What to Do in Lamu, Kenya

Trip to Lamu

What to Do in Lamu, Kenya

If you are ever bored or looking for a change of pace, make a trip to Lamu. Rich in cultural heritage and legend, Lamu (also spelled Makongwa and Manda) is one of the most charming islands that Kenya’s coastal regions boast. It is an old trading post that today still exudes a spirit of romance and homeliness – and not just for tourists. The locals are an eclectic mix of Western, Indian and Malay cultures mixed together in perfect harmony. If you’ve never been to Lamu, you should definitely do so at least once. It’s an experience you will never forget.

Even if you are sequestered within total serenity on the northwest end of Manda or at the very edge of Kiwayu (both of which offer superb beach destinations in their own right) arrange a full day trip to Lamu Town (again, the donkey-raced lanes are worth a day or two of your stay, at least in the mornings or late evenings). The capital of Lamu is Kiwayu and it’s worth a day trip from the center to walk through its ancient temples. You can also visit the village itself and experience what it’s like to live life still running down the main street. While in Kiwayu, try out some of the delicious Lamu restaurants before you head back to Lamu. There are many amazing things to be had in this rural community, but these are just the beginning.

If you are looking for a budget holiday with some real cultural exploration in mind, try starting out in Mombasa city and then spending a few nights in Lamu Town, also on your way back. You can save a lot of money by staying in Mombasa hotels with swimming pools or beachfront restaurants with beach bars that open early and close late – all for the same price as you would pay to stay in most major cities on your vacation. You can easily save enough of your daily expenses to have a great stay without having to compromise on your taste and style.

The trickiest part about budget travel to Kenya, especially for first timers, is getting a good deal on airline tickets between major cities. Cheap flight rates may be offered during the day but it’s unlikely that many airlines will lower their prices at the last minute. That’s why it’s important to book your flight several months in advance. If you are willing to go on to book your vacation rentals and make your hotel reservations in Kenya at the same time, you may be able to shave off some more of your flight costs.

For those travelers who have seen “Nairobi” and wish to see the rest of Kenya, there is another option. Instead of heading north for Lamu, you could head south for Mombasa and connect with a rental car and then take a safari boat cruise to Lake Naivasha. This is an excellent way to get around the vast areas of the country and view the landscape in its most natural state. Be sure to visit Lake Naivasha and the surrounding area between the lakes in your quest to see the vast variety of flora and fauna that makes Kenya such a special place. While you’re in Lake Naivasha, also be sure to try one of the world-famous Kiwayu Dhow, a vessel that has set sail from Lamu for almost forty years.

Take a ride aboard the dhow and experience this famous craft and meet some of the local people who use it. The craft is well maintained and it’s one of the best ways to see firsthand the vastness of Lake Nakuru. The journey takes about three and a half hours from Lamu. When you arrive at the many island, the last thing you need to do is plan your trip to Lamu from the town of Mombasa, but instead you should plan to stay a bit north and make your way through Kenya’s coastal regions. You’ll soon come across Lake Naivasha and the start of your journey back towards Lamu.