Lamu island has no motorized vehicles and transportation and other heavy work is done with the help of donkeys. There are some 3000 donkeys on the island. They can be seen everywhere in the cobbled alleyways and town squares, along the waterfront and roaming the fields.
The health of the donkeys has been vastly improved over the last 25 years by the Donkey Sanctuary, funded by the UK charity Organization. Dr. Elisabeth Svendsen, the founder of the Donkey Sanctuary in England first visited Lamu in 1985. Worried by the conditions for the donkeys, the Sanctuary was opened in 1987. Today the Sanctuary provides treatment to all donkeys free of charge.