KARIBU LAMU, WELCOME TO LAMU
Nestled against the coast of East Africa is the Lamu Archipelago, a chain of beautiful sun drenched islands surrounded by the warm, turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.
Lamu town, on Lamu Island, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – being the best preserved Swahili Settlement on the continent.
When Lamu was first built in the 16th century, it was made for the world as it existed at that time: tall stone and cut coral blockhouses lined the narrow streets, providing constant shade and respite from the equatorial sun.
And much of this part of Old Lamu Town still stands just as it did all those years ago. The streets are still cool and wide enough only for a heavily laden donkey. Tall stone houses abound, some refurbished, some not.
The streets are alive with all ages, women in traditional Muslim dress – the bui bui, men in kanzus and kikois, kids in school or madrasa uniforms, donkeys ploughing through the streets laden with anything that needs to be transported – the narrow streets bustle with life!
I first came to Lamu in 2003, travelling with a friend. I met my husband that year, married a few years later and we then split our time between Lamu and the UK. We found the constant moving between two countries too difficult and decided to make Lamu our permanent home and the place to raise our children.
My husband’s Seafront Cafe has been open since 1999 on the site of his dad’s shell shop, and is a Lamu mainstay for freshly made fruit juices and delicious seafood, cooked Swahili style.
We expanded to encompass a small two-bedroom guesthouse much more recently. Seafront Guesthouse Lamu is pretty three-storey building built in Swahili style, set in a garden oasis, hidden away from the hustle and bustle and yet as central as you could be. There is a choice of a large king bedroom – ‘Miji’ Garden Room with ensuite shower and verandah overlooking the peaceful garden. There is also the upper ‘Somoe’ Rooftop Room, which again has a large double bedroom and a private roof terrace, with kitchen and views to the sea.