|main place||Lamu Town|
|Lamu old town|
|UNESCO world heritage|
|Port section in Lamu
|Criteria :||(ii) (iv) (vi)|
|Reference No .:||1055|
|UNESCO region :||Africa|
|History of enrollment|
|Enrollment:||2001 (session 25)|
Lamu Town (capital and part of the UNESCO World Heritage ), Shela, Matondoni and Kipungani are located on the island of Lamu, which is only 120 to 800 meters from the mainland . Around 15,000 people live in the capital. Swahili , a language widely spoken in East Africa, is spoken on the island . You can get there by bus from Mombasa , for example, in a day to the Mokowe bus station and then transfer. Aircraft land on the neighboring island of Manda from Nairobi and Malindi .
First came traders who settled here in the 5th or 6th century and influenced their descendants, the Swahili , the Lamu with their language and their art. Arab traders from Oman brought the island not only goods but also Islam . Today almost the entire island population professes Islam. Stronger settlements can be proven in the 14th century . In 1505, Portuguese warships anchored off Lamu for the first time . From 1506 to 1698 Lamu was ruled by the Portuguese. In 1698 it was conquered by Oman. The Sultan of Oman built the fort from 1812 to 1831 , which is now a museum.
In the middle of the 19th century, Lamu came under the political influence of the Sultan of Zanzibar . From 1888 to 1891 there was a German post office in Lamu , which was supposed to facilitate communication with a short-term German possession in the Sultanate of Witu . In 1890 the island fell under British colonial rule together with Kenya through the Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty . In 1963, as part of the British colony of Kenya, Lamu gained political independence, but the influence of the Kenyan central government remained minimal, and people continue to live their own life on Lamu.
Economically, the island lived from the slave trade until the beginning of the 20th century . The slave trade ban in 1907 plunged Lamu into an economic crisis. Today the island lives from fishing, some fruit and vegetable cultivation and tourism , whereby the backpackers also played a pioneering role here because of the relatively unspoilt dune landscapes and sandy beaches. To this day, the once popular travel destination from jet sets to backpackers suffers from two fatal cases of kidnapping by Somali pirates and bandits in September and October 2011. The kidnapping of September 2011 took place much further north on the hardly visited island of Kiwayu. was still associated with the main island of Lamu because it is better known than the crime scene. In October 2011, a French woman was abducted from her house on the opposite island of Manda and later died.
The entire 12 km long, very wide south beach is almost uninhabited. Cars are forbidden on Lamu. The two exceptions are the District Commissioner's vehicle and an ambulance. The transport of goods and people is therefore carried out with boats or with the several thousand donkeys that characterize the cityscape of Lamu-Town.
As part of the LAPSSET project (Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport) it is planned to build a large port facility in Lamu to relieve the port of Mombasa . This also includes the construction of pipelines that connect Lamu with Ethiopia and South Sudan, a coal-fired power station and a refinery in nearby Bargoni. In addition, rail lines and road connections to Ethiopia and South Sudan are to be built as transport corridors and an international airport is to be built in Lamu.
- Lamu Old Town (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001)
- Lamu Museum
- Fishing villages
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Lamu
Source: Kenya Meteorological Department, data; wetterkontor.de
in alphabetical order by authors / editors
- Peter Bernegger: Lamu. an ideal Swahili town on the east coast of Africa . In: INSITU 2019/1, pp. 133–140.
- A. Erhard: Tourism and socio-economic change. The example of the island of Lamu (Kenya). in: Geographische Rundschau. Volume 55 (2003), Issue 7-8, pp. 18-23.
- Shiva Naipaul: North of South. S. 177 ff. Penguin Books, ISBN 978-0-14-018826-4
- Ulrich Schulz-Bergdorf: Aspects of Swaheli Folk Medicine in the Lamu Archipelago of Kenya. Münster 1994, ISBN 3-89473-649-6
- Entry on the UNESCO World Heritage Center website ( English and French ).
- Muesli on Lamu: How "alternative" tourism changes an island (Die Zeit)
- Lamu - Kenya, The magical stone city ( Memento from August 19, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) ( SWR -Doku)
- Hemingway, Hippies and the High Nobility (Spiegel Online, March 6, 2009)
- Lamu - German Post Office, Historical Background. ( Memento from June 24, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) on the websites of the National Museums of Kenya
- Lamu , in: Heinrich Schnee (Ed.): Deutsches Kolonial-Lexikon , Vol. 2; Leipzig 1920, p. 411.
- Alex Tannen, The Leopard Phantom - Kenya / Lamu with Jeep, Dau and Train, Kindle Edition 2012
- Kenya Meteorological Department: Lamu Climate Information. World Meteorological Organization, accessed October 27, 2012 .