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Geography and Climate

Lamu Town is a small town on Lamu Island, located on the northern coast of Kenya. It borders Garissa to the North, the Indian Ocean to the South and South East, and Tana River to the South West and West. Lamu is Kenya's oldest continually inhabited town, and was one of the original Swahilis ettlements along coastal East Africa, founded in 1370. The weather throughout the year is warm and very humid. There are extensive mangrove forests in the area.

People and Religion

Lamu was once a slave trade center, and it is therefore very ethnically diverse. Lamu was on the main Arabian trading routes, and as a result, the population is largely Muslim. The main language spoken here is Kiswahili, which is very widely spoken in Africa. Kiswahili is derived from the Arabic word “sahil” which means coast. Kiswahili therefore translates loosely as “coastal language.”

Tourism

Old Lamu has the unique distinction of being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of the tourist attractions found in Lamu include:

      1. Lamu Cultural Festival

        This is an annual event organized by the Lamu Cultural Promotion Group, with the goal of showcasing the culture of this particular area. The festival offers a sample of time-honored traditions against the rich backdrop of Lamu’s beauty and spleandor.

      2. Maulidi Festival

        This is a celebration of Prophet Mohammed’s birthday held in January or February. It features a range of activities from donkey races to dhow sailing events and swimming competitions.

      3. Architecture

        Lamu has some very beautiful old structures like Lamu Fort, Old Town, Swahili House, German Post Office, Takwa Ruins and the many mosques, buildings worth taking the time to visit when one has the chance.

      4. National Nature Reserves

        Lamu has many noteworthy natural attractions including the Dodori National Reserve, Kiunga Marine National Reserve,

      5. Museums

        Lamu Museum.

      6. The Donkey Sanctuary

        Lamu Island has no motorised vehicles, thus transportation and other heavy work is done with the help of donkeys. There Dr.Elisabeth Svendsen of the The Donkey Sanctuary in England first visited Lamu in 1985. Worried by the conditions for the donkeys, the Sanctuary was opened in 1987. The Sanctuary provides treatment to all donkeys free of charge.

For more information on Lamu, please visit:
All About Lamu - http://www.magicalkenya.com/ , http://www.savelamu.org/
National Museums of Kenya - http://www.museums.or.ke/
UNESCO World Heritage Sites - http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1055
Kenya Wildlife Services - http://www.kws.org/parks/parks_reserves/KMNR.html

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