Lamu County News

Lamu County: The lamu Archipelago is a small group of Island situated on Kenya´s Northen Coast line, near Somali. It is made up of Lamu, Manda, Pate and Kiwayuu islands. Lamu town is the headquarter of Lamu District, one of the six districts of Kenya´s Coast region, which boarders the Indian Ocean to the east, the Tana River District to the South-West, the Garissa District to the North and the republic of somali to the North-East. The County has a land surface area of 6,474.7 Km2 that includes the mainland and over 65 Islands that forms the Lamu Archipelago. The total length of the coastline is 130 km while land water mass area stands at 308km

The streets of Lamu are nowhere more than eight feet wide. The proximity of the high stone walls cools the air and means that the streets are always in shadow. An unforeseen benefit of their narrowness means that there are no motor vehicles in Lamu; all transport is by handcarts and donkeys.

There are over 160 historic houses clustered in Stone Town, all built to the same traditional design, with a central courtyard surrounded by long narrow galleries and a flat open roof, sometimes shaded by a palm- frond thatch shelter. Most of the houses have ornate carved wooden doors and, inside, walls of elaborate carved-plaster niches that have to be seen to be believed

Constituencies in Lamu County

Politically Lamu is divided into two Constituencies namely:

  1. Lamu East Constituency
  2. Lamu West Constituency

Each constituency is represented by an elected Member of Parliament, who is elected after every five years. Lamu is devolved into a County Government, headed by a Governor.

Lamu County Wards

Lamu County has ten County wards, which are represented in the County Assembly. The County wards are as follows:

  1. Mkomani
  2. shella
  3. Faza
  4. Kiunga
  5. Basuba
  6. Hindi
  7. Hongwe
  8. Bahari
  9. Mkunumbi
  10. Witu

Social and Cultural Activities in Lamu County

Since the 19th century Lamu has been regarded as an important religious centre in East Africa. Every year thousands of Muslims from all over East Africa flock here for the famous Maulidi celebrations that are held during the third month of the muslim calendar to mark the birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). During the celebrations, a number of entertaining events such as dhow races, a donkey race, bao games, henna painting, kofia making, swimming competitions and a football match are organized by the locals.

Another festival is the recently created Lamu Cultural Festival dedicated to celebrating and preserving the culture of the Lamu Archipelago. The Festival is timed each year to coincide with high tides that create ideal conditions for the large jahazi and smaller mashua dhows to take part in a series of races, amongst other competitions and displays of traditional dance. This is an annual three days festivity where visitors are entertained with traditional dances from Pate, siyu, Bajun from mainland and Lamu. Also various traditional craft skills are displayed

Economical Background of Lamu County

Fishing and tourism has been the most important economic activity for Lamu. Mangrove export, commerce, traditional maritime activities, traditional woodcarving have provided a stable economic base for the growth of the town.

Other economic activities include handicrafts such as making of kofias (traditional embroidery swahili hat), agriculture and carpentry.

Lamu World Heritage Site

Lamu Old Town was inscribed as a world heritage site by UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre in December 2001.

UNESCO described it as:

‘The oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in east Africa, retaining its traditional functions. Built in coral stone and mangrove timber, the town is characterized by the simplicity of structural forms enriched by such features as inner courtyard, verandas and elaborated carved wooden doors’

Dating back to at least the 12th century, Lamu is the oldest surviving Swahili town in East Africa and the only coastal settlement to retain its original character. Like other towns on the coast, Lamu is said to have been founded by immigrants from the Arabian and Persian regions who intermarried with the local people, creating a unique race known as Swahili.

Places to Visit in Lamu County

Lamu is a dominant cultural centre reputable for its historic past and traditional socio-cultural traditions. As such visitors to Lamu can enjoy a large and diverse collection of heritage and cultural attractions. At the district level, Lamu has the remains of many heritage sites. Major sites include:-

  1. Lamu Museum: known for its exquisite Swahili ethnography exhibits
  2. Lamu Fort: built in 1814 by Bwana Zeid Ngumi the last Sultan of Lamu ,
  3. Swahili House: a restored 18th century house, reflecting the life of privileged Lamu Swahilis.
  4. German Post Office: showing the post office when it was operational in the late 19-20th Century.
  5. Yumbe the former house of a Lamu Sultan.

