Lamu Town in detail


Lamu Town has a lot to offer in terms of art and crafts, from traditional woodwork and fabrics to antiques, silver jewellery, masks and more contemporary crafts.


There’s a huge international market for traditional doors, furniture and window frames. If you want something custom-made, head to the north side of the waterfront where carvers tend to concentrate. Woodwork that’s slightly more friendly to your airline baggage allowance includes picture frames, bao (a traditional board game) sets, Quran stands and ito – round painted ‘eyes’ from Swahili dhows, originally used as talismans to avoid underwater obstacles and protect against the evil eye.


You can pick up some interesting pieces (from street sellers) such as brass trumpets and copper lanterns.


Textile fans will enjoy shopping for textiles sourced from Oman and Somalia. Head north along Kenyatta Rd from the fort and you'll find a scattering of places selling such wares. Lamu is a good place to buy kikois, the patterned wraps traditionally worn by Swahili men; the standard price is around KSh500, more for the heavier Somali style.


There are several excellent silversmiths plying their wares along part of Kenyatta Rd north of the fort.

Arts & Crafts

There are several shops selling easy to carry souvenirs, such as bags made from the recycled cotton of dhow sails, small carvings and jewellery, while Baraka Gallery caters to collectors of high-end pieces.