pristine beaches
On Lamu Island you can visit the World Heritage Site of Lamu Town and sense the Swahili tradition and culture. You can stroll into the narrow alleys where you will bump into busy donkeys, interact with the local artisans and sellers, peep into their little shops and just blend into the vibe of this beautiful, monumental town. There are practically no vehicles on the island and the motorcycles "boda-boda" and cars are only allowed outside of town.
The village of Shela with its deserted beach is definitely worth a visit. If you are brave enough to walk for thirteen kilometer on the shore, you will reach Kipungani, a hidden gem of this archipelago. If you are interested to discover how Dhows are made the Matondoni village will definitely not disappoint you.
Is Manda an island or is it part of the mainland? This is the eternal question....
Covered with Acacia trees, dotted with magnificent Baobabs this mostly uninhabited place takes visitors back in time and makes them savour its nearly untouched natural environment, where colourful birds and turtles can be easily spotted.
Manda Island is also known for the prosperous 9th century ports of Takwa and Manda town. The island is now linked by ferry to Lamu and is home to Manda Airport, while Manda Toto island lies to its west. The island is separated from the mainland by the narrow Mkanda channel.
Both Manda town and Takwa were probably abandoned due to lack of water in the first half of the 19th century.
Kiwayuu (alternative spelling Kiwayu) is a small island in the eastern part of the Lamu Archipelago in the Kiunga Marine National Reserve in Kenya. Its main economic activity is fishing, and there is one school, no clinic and one well on the island. Its main tourist attractions are the tidal pools and snorkeling/diving pools on its eastern side, in the Indian Ocean.
Pate island or Paté island is located in the Indian Ocean close to the northern coast of Kenya, to which it belongs. It is the largest island in the Lamu Archipelago, which lie between the towns of Lamu and Kiunga, close to the border with Somalia.
From the seventh century, Paté island was an early site of Arabic colonisation. It long vied as a Swahili port with Lamu and with Takwa on Manda Island and came to prominence around the fourteenth century, but was subjugated by Lamu in the nineteenth century. Public transportation is provided by a few mini buses (so called matatus). The main administrative centre on the island, with the police station, is Faza.