Welcome to Lamu Town
Lamu Town seems almost ethereal as you approach it from the water, with the shopfronts and mosques creeping out from behind a forest of dhow masts. Up close, the illusion shatters and the town becomes a hive of activity – from the busy waterfront, with heavy carts wheeled to and fro, to the pungent labyrinth of donkey-wide alleyways, along which women whisper by in full-length bui-bui (black cover-all worn by some Islamic women outside the home) and stray cats hunt for scraps. Your nostrils are assaulted with blue smoke from meat grilling over open fires, donkey dung and the organic scent of the cured wooden shutters on houses built of stone and coral. Many visitors call this town – the oldest living town in East Africa, a Unesco World Heritage Site and arguably the most complete Swahili town in existence – one of the highlights of their trip to Kenya.