Lamu Fort

Category: Tourist Attractions in Lamu County

Built between 1813 and 1821 in the southern corner of the old stone town, the massive multi-story fort has a central courtyard used for weddings, meetings and theatre productions.

Lamu Museum

Category: Tourist Attractions in Lamu County

One of the largest buildings on the seafront dating from 1892 and once the home of the local leader, Lamu Museum has the finest characteristics of the verandah-style architecture of the19th century. The two-story house was used by the British colonial government.

For more informaton visit: Lamu Museum

Lamu German Post Office

Built at the beginning of the 19th century as a private residence it was later converted as the first German post office in East Africa from 1888 to 1891 when the land up to Witu, south of

Lamu, was a German Protectorate.

Kiunga Marine National Park

Category: Tourist Attractions in Lamu County

Dubbed the ’Enchanted underwater world” the Marine Park has about 50 calcareous islands in the Lamu Archipelago. The coral reef runs for 60km parallel to the coastline which borders the fascinating but little known Dodori and Boni National Reserves on the mainland.

For more information visit: Kiunga Marine National Park

Tourism and Tourists Attractions in Lamu County
Tourism and Tourists Attractions in Lamu County

Others include:-

  1. Siyu Fort,
  2. Takwa Ruins,
  3. Boni National Reserve,
  4. Dodori National Reserve,
  5. Lamu Old Town
  6. Kiunga Marine National Reserve

Top Best Accommodation and Hotels in Lamu County

Garden House

Category: Hotels in Lamu County

Garden House is situated on the edge of Shela Village, near the sand dunes that fringe the village. At the corner of a walled garden, this graceful house is shaded by neem trees that attract plentiful birdlife. The house is furnished with traditional Lamu furniture and adorned with local artefaets.There are 2 en-suite double rooms and 1 en~suite twin. The ground floor has a dining room and seating area, and the rooftop has comfortable baraza seats and sunbeds.

For more information visit: Garden House

Palm House Hotel

Category: Hotels in Lamu County

A striking Swahili style house, Palm House centres on an open courte yard, with a side garden. The house is whitewashed, with a thatched roof, furnished with traditional Lamu furniture and adorned with local artefacts.There are 3 en-suite doubles and 1 en—suite twin. The dining and living areas, on the ground floor, open onto the terrace.

For more information visit: Palm House Hotel

Shella Island Hotel

Category: Hotels in Lamu  County

Shella Island Hotel is on the fringe of Shela Village, with views over the sand dunes. The hotel is a whitewashed building, decorated in traditional Swahili style with Lamu furniture. Pot plants are placed throughout the house.
There are 6 en-suite rooms, rnade up of 1 single, 3 doubles and 2 triples. The triples contain 2 small double beds and a single.

For more information visit: Shella Island Hotel

Sultan’s Palace Hotel

Category: Hotels in Lamu County

Sultan’s Palace is a traditional Lamu house, estimated to be 100 years old. The building was renovated and converted to a hotel, and opened in 2004. It is affiliated to Petleys and Lamu Palace Hotel, both of which are on Lamu seafront.
There are 4 en~suite rooms and 2 pehthouses. The rooms are furnished with Lamu 4-poster beds, table and chair. The hotel serves breakfast; room service can be ordered from Lamu Palace Hotel.

For more information visit: Sultsn’s Palace Hotel

Peponi Hotel

Category: Hotels in Lamu County

With a name that means heaven in Swahili, Peponi Hotel is a beachfront paradise. The hotel opened in 1967 and has remained in the hands of the same family ever since.
There are 24 en-suite rooms, made up of 14 standard and 10 superior. Each room is individually designed and adorned with traditional artefacts.

For more information Visit : Peponi Hotel

Msafini Hotel

Category: Hotels in Lamu County

In a sea of whitewashed buildings, Msafini Hotel’s bright yellow facade stands out. The hotel opened in 2009, and combines traditional style with modern architecture.
There are 14 en-suite rooms, made up of  doubles, twins and triples.

Each room has a private balcony. The  hotel can be booked for private functions, either as a whole, or part. Mango Restaurant, on the rooftop, has panoramic views of the sea, Manda Island and the sand dunes. The chef specializes in seafood, and the menu includes snapper, barracuda, grouper, calamari, prawns, oysters and lobster. Traditional Swahili food is also available. Buffets can be arranged on request. Guests are welcome to use the internet in the manager’s office. There is also a swimming pool, shaded by vivid bougainvillea.

