Lamu - Kenya

The island of Lamu is in the Indian Ocean off the East African coast, 150 miles (241 km) northeast of Mombasa. The port of the same name lies on the southeastern shore of the island and is the oldest living town in Kenya. In the 13th century Lamu was a prominent city-state along the Arab dominated coast and rivaled Mombasa until the late 19th century as a trading centre for gold, spices, and slaves. Explore the dense maze of narrow winding streets lined with low, tightly packed stone houses and find the harbour-side museum or the 18th century Swahili House with its excellent collection of exhibits. Also on this island is the idyllic, banda style settlement of Kipungani, lined with coconut beach chalets where you can swim, snorkel or go bird watching.