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Lamu Island

Located in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Kenya, the island town of Lamu retains a distinctive tradition over a thousand years old. The Swahili culture and style of Lamu are a mix of East African, Omani, Yemeni, Indian, and some Portuguese and Victorian influences. Of all the old Swahili towns of East Africa, Lamu is one of very few remaining mostly intact. The undisturbed island of Lamu boasts a timeless serenity. Set in an archipelago of coral fringed islands, Lamu Town was a trading centre for hundreds of years. Great lateen-rigged dhows sailed in from Arabia and India, buying and selling ivory and spices. The resultant blend of cultures has produced a vibrant people, the Swahili, who are rich in history and justifiably proud of their maritime tradition. To this day there are no cars on the island, and transport is by dhow, donkey or on foot.