Calm waters and narrow channels await...

The Lamu archipelago can be found along a 100km stretch of Kenya’s coast. There are many islands here, the most significant in size and culture are Lamu, Manda, Pate and Kiwayu. As you travel around the island chain you’ll experience dense mangrove forests, narrow channels and varied sea and bird life.

Lamu Island has been inhabited continually from the 12th Century. Through the centuries it served as an important trading post for ships travelling along African, Arabic and Indian trade routes. The architecture of the island is distinctly Swahili; narrow streets, tall houses, intricately carved doors and countless mosques. As the best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa, Lamu Town was recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site to protect its charm for years to come.

An island uniquely tied to the winds and tides

Historically and even still to this day the archipelago relies on the nearby Indian Ocean to provide work and trade. The 2 trade winds that brought the island its prosperity are Kas Kazi and Kusi.

  • Kas Kazi blows from October to April, this north-eastern wind clears and calms the water so is the best time for snorkelling and fishing.
  • Kusi, on the other hand, brings rain, strong gusts and rougher waters. Kusi blows from late April to September, during this time snorkelling may not be so suitable but there are many other great activities to experience during this time.

During the magnificent Full Moon and the star-studded skies of the New Moon, the tidal currents are at their strongest and water levels can vary up to 3.5m. When the moon is waxing and waning we experience neap tides where the currents aren’t as strong and there is much less change in the water levels – this tends to be the best time for snorkelling as the water is at its clearest.