Lamu Archipelago

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, in fact, the two merge almost seamlessly into one another. A footpath leads down from Kitokwe (upper town) to Mitaaguu (lower town), where the dhows and boats to Lamu dock.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lamu Archipelago attractions

1. Nabahani Ruins

0.31 MILES

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…

2. Siyu

5.69 MILES

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…

3. Shanga

6.95 MILES

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…

4. Faza

9.45 MILES

Connected to the mainland by a causeway, the biggest settlement on the island has a chequered history. Faza was almost totally destroyed by the Paté town…

5. Takwa Ruins

9.95 MILES

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…

6. Donkey Sanctuary

10.9 MILES

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…

7. Lamu Museum

10.93 MILES

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…

8. Swahili House

10.96 MILES

This preserved 16th-century Swahili house, tucked away to the side of Yumbe Guest House, in a tranquil courtyard with a well, is beautiful. The entry fee…