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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