7 must do activities in Lamu Island, a place to chill out & relax #NowTravelReady

I went to Lamu Island and just fell in love with it. I really did. What a beautiful coastal destination boasting of a rich history that you simply cannot get anywhere else. It felt like I went back in time every single day I walked along the winding streets of Lamu Old town with continuous tall townhouses, coupled with the famous distinctive carved wooden doors that date back 1000 years, said to be influenced by unique fusion of Swahili, Arabic, Persian, Indian and European building styles. Goes without saying, that Lamu is the oldest and best-preserved example of Swahili settlement in East Africa and happens to be the only cultural landscape in Kenya included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The visions of picturesque islands with soft-sand, white beaches and shimmering azure waters against one of the most beautiful coastal magical sunsets are the markings of this beautiful destination. The evenings on the dhow while enjoying the soothing sounds of it drifting as you sail towards the stunning sunset, is incredibly magical and if you ask me, should be listed by the Tourism Ministry as one of the things one must do to when in Kenya.

Lamu Island is guaranteed to be an experience that you’ll never forget. A slower pace awaits you as you unplug from the duties of your daily life. No crowds, no high-rise buildings, no traffic snurl ups (did you know there is only one car in the entire Island) basically no noise- just vibes and chill. You will be welcomed by local residents who are happy to see you and receive you and guide you around. They are proud of their culture and happy to see visitors flock to the Island, very friendly residents.

This island with its sights, tastes and experiences will feed your soul, rejuvenate your body and reawakened your soul through the various activities that I got to experience together with other personalities and content creators, while on a trip on the inaugural flight to Lamu by Jambojet.

How to get to Lamu Island

Regional low-cost carrier Jambojet now flies to Lamu (Manda airport) from JKIA- Nairobi, via Mombasa four times weekly with an introductory fare of KES. 7100 one way from Nairobi to Lamu. Mombasa to Lamu will start at KES. 4600 one way.

Jambojet together with the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife unveiled a new aircraft livery wrap, aimed at promoting the conversation around conservation of the endangered sea turtle, and the dugong, a rare sea mammal. The branding is on their planes operating the Lamu route.

The no-frills airline launched in April 2014 became the only low-cost carrier in Kenya to be awarded the coveted IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA registration) in July 2019. IOSA is an internationally recognised and accepted evaluation system designed to assess the safety, operational management, and control systems of an airline.

Once you get off Manda airport, you take a speedboat or dhow to the main land of Lamu (it is an Island).

7 Incredible Things to do in Lamu Island 

Floating Restaurant

This must be at the top of your must do list for a unique dining experience where you eat and drink on water, all with a perfect view of the sun setting across the ocean.

It is literally a floating structure in the middle of the Indian Ocean channel which is about a kilometre from Shela and Lamu Old Town. It sits on 200 pressurized drums that help it to stay afloat.

It is a full-fledged restaurant and bar, with even a DJ playing live music mixes in the evening as you watch the sun go down. Quite fascinating too that you get to catch your own fish if you want, and then the chef whips up a delicious meal for you there and then.

A walk down Lamu Old Town

Inner courtyards, verandas, and elaborately carved wooden doors are a sight to behold when you take a stroll/ walk down Lamu Old Town. Culturally rich, this town is said to be the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement on the East African coast. You will also come across The Lamu Museum with the town’s history and architecture. The Lamu Fort, which was built by the Sultan of Paté between 1810 and 1823 and is today a library.

Star float Swimming at Mike’s Camp, Kiwayu Island

Mike’s Camp is located on Kiwayu Island, one of the many unspoilt islands of the Lamu Archipelago on the Kenyan coast. You’re essentially offered your own private island, with soft, white sand and turquoise waters on one side, a serene creek system on the other, where you’re completely safe and undisturbed. Situated in the Kiuaga Marine National Reserve you’re immersed in an untouched paradise of natural beauty that you’ll never want to leave.

Visit The donkey sanctuary

This is a centre where donkeys are taken care of. It’s a clinic that also handles orphaned, old and abandoned donkeys. According to the Donkey Sanctuary, they have been helping donkeys and owners since it opened its doors over 30 years ago.

Donkeys are big deal in Lamu. They are relied upon to move goods, suitcases, building materials and people around Lamu town, since the town has no cars. This is primarily the mode of transport on land.

The team from Donkey Sanctuary Kenya have been working here for several years to improve the design of the carts and harness so that donkeys’ spines are protected, wounds are prevented and carts are well-balanced.

Chasing Sunsets while sailing on a dhow

Kenya Tourism Board should include this activity as one of the must do things while travelling in Kenya. It is simply magical and worthwhile to make a beautiful sunset sailing trip with a dhow in Lamu.

You could almost say this is what soft life is all about. It will sooth you and also excite you as you’ll get a good glimpse of wonderful scenes of the Indian Ocean, while you sit back, relax and enjoy the peacefulness of the ocean as you hear the ripple of water on the sides of the dhow as it glides swiftly through the clear turquoise water. It is one of the most unforgettable moments in Lamu.