Most frequent questions and answers
Lamu Island is a part of the Lamu Archipelago in Kenya, Africa. It is situated 341 km (212 mi) by road northeast of Mombasa that ends at Mokowe Jetty. From here, one has to cross the sea channel to reach Lamu Island.
Lamu town is best reached by air. You can either fly directly from Nairobi (Fly 540 from Kenyatta airport, Safarilink and Air Kenya fly from Wilson Airport, Nairobi) or from Mombasa or Malindi to the south (operators include Mombasa Safari Air from Mombasa, which does not fly every day, and Fly 540 from Malindi).
The airport is on an island opposite the main village requiring a short boat/ferry ride. Tourists are generally charged a premium price for the short trip.
This is a good option if you’re traveling on a budget. There is a daily bus service from Mombasa via Malindi.
However, this route was notorious for attacks by Somali bandits. Buses in the past were stopped and robbed. By October 2005, the security situation was considered OK. Armed guards are taken on board, especially those buses traveling the most dangerous part of the journey close to Lamu. No disturbances with buses have happened in years.
There are two express buses (Tawakal and Najaah) if you want to arrive earlier in Lamu. You can enjoy a ride with no unnecessary stops.
If you want a private adventure, you can hire a car from Mombasa or Malindi. The road is easier to locate on your own, and you can make a few stops to ask around if need be.
While hiring a car is possible, it is also expensive.
Yes, there are plenty of accommodation options for guests visiting Lamu. You can conveniently look for your desired stay-in location on the internet and book your accommodations online. Travel websites like Agoda, Booking.com, Airbnb, and many others have a wealth of information for hotels and accommodations in this humble town. You can check them out and browse for your ideal room.
Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historic town expresses beauty that is unique, abundant, and unspoiled. There are many sights to see and things to do, and each activity brings you to an unforgettable experience in this culturally vibrant city.
The Lamu World Heritage Site is only a platform to highlight Lamu’s hidden wonders. This website serves as a way for people to know and understand Kenya’s old town. We serve to inform and inspire the curious to dig deep about Lamu Island and diminish those myths about this historic place.
We do not offer tour services or travel packages. There are many local tour guides in town, friendly faces who’ll be delighted to help you explore the town. But if you’ll read through our website, you’ll see a variety of sights and activities you can include in your itinerary. We can also give you a list of stay-in locations, restaurants, and other vital information for your trip.
Use the Lamu World Heritage Site as your guide. If you need any information not presented on our website, you can ask us directly.
Most of the locals speak in English, so there’s really less friction for a language barrier when traveling to Lamu. However, you can be at an advantage if you speak the Swahili language. It makes you more ready to assimilate the town’s culture. But wherever you travel to, it’s always a good idea to learn the local’s language. The natives will be pleased and more willing to help you get around town.
Much of Lamu’s bad reputation can be accounted to those clueless and deceiving articles from the west. Being situated in a part of Africa that is notorious for many crimes, people would always jump to conclusion thinking that the town is just as dangerous.
Although Lamu has its own shares of controversial issues involving pirates and robbers in the past, it has long been considered a safe place to travel. Lamu thrives beautifully over the years and has received extra protection from its government.
Lamu Town has a very safe, friendly, and relaxing ambiance. The people are great and there are fewer tourists crowding the area. You can walk confidently and mingle with people without worrying too much about your security. It is safer than your popular travel destinations, and even more so than Kenya’s famous cities.