5 Tourist Attractions in Lamu Old Town, Kenya
Lamu is the oldest town in Kenya. It is considered as the few of the well-preserved Swahili settlements, with some dwellings believed to be dating back to the 19th century.
Lamu has a rich history and many tribes from other groups have greatly influenced this humble town. It has an ethnically diverse population and its daring architectures are a hybrid of Swahili, Arabian, and Indian designs. This mix of intricacies has made this borough even more interesting.
Part of the Lamu culture is the use of donkeys. These animals are what have kept them moving in and around their municipality. With its narrow streets, it is difficult for vehicles to pass through. Walking and cycling are other means of transportation in Lamu.
In 2001, Lamu became a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Its cultural uniqueness was what earned its spot on this prestigious list.
1. Lamu Cultural Festival:
This festival is held every November. Its aim is to promote and preserve the Swahili cultural heritage. Some of the festival activities include donkey racing, Swahili poetry, traditional dances, and bridal ceremonies.
Lamu is popular for having unique designs in furniture. One example is its door style that is painstakingly carved to perfection. Lamu furniture fanciers are predominantly from Kenya, but their flair in woodwork and stonework are greatly enjoyed by tourists from other countries.
3. Shanga Ruins:
These scars of history can be traced back to the 14th century where Chinese settlement is thought to have taken place in Lamu. It is located in Pate Island, and it shows the remains of two mosques, some tombs, and a cemetery.
4. Maulidi Festival:
It is a religious festivity that celebrates the birth of Prophet Mohamed. There are swimming competitions, traditional dances, and henna dying competitions. Many Muslims from all over the country come to Lamu to celebrate this vibrant event.
5. Fishing and Snorkeling:
Being located on an island, this small town has several pristine beaches and interesting sights underwater. Locals and tourists enjoy deep sea fishing. They also do snorkeling in the Kiunga Marine Park. Lots of discoveries have taken place on Lamu’s underwater adventure, be it sunrise or sunset.