Lamu Old Town

Casco antiguo de Lamu

Casco antiguo de Lamu

Lamu Old Town – this is an exclusive tropical island on the north coast of Kenya, and one of the oldest best-preserved Swahili settlements in East Africa. It is one major center for the study of Islam and Swahili cultures with many visiting for educational purposes. It is built in coral stone and mangrove timber. Lamu is also characterized by the simplicity of many structural forms enriched by ideal features such as elaborately carved wooden doors, verandas, and inner courtyards.

The town also includes a fort (built in the 19th century by the Sultan of Oman, which housed for a time a garrison of Baluchi soldiers that protected this area under the Sultan’s orders), and even a German post office (in existence from 1888 to 1891 when a small German protectorate existed there). After that time, Lamu and the rest of Kenya fell under British control.

Today the ground floor of Lamu Fort houses a museum with an exhibition which focuses mainly on environmental conservation. The courtyard is used by the local community for meetings, weddings and public performances while the second floor is occupied by offices, laboratories and a workshop and a conference facility that is available for rent. The fort has a library that boasts an excellent collection of Swahili poetry and reference material on Lamu. But the fort is not only a center of culture, conservation and poetry. From its ramparts, you are able to get panoramic views of Lamu town. Admission: KES 3,000 (tourist adult), KES 375 (Kenyan adult), KES 1,500 (tourist child), KES 180 (Kenyan child).