Lamu Archipelago is a group of islands in the
Indian Ocean situated just off the coast of Kenya. It includes Lamu,
Manda, Pate, Kiwayu islands. A group of islands were famous as a
trade center situated on the crossroads of important trade routes in
the medieval times. In the archipelago are three large islands of
Lamu, Manda, Pate, the smaller Kivayu and several small islands.
The largest city of the archipelago - Lamu, is a UNESCO World
Heritage Site. Among other Arabian heritage are the ruins of the
cities of Takva and Manda (island of Manda) and Sanga (island of
Pate). In 1415, the famous Chinese traveler Zheng He visited the
The islands of Lamu and Manda have airports.
The Lamu Archipelago has a national marine park and the Kiung
Location: Lamu Island
Location: Pate Island
Lamu is a small city on the island of Lamu, which,
in turn, is part of the Lamu Archipelago in Kenya. The city of Lamu
is the administrative center of Lamu County, as well as a UNESCO
World Heritage Site.
Lamu is the oldest continuously
populated city in Kenya; he was one of the first settlements of the
Swahili people on the coast of East Africa. It is believed that the
city was founded in 1370.
Some sources mention the history of
the ships of the Chinese navigator Zheng He, which sank off the
coast of Kenya in 1415. The rescued sailors settled on the island
and married local women. DNA testing of some residents of the island
showed that they have Chinese ancestors.
The city was first
mentioned in written sources by the Arab traveler Abu al-Mahasini,
who met a judge from Lamu who visited Mecca in 1441.
history of the city was marked by the Portuguese invasion in 1506,
and then by the dominance of Oman. The Portuguese invasion was
prompted by Portugal's desire to control trade along the Indian
Ocean. For a long period, Portugal had a monopoly on transportation
along the coast of East Africa, and imposed export duties on local
trade channels. In the 1580s there was an uprising against the
Portuguese on the Lama. In 1652, Oman assisted the islanders in
their struggle against Portuguese rule. The years under the Omani
protectorate (late 17th - early 19th centuries) became the “golden
age” for Lamu. At this time, Lamu became the center of poetry,
politics, arts, crafts and commerce. Many buildings of the city were
built during this period in a sustained characteristic classical
In the mid-19th century, Lamu fell under the political
influence of the Zanzibar Sultan, and in 1885 became part of the
Vitu Sultanate, which is under the protectorate of the German
Empire. In 1890, Lamu, like the rest of Kenya, became part of the
British colony and was it until Kenya gained independence in 1963.
As a result of the fact that Lamu lay on important Arab trade
routes and worked closely with the Arab world, today most of the
city’s population professes Islam.
Kiunga is a national marine reserve in northern
Kenya. Since 1980, the reserve is part of a worldwide network of
The reserve is located in Lamu County
near the village of Kyunga, 150 km east of the city of Lamu (city)
and includes about 50 islands and coral reefs of the Lamu
archipelago. The archipelago, formed by one of the coral series,
stretches for 60 km along the coastline at a distance of 1.6 to 16
km from it. The islands range from 100 m² to 1 km². Large islands
and islands of the inner part of the archipelago are covered with
vegetation, the outer islands are coral formations up to 18 meters
high. The coastline adjacent to the archipelago is protected by the
national reserves of Dodori and Boni. On the shore are sandy beaches
and dunes, as well as arid forests.