Lamu

town on Lamu Island, Kenya

Lamu or Lamu Town is a small town on Lamu Island in Kenya. Situated 341 kilometres (212 mi) by road northeast of Mombasa.

Lamu
Town
Lamu, Lamu Island, Kenya.jpg
Lamu is located in Kenya
Lamu
Lamu
Location in Kenya
Coordinates: 2°16′10″S 40°54′8″E / 2.26944°S 40.90222°E / -2.26944; 40.90222Coordinates: 2°16′10″S 40°54′8″E / 2.26944°S 40.90222°E / -2.26944; 40.90222
Country Kenya
CountyLamu County
Founded1370
Population
 (2019)[1]
 • Total25,385
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Official nameLamu Old Town
CriteriaCultural: (ii), (iv), (vi)
Reference1055
Inscription2001 (25th Session)
Area15.6 ha (39 acres)
Buffer zone1,200 ha (3,000 acres)
View of the seaside, Lamu Town

Lamu Town on Lamu Island is Kenya's oldest continually inhabited town and was one of the original Swahili settlements along coastal East Africa. It is believed to have been established in 1370.[2] It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Notable landmarksEdit

The town was founded in the 14th century and it contains many fine examples of Swahili architecture. The old city is inscribed on the World Heritage List as "the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa".

The town contains the Lamu Fort on the seafront. The fort was completed by the early 1820s.

TransportEdit

 
Locals using a donkey for transport

In 2011, proposals were being advanced to build a deep-water port which would have much greater capacity in terms of depth of water. China has begun to transform Lamu into the largest port in East Africa.[3]

Since the island has no cars, transportation and other heavy work is done with the help of donkeys. There are some 3000 donkeys on the island.[4]

In popular cultureEdit

The song "Lamu"[5] by Christian singer Michael W. Smith is inspired by the island. The song is about running away from life's problems.

Lamu is the setting of Anthony Doerr's short story "The Shell Collector" from his collection of stories by the same name.

Part of the events in the novel “Our Wild Sex in Malindi” (by Andrei Gusev) takes place in Lamu.[6][7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. "2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census Volume II: Distribution of Population by Administrative Units". Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  2. This is Kenya. Struik. 2005. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-84537-151-7.
  3. "Future Kenya Port Could Mar Pristine Land". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  4. Fitzpatrick 2009, p. 330.
  5. "Artist, Christian, Worship Leader – Community, News, Tour Dates, Cruise and More". Michael W. Smith. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  6. Review of "Our Wild Sex in Malindi" on the site of public fund "Union of writers of Moscow", 2020
  7. “Our Wild Sex in Malindi” by Andrei Gusev, 2020.