Far from the tourist overdrive of Kenya's southern coast, low-key Lamu is an idyllic island of swaying palm trees, gliding dhows, and donkeys plodding through a maze of narrow, winding streets

Settled by Swahili traders in the 14th century, Lamu is one of East Africa’s treasures, its alleys abuzz with barefoot children, women in swirling bui-bui robes, and clattering carts piled high with coconuts. Keep your eyes peeled for the ornate door carvings that are a Swahili trademark. On the island’s southern shore, glorious Shella Beach embraces the warm waves of the Indian Ocean in a long ribbon of powdery sand. It’s a favourite among the well-heeled expats buying up the pleasure palaces nearby.

Popularly known as the Lamu Archipelago, this village is believed to be about 600 years old and all that remains of the ancient Arab City is a mosque, a Koran school and a pillar tomb, which has insets of Ming porcelain. Today, Lamu is well covered by lush mangrove forests, river estuaries, deep forests and yellow grassy plains which hold some of Africa’s last truly wild game and birdlife.

Wrapping around the Kenyan coastline to the North are tens of islands where you can get a unique taste of island life. The county is rich in history and culture and complemented by exquisite natural beauty. So far Lamu archipelago has welcomed travelers for over a thousand years. The place is a magical getaway made of long white sandy beaches, rolling sand dunes dotted with palms and acacia trees.

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