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“Unique place, full of character and perfectly clean” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Lamu Old Town

Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Distinctive architectural features in this old town center, such as enclosed courtyards and intricately carved doorways, exhibit the confluence of Arabic, Indian and European cultures.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Unique place, full of character and perfectly clean”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2010

After reading some of the horrified reviews about "squalor" and "garbage everywhere" and so on, I was a little reluctant to go back, since I'd last been in Lamu 20 years ago when it was more or less pristine. But we had a fantastic week there, and the reports of "squalor" are hugely exaggerated.

Lamu isn't a museum or a prettified little resort -- it's a vibrant East African fishing town where real people live, most of them on a few hundred dollars a year. Open air markets, donkey poo in the streets and the rare pile of trash are part of the real-life character of the place. You'd have to be rather prissy to be offended by it. And while there are new buildings going up, they're all (by law) in traditional Swahili style and blend in seamlessly with the older buildings. It's all being handled pretty well.

So don't worry -- unless you're incredibly fastidious, you'll love Lamu.

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4 Thank taptaptaptap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
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English first
Paris
1 review
“Pretty”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2010

Locals are friendly and many speak English. The food is good and the view is breath-taking!!

Helpful?
Thank NLB36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nairobi
Level Contributor
89 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Fast losing its identity amidst the filth of Lamu”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2009

While Lamu Old Town is a worth preserving as a world heritage site, it is small and fast being dwarfed by all sorts of modern commerical activities like new horiible buldings. The general filth surrounding the old town is fast degrading this quaint reminder of yesteryears into a squalor best avoided - no matter how attractive the place may be.

What's more, there is a good chance that a modern port will be built on the flip side of the island and knowing Kenyan authorities and Kenyans (I am also a Kenyan) the site will not be preserved for too long - giving way for money and money making activities which are valued a lot more in this country than preserving one's heritage!

And I dont even want to start on the activities that US Marines bring to this Islamic island when on leave from the US Naval Base not so far away.

Helpful?
Thank SurajShah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
156 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Peaceful and quaint........ but”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2009

This place is steeped in history and is quite unique. There are no cars and people travel round on donkeys. And oddly enough there's a Liverpool supporters club/bar. Overall it's a fascinating place but spoilt by rubbish. Everywhere we turned that's all we saw, rubbish. It was so disappointing and unnecessary. Never the less, I've rated it 4*, but having visited many World Heritage sites, I think Lamu is being neglected and I wonder what checks are done to maintain the town as it should be.

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1 Thank droenna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Beautiful and unique place to visit if you're traveling to Kenya!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 November 2008

First off, I'd like to say thank you to Feeroz Jagani and his wife, Mony Jagani, from Safari Travel for booking all arrangements in Nairobi and Lamu, Kenya. Thank you as well to Feeroz's assistant, Nelson... such an amazing individual! I have traveled a lot & Safari Travel was the best company I have ever worked with! It was a pure pleasure communicating with Feeroz and felt at ease and in the best hands right from the start! I highly recommend using Safari Travel for anyone interested in traveling to East Africa! Not only was every detail to perfection, but the amazing personal attention/touches and competitive prices were truly unbelievable! Safai Travel goes above and beyond to ensure you have a true vacation of a lifetime! Feeroz knows East Africa inside and out and has a very reputable reputation, especially in Kenya... from hotels, restaurants, locals, etc. Trust me...if you are thinking about traveling to East Africa, you MUST get in touch with Feeroz Jagani at Safari Travel!! www.safaritravel.biz
Now, in regards to LAMU.... such an interesting and beautiful place! From the narrow cobblestone streets, ancient intricate buildings and doors, donkeys, friendly people, history, and dhows... it's a very unforgettable place! There are many places to stay in Lamu town, but if you're looking for something more private, secluded, and romantic... head over to Kipungani Explorer! I was indicisive between Pepponi Hotel & Kipungani Explorer because of Pepponi's world-renowned name, but am very happy about Feeroz's suggestion of Kipungani Explorer! It was true paradise! You can take a boat to Lamu town and spend a couple of hours wandering the narrow streets and take a donkey to Pepponi for lunch...if you feel you need to see Pepponi. This was suggested by Feeroz @ Safari Travel and was right on point! Staying at Kipungani Explorer, it was touch to leave, but Lamu Old Town is a must see. I recommend Lamu island for anyone looking for some R&R and a unique experience!

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3 Thank GlobalLove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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