According to CachedHealth, Lamu, perhaps the most unusual resort in Kenya, is located in the east of the country, on the coast of the Indian Ocean. This port city, one of the oldest in equatorial Africa, is located on an island and is surrounded by mangroves. There are no cars on the island at all, because its artfully intertwined streets are so narrow that you can move along them either on foot or on donkeys. The plan of the city has remained unchanged for about 200 years: there are no exact addresses or house numbers on the island, and its width is only 1 km.
How to get there
Domestic flights from Nairobi, Mombasa and Malindi regularly land at Lamu Airport, which bears the name Mukovo, which is so familiar to the Russian ear. You can also get to Lamu by bus from Mombasa with a stop in Malindi (5-7 hours).
There are many accommodation options: private boarding houses, more reminiscent of small Arab or Portuguese fortresses, inexpensive hotels that have practically no service familiar to a European, luxurious expensive hotels and villas with a bizarre design located on the ocean.
Fans of sunbathing and swimming will enjoy Shela beach with clear water, palm trees and a wide strip of white sand. This is where most of the hotels are located. On the western tip of the island, near the Kipungani Explorer hotel, there is a very nice beach: there are few vacationers on it, but the basic infrastructure is present (for the sake of hotel guests, but “comers” are also welcome). A similar situation with the neighboring island of Manda – looking for peace and solitude on the beach, we recommend going to the vicinity of the Manda Bay Lodge hotel.
Entertainment and attractions Lamu
In the port of Lamu, which was built on the island by Arab merchants at the beginning of the 14th century, the Pwani mosque is interesting. In addition, the Lamu Museum with a rich collection of household items and culture of the Swahili peoples, as well as a ceremonial mountain island, is noteworthy in the city itself.
Walks on a traditional dhow boat along the canal or through the mangroves to neighboring islands – to the ruins of the ancient city of Takwa and to the fort of Ras Kitau. In the north-east of the Lamu archipelago is the Kiunga Marine National Park, where divers can enjoy the beauty of coral reefs.
Resort Malindi (Malindi), located on the Indian Ocean north of Mombasa, is also a marine reserve. Its offshore coral reefs are home to a myriad of diverse marine creatures. Malindi itself is actually divided into two halves: the “Italian” part, a modern tourist center with expensive shops, casinos, nightclubs, luxury hotels with large areas and plenty of entertainment – and a medieval Arab city with colorful restaurants and inexpensive hotels.
How to get there
You can arrive in Malindi on a domestic flight from Nairobi or fly to Mombasa, and from there get to the city by car, taxi, bus or minibus. Many Malindi hotels offer their own transfer from Mombasa Airport.
The coast of Malindi and the nearest village of Watamu are 155 km of tropical beaches with fine white sand. Many of them belong to hotels, private hotels and pensions. Malindi Marine National Park is a popular destination for diving, snorkelling and glass-bottom boat trips.
Cuisine and restaurants
The menu of the local restaurants is dominated by fish and seafood dishes, which are served with unique (in a good way) national sauces and seasonings.
Entertainment and attractions in Malindi
Malindi is home to the oldest Portuguese monument in Africa, a cross erected on the coast of Vasco da Gama in 1498. Also of interest are the Juma Mosque and the ruins of the ancient city of Gedi, the first buildings of which date back to the 13th century. In addition, it is worth going on an excursion to a crocodile farm and a serpentarium, visiting the Malindi Museum, which tells about the history of the city, visiting the Portuguese Church (according to legend, it was erected by Vasco himself) and buying souvenirs in the cooperative of folk crafts.
Diving in the resort can be practiced almost all year round – with the exception of the rainy season, when a lot of algae appears in the coastal waters of the southern part of the resort, and in the northern part the water is polluted by river runoff.