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


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 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


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...

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,...

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....

Arts & Crafts in Shela

Baraka Gallery

Some beautiful, high-end masks from Central and West Africa of interest to serious collectors, plus more affordable items such as beautiful cutlery, jewellery and handbags embroidered with cowrie shells.

Kenyan in Shela

Luq Tabassam Cafe

This craft-shop-cum-cafe serves the tastiest samosas in Lamu – spicy, flavourful triangles with vegetable, prawn or meat filling. Wash them down with a tamarind juice.

Jewellery in Lamu Town

Slim Silversmith

The most charismatic of the local silversmiths is a chap called Slim, whose silversmith shop sells beautiful rings created from ancient cuttings of coloured tiles.

Kenyan in Shela

Sea Suq

Casual little cafe that serves good samosas and other snacks, and more substantial mains such as Swahili pizzas and seafood, chicken or mutton biriyani.

Cultural in Lamu Island

Lamu Cultural Festival

Exact dates for this colourful carnival vary each year, but it often falls in November. Expect donkey and dhow races, Swahili poets and island dancing.

Fashion & Accessories in Shela


Kenyan-made clothing, from T-shirts by 4Shore to colourful shirts by Duka, plus clever gifts made of baobab seed pods by Seedling.