a dhow rests on a sandbar just off the coast of shela beach, lamu island, kenya.
the lamu archipelago lies two degrees south of the equator, just off the coast of kenya, surrounded by the indian ocean, yet protected by coral reefs and mangrove forests. lamu is the main island in the chain, and is both a UNESCO world heritage site and the oldest living town in kenya. lamu town was one of east africa’s original swahili settlements, and a bustling port city on the arab trading routes. there is a well-preserved swahili culture and a strong religious community. shela village, just a few miles from lamu town, is the second largest settlement on the island, and in stark contrast to lamu town — with stretches of sandy beach, white-washed houses, and relaxed atmosphere. dhows and fishing boats rest along the shore line and donkeys meander through the narrow streets. there are no cars on the island, and a generator supplies power (most of the time) and it’s pretty much always hot and sunny, and the water is always clear and cool. for me, and for many who visit this beautiful island, shela is a perfect, and unexpected paradise.
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lamu island, kenya – 2010:
part I :: lamu :: shela village.
part II :: lamu :: maulidi.
part III :: lamu :: dhow races.
part IV :: lamu :: shela primary school.
part V :: kiwayu :: island life.
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