Safe to Travel to Lamu Island, Kenya?

Jan 9th, 2006, 05:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 626
Safe to Travel to Lamu Island, Kenya?

Dear Fodorites:

We are in the thick of planning a trip to East Africa. We are thinking about three days in the Samburu with three days at the end in the Mara. However, my co-travelers have revolted against 9 days of game viewing and want to go "someplace different" However, they want to fly from place to place.

I had been avoiding the idea of going to the coast but Air Kenya flies to Lamu island. Hence, I am considering flying back down from the Samburu to Nairobi then flying for three days in Lamu, then back to Nairobi to fly to the Mara.

However, is it safe in Lamu for four Americans? The State Department warning specifically mentions staying away from the coast. We are adventurous but do not want to be foolish.

Any thoughts?

If ok, should we stay at a place at Shela Beach?
stakerk is offline  
Jan 9th, 2006, 10:42 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,309
Dear Stakerk,

Lamu is probably one of the safest places on the planet. On the whole island there are only three cars. In the middle of the night you can walk straight into any pitch-black alley without any other fear than the fear of stepping in donkey droppings. There are people everywhere and they’re living in each other’s pockets – not always that fun for the residents, but it means it’s almost impossible to get away with doing anything nasty to a tourist. You’ll find some pro- Bin Laden graffiti that says something about the graffiti-painter’s feelings towards world politics and nothing of his feelings towards individual American tourists.

Where to stay on Lamu depends on your budget and interests. As you write that your co-travellers want to go “somewhere different” I’d suggest Lamu Town. If they mean “someplace with a beach” I’d suggest Shela. Though it’s very easy to take a dhow to Shela or Manda beach.

BTW, tell your co-travellers they’ll discover that 9 days of game viewing is far from enough.

Nyamera is offline  
Jan 9th, 2006, 09:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,843
Another non-game viewing "someplace different" alternative would be Lake Baringo but you would need to charter. The cost isn't necessarily prohibitive depending on how many travelers are in your party. We stayed at Samatian Island in the middle of the lake which I can highly recommend. You can take boat trips on the lake for birdwatching, visit local Pokot and Njemps villages, but it's also a great place to just kick back and do nothing.

But I'm sure if you go to Lamu, you'll be fine as well.
Patty is offline  
Jan 10th, 2006, 04:18 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 626
thanks for the replys. we did consider the lake but have opted for the days at Lamu at the end of our trip.

stakerk is offline  
Jan 10th, 2006, 12:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,490
like we mentioned earlier Baringo can b reached by car, with beautiful view points & authentic Pokot on the way.
(Women still wearing leather skirts, dik-dik bones belts etc' & man with permanent mud-caps paited blue & brown)

Next time Patty after u visit Samburu

aby is offline  

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