For more information visit : Msafini Hotel

Kitendentini Bahari Hotel

Category: Hotels in Lamu County

Behind Lamu County Council, Kitendentini Bahari Hotel is in a convenient location for the shops and buildings of the Main Street, and for Lamu Museum and donkey sanctuary. The hotel offers budget accommodation, around a central courtyard with pot plants and coral walls.
There are 21 en—suite rooms. The rooms are furnished with double and single beds, fridge, fan, table and chair.

For more information visit; Kitendentini Bahari Hotel

Lamu Palace Hotel

Category: Hotels in Lamu County

Lamu Palace Hotel is a whitewashed building with thatched roof, located directly on the seafront in Lamu Old Town.
There are 22 en-suite rooms and 1 suite. The rooms are all furnished with laniu 4—poster beds. They are on the 1st and 2nd floors, both floors have communal sea facing balconies. The suite has minibar, satellite TV, kettle and 24~hour room service. There is WiFi throughout the hotel. The ground floor restaurant serves a wide variety 0fAfrican and international cuisine, as well as japanese tepanyaki arid Italian pizza. Dishes include tuna sashirrii, ealaniari allegro, grilled lobster, chateaubriand and crispy soya chicken. The bar is fully stocked with soft drinks, beers, wines and spirits, furnished with comfortable.

For more information visit; Lamu Palace Hotel

Bahati House Hotel

Category: Hotels in Lamu County

Bahati House is a traditional Lamu house, buitt on 3 floors around an open courtyard. The house is fully staffed and is taken on a self-catering basis.
There are 5 en-suite bedrooms, all furnished with king size bed. Each floor has a sitting area. The rooftop terrace overlooks the sea and the dunes, it provides plenty of lounging space and has a Moroccan corner and a swing bed. The chef uses fresh, local ingredients; guests are welcome to discuss their food preferences with him.
Both Lamu Old Town and Shela Village provide a wealth of activities.

For more information visit; Bahati House Hotel

Petleys Hotel

Category: Hotels in Lamu County

Directly opposite the jetty, Petleys is a landmark on the Lamu seafront.The tall whitewashed building has attractive rooms, a swimming pool with terrace and a glass—fronted rooftop bar with views across the sea.

For more information visit: Petleys Hotel

Hotels in Lamu County – Accommodation and Hotels in Lamu Kenya

  1. Southern Dream Villas – Lamu Kenya
  2. Manda Bay lodge – Lamu Kenya
  3. Shela House – Lamu Kenya
  4. Shella Royal House – Lamu Kenya
  5. White House – Lamu Kenya
  6. Sakina House – Lamu Kenya
  7. Baitil Aman Guest House – Lamu Kenya
  8. Kisiwani House – Lamu Kenya
  9. Star Guest House – Lamu Kenya
  10. Fatuma’s Tower – Lamu Kenya
  11. Sunset House – Lamu Kenya
  12. Shella Sea Breeze Guest House
  13. Banana House – Lamu Kenya
  14. Mnarani House – Lamu Kenya
  15. Shella Bahari Guest House – Lamu Kenya
  16. Stopover Guest House Shela – Lamu Kenya
  17. Kijani House – Lamu Kenya
  18. Subira House – Lamu Kenya
  19. Jambo House – Lamu Kenya
  20. Wildebeest Art Workshop & Gallery – Lamu Kenya
  21. Amu House – Lamu Kenya
  22. Stone House – Lamu Kenya
  23. Palm Beach House – Lamu Kenya
  24. Pole Pole Guest House – Lamu Kenya
  25. Yumbe Villa and Yumbe House – Lamu Kenya
  26. Bustani Café and Bookshop – Lamu Kenya
  27. Baytil Ajaib House – Lamu Kenya
  28. Jannat House – Lamu Kenya
  29. Abdul‘s Eco Nest – Lamu Kenya
  30. Casuarina Rest House – Lamu Kenya
  31. Samaki House – Lamu Kenya
  32. Amber House – Lamu Kenya

    Hotels in Lamu

    Hotels in Lamu

  33. Lamu Archipelago Villa – Lamu Kenya
  34. Sunsail Hotel – Lamu Kenya
  35. Hapa Hapa Restaurant – Lamu Kenya
  36. New Bahati Lodge – Lamu Kenya
  37. Lamu House – Lamu Kenya
  38. Beyt Salaam Hotel – Lamu Kenya
  39. Stopover Guest House – Lamu Kenya
  40. Kipepeo Guest House
  41. Munira Island Camp
  42. Champali Camp
  43. Kiwayu Safari Village

Lamu County Jobs

Lamu County Jobs opportunities for all qualified personnel and those who would wish to work with Lamu County government. Jobs in Lamu County are posted on the county website.

