Top ChoiceMuseum in Lamu Town

Lamu Museum

The best museum in town (and the second best in Kenya) is housed in a grand Swahili warehouse on the waterfront. This is as good a gateway as you’ll get into Swahili culture and that of the archipelago in...

Top ChoiceBeach in Shela

Shela Beach

Most people are here for the beach – a 12km-long, wide sweep of pristine white sand where you’re guaranteed an isolated spot (at least if you’re prepared to walk some way) to catch some rays. Swimming is...

Top ChoiceFusion in Shela

Peponi

We're still waxing lyrical about our last meal at this amazing restaurant. Choose between global offerings, such as tuna ceviche, Philly cheese steak sandwich and BBQ fish, or get your fill of mostly Italian...

Top ChoiceRuins in Manda Island

Takwa Ruins

What sets these ruins, the remains of a city that existed between the 15th and 17th centuries, apart from other archaeological sites on the coast? Quiet. When you’re here and the light shatters in the trees,...

Top ChoiceFusion in Shela

Kijani Restaurant

On the premises of Kijani Hotel, this excellent new restaurant has a daily changing menu that combines fresh local ingredients with global influences. Go on, treat yourself to Tahitian-style fish, miso-grilled...

Top ChoiceArt in Lamu Town

Baraka Gallery

This upmarket gallery is the place to come if you're a serious Africana collector. There are pieces from all over the continent and beyond, from affordable Kenyan belts with Maasai bead embroidery to ceremonial...

Top ChoiceCafe in Lamu Town

Whispers Cafe

You know how sometimes you just need that escape into the world of magazines and fresh pastries? Welcome to Whispers. For a real cappuccino, light meals, mega juices and smoothies, or the best desserts in town,...

Top ChoiceFusion in Lamu Town

Moonrise

Particularly strong when it comes to seafood dishes and slightly set back from the waterfront, this is the best restaurant in town. Feast on the likes of fish tacos with mango salsa, ginger crab with coconut rice...

Archaeological Site in Paté Island

Shanga

Shanga, south of the village of Siyu, is the world's most complete example of a medieval Swahili town. Arguably the oldest archaeological site on the Kenyan coast, it includes the ruins or foundations of some 130...

Ruins in Paté Island

Nabahani Ruins

Located just outside Paté Town, these ruins are slowly vanishing under a riot of tropical vegetation and banana plantations. There is nothing to stop you from wandering among the tombs, ancient mosques and other...

Wildlife Reserve in Lamu Town

Donkey Sanctuary

A man without a donkey is a donkey, claims one Swahili proverb. Or, as the staff of this sanctuary might tell you, a man who doesn’t look after his donkey is a donkey. With around 3000 donkeys active on Lamu,...

Village in Paté Island

Siyu

It’s hard to believe today that Siyu was once the major city of the Lamu archipelago, with 30,000 inhabitants and several major universities. The only remnant of this glory is an enormous intact fort, which,...

Village in Paté Island

Paté

Paté vllage, on the west side of the island, is a maze of streets carved out of orange and brown coral ragstone. The modern village itself is almost identical in design and construction to the nearby ruins and,...

Religious in Lamu Island

Maulid Festival

Marking the birth of the Prophet Mohammed, this festival has been celebrated on the island for over 100 years and much singing, dancing and general jollity takes place around this time. On the final day a...

African in Lamu Town

Olympic Restaurant

The family that runs the Olympic makes you feel as if you’ve come home every time you enter, and their food, particularly the curries and biriyani, is excellent. There are few better ways to spend a Lamu night...

Sports in Lamu Island

Lamu Yoga Festival

Can't make it to India? Practise yoga in the Indian Ocean instead. First held in 2014, this festival spills across Shela, Manda and Lamu, and includes workshops, classes and meditation. It culminates in one big...

Bar in Shela

Peponi’s Bar

Naturally, the bar at a Swiss-owned Kenyan hotel with an Italian name has to resemble an English pub. Pretty much everyone on Shela finds their way to the sunset-watching terrace to happily drift into insolvency...

Arts & Crafts in Lamu Town

Old Town Art & Crafts

This is a good place to shop for prints and paintings, handbags made from recycled materials, woven sisal bags and small Kenyan masks. The ebony woodcarvings of animals are best avoided as it's an endangered...

Seafood in Shela

Stopover Restaurant

There are waterfront restaurants all over the place, but the Stopover’s friendly staff and excellent grub (of the spicy Swahili-seafood sort) make it a cut above the competition, particularly the seafood curries....

Marine Reserve in Kiwayu Island

Kiunga Marine National Reserve

This stunning, little-visited marine reserve covers 270 sq km and includes beautiful coral reefs. The reefs are ideal for snorkelling and whale sharks can be spotted in season. You need to charter a boat to get...