I have been getting lots of queries about my time in Lamu and quite frankly I was a little bit hesitant about publishing this post because I felt like I did not quite explore the place like I should have but in retrospect, my trip there turned out to be a research trip in preparation for my next time there. *Hopefully September*
I went to Lamu for my sister’s birthday on June and I had every intention of doing nothing. I wanted to relax, stay away from my phone and just disappear for a few days. That did not happen because I realized there was so much to do and this is not the impression I had when leaving Nairobi. The weirdest thing for me was that I did not get much information when I was googling the crap out of “What to do in Lamu”
I hope this post acts as a guide of sorts for you next time you’re in Lamu. If you haven’t been to Lamu, please put it on your MUST go to list. I will mention all the activities I actually did and the ones that I did not but I Must do when I go back there. I will also put a list of hotels and places to eat and explain a little bit why I loved each of them.
PLEASE NOTE that I am only highlighting the places I visited and interacted with. There are so many other great hotels in Lamu and I have no prejudice over them.
So without further a do, here’s a list of 10 things you must do when in Lamu.
- Dress Appropriately!
Lamu is currently my favorite place of all time! So much heritage and culture has been preserved and the community there is reserved. So first and foremost carry decent clothes because bathing suits, booty shorts and bikinis are not allowed on the beach or outside of your hotel. This is not to discourage you from going there but you will be respecting their culture by dressing right.
- Walk on the Beach
This is an ideal first day plan, we stayed in Shela Island and the beach here is vast, crisp white sands and beautiful old homes and castles on the beach. This walk for me was magical and it is extremely safe! We were all alone and occasionally a local would stop and talk to us about the place and continue with his journey.
- Visit the other Island
Depending on where you’re staying, please take one day to visit the other Island. We stayed at Banana House in Shela Island so on our second day there we took a boat ride to The Majlis Resort Manda Island. Both islands have different things to offer in my opinion because Shela is a bit more popular with a lot of activity going on and Manda Island has less activity but much more beautiful. Have lunch on the other island, walk on the beach there and get to experience the Island too.
Our boat ride was with Captain Jawad. He will take you wherever you want to go and when you’re ready to leave he will come pick you up.
Captain Jawad : +254 797 937 411
May I add that he is soooo good-looking I considered sailing to Nairobi 🙂
You’re welcome ladies 😉
- Sunset Dhow Cruise
This is definitely the highlight of the Lamu trip. The sunsets there are magical and this was one activity we didn’t get to do. Both nights our captain had to cancel because of bad weather and heavy rains. According to our friend Stefanno at The Majlis Resort, the best time to visit Lamu is September to May. The ocean is blue and there are no rains, sky is clear, sun is shining and that’s when the sunsets are magical.
Sadi – Activities Manager : +254 723 471 814
- Places to Eat.
The food in Lamu is generally good. The chef in our hotel made extremely good food. It’s like having a home cooked meal in a hotel.
We also spent a day at the Majlis Resort in Manda Island, the food here was amazing!! The service was also sooo good.
Another place to eat is Lamu House Restaurant. Thank me later guys!
Quite frankly, everyone in Lamu was soooo kind I was starting to feel guilty from all the good service.
- Lamu Old Town.
We didn’t get to go into Lamu town because of the bad weather but this is something else to do. The heritage and Swahili Culture has been preserved for thousands of years and this is something to see.
- Take a donkey ride.
Seriously!! Take a donkey ride. I have no profound explanation to this …Where else do you get to do this anyway?
- Water Sports and Snorkeling.
Visiting Lamu during the right season also gives you a chance to enjoy water sports like donut rides, water skiing and wake boarding. We didn’t get to do this either because of the rains but this is definitely in my list next time I’m in Lamu. To see more on the water sports at The Majlis Resort click HERE
- Places to Stay
We stayed at Banana House in Shela Island. This place is a wellness center and we really enjoyed the peace and quite there. The service is great, the staff is extremely friendly and they go out of their way to make sure you have a comfortable stay.
- Be social
Lamu is a very small town where everybody knows everybody *true story* you could be seated on the shore and a complete stranger comes and sits right next to you and starts engaging in conversation about the weather and where you’re from etc. This is so normal over there so be social and talk to these guys. They are actually very interesting and they know so much about the sea, sea vegetation, island life and they do give a few tips on what you can do while there.
*Another true story* After coming from a long walk on the beach, we passed our hotel without realizing and the guys on the shore stopped us and said: “Hey, aren’t you the guys who checked in this morning at this time and are staying at this hotel? You have just passed it where are you going?”
To be honest for a minute that was soo creepy but we then realized that, that is just how the island operates. Everyone knows everyone… your business is everyones business so just bear with it.
I do hope that this post will be helpful next time you’re traveling to Lamu and if there is something I have not shared in my post, please leave a comment down below.
Love Always 🙂