Jobs in Lamu County are awarded in a free, fair and transparency manner in the need to fight corruption in the country.

To access these Lamu county jobs advertisement click the link: Lamu County Jobs for the latest job opportunities in the county.

Lamu County Tenders

Lamu county tenders are awarded in a free, fair and transparency manner in the need to fight corruption in the country.

To access tenders in Lamu county click the link: for the latest job opportunities in the county.

Lamu County Governor and Deputy Governor

The current governor of Lamu County is Hon. Issa Timamy and the deputy governor is Hon. Eric Mugo.

Facts About Lamu County

Geography of Lamu County

Lamu County is located in the northern coast of Kenya. It borders the following counties; Garissa to the North, The Indian Ocean to the South and South East, and Tana River to the South West and West.

Area (Km 2): 6,273.1 Km 2

 Climate/Weather: The average temperature is 27.3 °C and rainfall averages 950mm per annum.

 Road Network: Bitumen Surface (6 Km), Gravel Surface (161.1 Km), Earth Surface (521.5 Km)

 Key National Monument(s): Boni – Dodori National Reserve, Lamu Museum, Lamu Fort, Siyu Fort, Takwa Ruins, Swahili House, German Post Office, Lamu Old Town, Kiunga Marine National Reserve

Lamu County Population

 Population: 101,539 (Male – 52 %, Female – 48 %)

 Population Density: 16 people per Km 2

 National Percentage: 0.26 %

 Annual Growth Rate: 2.47 %

 Age Distribution: 0-14 years (41.7 %), 15-64 years (54.8 %), 65+ years (3.5 %)

 Number of Households: 22,184

Lamu County Government

 County Capital: Lamu Town (proposed)

 Number of Constituencies (2010): 2 (Lamu East and Lamu West)

 Registered Voters: 38,067

 National percentage: 0.3 %

 Number of Districts (2009): 1 (Lamu District)

 Number of Local Authorities (2010): 1 (County Council of Lamu)

 Economy of Lamu County

 Poverty Level: 31.6 %

 Age Dependency Ratio: 100:82

 Resources: Wildlife, Livestock, Water, Tourist Attraction Sites

Tourist Attractions: National Monuments, Pate Ruins, Manda Island, Matondoni Dhow making village, Maulidi Festival, Lamu Cultural Festival

 Financial Services: 2 Commercial Banks, 3 Micro-Finance

 Main Economic Activities/industries: Fishing, Livestock, Sand and Ballast Quaries, Commercial Businesses

 Agricultural products: Simsim, Mangoes, Cashewnuts, Livestock Products

 Education in Lamu County

 Number of Institutions (2007): Primary (70), Secondary (11)

 Primary: Enrolment (22,633)

Teacher to Pupil Ratio: 1:40 (Public Schools)

 Secondary: Enrolment (972)

 Teacher to Pupil Ratio: 1:39 (Public Schools)

 Tertiary: Less than 5 (Includes a Youth Polytechnic and Some Commercial Colleges)

 Adult Literacy Classes: Enrolment (Data Not Available)

 Health in Lamu County

 Health Facilities: 42 – District Hospitals (1), Sub-District Hospitals (2), Dispensaries (20), Health Centres (5), Medical Clinics (13), Nursing Home (1)

 Doctor to Population Ratio: 1:36,343

 Infant Mortality Rates: 72/1000

Under Five Mortality Rates: 123/1000

 Prevalent Diseases: Malaria, Respiratory Tract Infections and Skin Diseases.

 Notable Hospitals: Lamu District Hospital, Faza Hospital, Mpeketoni Sub-District Hospital

Lamu County Contacts

The County Government of Lamu
Postal Address: P.O. Box 74-80500, LAMU

Official Contact Numbers

0715 000555
0715 555111
0800720890 toll free for emergencies only

Lamu County Website

Lamu County Map

Lamu County Map
Lamu County Map

Lamu County Video