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Foodie Getaway to Lamu, Kenya

On the southeastern shore of Lamu Island, two men ride donkeys along the dunes outside Shela Village.

Photo: Monika Hoefler and Jens Schwarz

For centuries, Lamu was at the very center of the trade map, drawing a steady influx of Arabs, Africans, Indians, and Europeans. The result: a rich cultural and culinary mix. Read the article

Destinations: Lamu

Inspired by: Touring Kenya's Lamu Archipelago — by Shane Mitchell, Published Sep. 2010

Hotels (7)

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    The Majlis

    A new 25-room resort of coral stone and hand-carved timber with two pools, two bars, a restaurant, and a trove of traditional East African and cont

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    Lamu House

    In two adjacent Swahili houses in the heart of Old Town, 10 guest rooms are handsomely decorated in traditional style.

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    Kizingoni Beach

    A collection of seven luxury villas on a half-mile beach. Each house is decorated with coastal African fabrics and art. Cooks versed in Swahili dis

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    Kiwayu Safari Village

    Delightfully rustic resort on an isolated beach with 18 thatch bungalows. It takes two hours by launch to get here from the pier on Lamu Island. Th

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    Baitil Aman Guest House

    An 18th-century residence with eight fan-cooled guest rooms, an inner courtyard, and a rooftop terrace where authentic Swahili dinners are served b

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    Peponi Hotel

    Peponi's veranda is the watering hole for "Little Europe," the jet-set crowd that comes here for generous gin and tonics and exceptional spicy praw

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    Banana House

    Pleasant inn near the waterfront. Choose one of the three top-floor rooms with antique spindle beds and open terraces that catch the breeze off Lam

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Restaurants (3)

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    Whispers Café

    Garden courtyard offering pastries, vegetable samosas, small snacks, and daily seafood specials.

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    Pontoon Restaurant

    A floating grill bar moored off Manda Beach with great sunset views. Reachable by its own private launch.

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    Olympic

    Mama Fatuma's unpretentious café offers red snapper in tandoori sauce, fantastic lime pickle, and biryani (usually reserved for special occasions i

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Activities (7)

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    Tusitiri Dhow

    Hire this large, traditional-style sailboat with a uniformed crew for day or overnight cruises. Pickups from Lamu Old Town or Shela Village.

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    Lamu Museum

    Originally a 19th-century Swahili home, this tidy museum contains rare ceremonial horns, furniture, jewelry, and other artifacts related to the his

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    Anna Trzebinski

    Furniture, beaded suede jackets, kikoi robes, and housewares from the Nairobi designer. The waterfront space is her first freestanding shop stocked

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    Sea Suq

    A small complex with a coffee shop and boutiques carrying African jewelry, clothes, and objets d'art.

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    Alilamu

    Attractive collection of modern African folk art and abstract paintings.

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    Aman

    Best shop on the island for stylish clothing: Kenyan-made leather bags and belts; beaded leather sandals; soft linen slacks.

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    Petley's Inn

    Convivial rooftop bar with a mix of locals, visitors, and flirty "beach boys."

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