The Lamu Archipelago is a small group of islands situated on Keny’s northern coastline near Somalia. It is made up of Lamu, Manda, Pate and Kiwayu Islands that all have an existing and thriving Swahili culture.
Lamu is also the oldest Swahili town in Kenya. Here you will find ancient items perfectly preserved.
Lamu Museums is a conglomerate of four museums, namly Lamu Museum, Lamu Fort Enviroment Muesum, German Post Office museum and Swahili House Museum. Due to the rich history of the town and its enviroment, the museums have very unique historical exhibits, some dating back earlier than precolonial times.
The German Post Office Museum was orginally built in the 19th century as a private residence. This museum traces back to the historical contacts between Germany and Kenya, depiting early postal services that were used.
The Al-Busaidy family built the Lamu Museum in 1891. It was then taken over by they British colonial goverment to house senior colonial officials. The building is characterized by typical 18th century Swahili architecture, and has a wide collection of rare ethnographic material from the Swahili, Orma and Pokomo ethnic gorups.
Takwa Ruins are located in the Manda Island and can be reched by boat from Lamu town. The ruins date back to the 15th and 16th centuries and are the remains of a flourishing Swahili tranding town before it was abdoned somtime in the 17th century, most probably because of hostility of the neighbouring Takwa and Pate people, and the salination of the water that made living conditions difficult.
Siyu Fort is located in Pate Island and can be reached by boat from Lamu town. It was built to resist domination of the Siyu people by the Omani Arabs and represents the remains of a Swahili settlement dating back to the 15th century. The building of the fort is redited to one of the Siyu leaders named Mohamed Ishaq bin Mbarak bin Mohamed bin Oman Famau,