Sunset dhow cruises, Old Town walking tours, Swahili history insights and swimming with dolphins fill days between simply soaking up the Lamu sunshine.

Dhow Safari

An excursion on one of the island’s famous Mozambican dhows is an absolute must when visiting Lamu. Sail through mangrove forests on a half- or full-day safari, while gorging on barbecued fish, local Swahili snacks and tropical fruit plates. If you’re feeling romantic, hit up a sunset cruise – but be sure to organise your sundowners beforehand, as booze is never a given in Lamu.

Dolphin Watching, Snorkelling and Water Sports

For dolphin swimming and snorkelling, a regular motor boat is recommended as they are easier to zip around in and get in and out of than traditional dhows. Again, this can be made into an entire day excursion with a packed lunch and drinks depending on what you fancy. It is also the quickest way to get across to see the Takwa ruins on Manda Island.

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Walking Guide through Lamu Old Town

It’s worth hiring a guide for your first foray into Lamu Old Town. It shouldn’t cost more than a tenner each for half a day and they’ll be able to help you navigate the maze of narrow alleyways in this UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as ensuring you’re not heckled at every turn. Visit the local farmers market near the square, as well as all the local craftsmen – look out for the East African basket-makers, from whom you can pick up a stylish laundry basket for your home.

Lamu Museum

This island museum houses particularly illuminating Swahili ethnography exhibits. Your designated guide will explain the historical layering of cultures that underpins the present-day Swahili culture of the Lamu archipelago, while the museum pass also lets you into the old fort, so head there afterwards if you have time.

Lamu Museum

Walking Tour through Lamu Old Town

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