Coordinates: 2°16′10″S 40°54′8″E / 2.26944°S 40.90222°E / -2.26944; 40.90222
This article is about a World Heritage Site
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Lamu is located in Kenya
Location in Kenya
Coordinates: 2°16′10″S 40°54′8″E / 2.26944°S 40.90222°E / -2.26944; 40.90222
Country Kenya
CountyLamu County
 • Total25,385
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
Official nameLamu Old Town
CriteriaCultural: (ii), (iv), (vi)
Inscription2001 (25th Session)
Area15.6 ha (39 acres)
Buffer zone1,200 ha (3,000 acres)
View of the seaside, Lamu Town

Lamu or Lamu Town is a small town on Lamu Island in Kenya. Situated 341 kilometres (212 mi) by road northeast of Mombasa.

Lamu Town on Lamu Island is Kenya's oldest continually inhabited town and was one of the original Swahili settlements along coastal East Africa. It is believed to have been established in 1370.[2] It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Notable landmarks[change | change source]

The town was founded in the 14th century and it contains many fine examples of Swahili architecture. The old city is inscribed on the World Heritage List as "the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa".

The town contains the Lamu Fort on the seafront. The fort was completed by the early 1820s.

Transport[change | change source]

Locals using a donkey for transport

In 2011, proposals were being advanced to build a deep-water port which would have much greater capacity in terms of depth of water. China has begun to transform Lamu into the largest port in East Africa.[3]

Since the island has no cars, transportation and other heavy work is done with the help of donkeys. There are some 3000 donkeys on the island.[4]

In popular culture[change | change source]

The song "Lamu"[5] by Christian singer Michael W. Smith is inspired by the island. The song is about running away from life's problems.

Lamu is the setting of Anthony Doerr's short story "The Shell Collector" from his collection of stories by the same name.

Part of the events in the novel “Our Wild Sex in Malindi” (by Andrei Gusev) takes place in Lamu.[6][7][8]

References[change | change source]

  1. "2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census Volume II: Distribution of Population by Administrative Units". Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  2. This is Kenya. Struik. 2005. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-84537-151-7. Archived from the original on 2020-07-06. Retrieved 2020-09-15.
  3. "Future Kenya Port Could Mar Pristine Land". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 27 November 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  4. Fitzpatrick 2009, p. 330.
  5. "Artist, Christian, Worship Leader – Community, News, Tour Dates, Cruise and More". Michael W. Smith. 21 November 2013. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  6. Review of "Our Wild Sex in Malindi" Archived 2020-08-04 at the Wayback Machine — on the site of public fund "Union of writers of Moscow", 2020
  7. “Our Wild Sex in Malindi” by Andrei Gusev, 2020. Archived 2020-10-09 at the Wayback Machine
  8. «Наш жёсткий секс в Малинди» by Andrei Gusev, 2020. Archived 2018-10-07 at the Wayback Machine