Lamu is one of the last truly wild corners of the earth. From the open grassy plains, the dom palm forests, the semi-arid sand dunes and the pristine beaches to the rivers, the mangrove channels, the coral reefs and the open ocean, this is a rich, outstandingly beautiful ��������� and very delicate – world ���
The islands have little fresh water and are difficult to farm, but the land does support farming communities and nomadic herders as well as a wide range of bird and wild life, and areas of the archipelago and the adjacent mainland are internationally recognized and protected as valuable biospheres. Cape buffalo and herds of the endangered hirola hartebeest graze the plains on the banks of the Dodori River, Amu Ranch and the Tana Delta. Crocodiles and hippos live in the fresh water rivers and water catchments and new species such as the Oribi antelope, usually found on the western borders of Kenya, have been found in the area. Fish eagles circle the channels and Carmine bee-eaters roost on the sheltered islands. Many smaller species such as the Southern banded bushbuck, porcupines, vervet monkeys and bush babies also live on the islands.
The ocean temperature normally sits between 20�����30�������c. The Southern Equatorial current, which comes up from the southeast, splits off the coast of Mozambique and Madagascar and runs north, from there calling itself the East African current; occasionally the Somali current comes down from the north. The tides, which follow the cycles of the moon, determine all boat travel and therefore most human movement and activity in the archipelago.
Billfish are present year round, especially between October and March, and with them many other species including tuna, dorado, wahoo, king fish, baracuda and also some larger sea mammals such as humpback, minke and sperm whales. Sightings of dugongs – a large walrus-like species related to the manatee – are possible, although now few and far between. Bottle nosed and humpback dolphins are plentiful and in some areas have become habituated to swimming with humans, providing the experience of a lifetime for those lucky enough to encounter them.����Certain marine areas are protected; for example the Kiunga Marine National Reserve in the north, which includes around 50 islands and coral reefs, and the channel at Manda Toto which is popular for snorkeling trips from Lamu.
While many species thrive, some have already become threatened; LTA members include KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service) and a number of Community Conservation Organizations that are working to find ways in which the terrestrial and marine wildlife of the area can remain in balance with local communities and an ever-growing population.
Ask the manager of wherever you are staying to recommend activities and excursions to enjoy the beautiful environment – these include: snorkeling amongst colorful coral gardens; swimming with wild dolphins; gliding along a mangrove creek in a dhow; watching a new born turtle scramble to the water’s edge; viewing a herd of giraffe or buffalo from an open jeep or walking along a wild beach watching the ghost crabs edge their way into the waves. While enjoying these activities visitors are contributing to the economy of the area while conserving the environment.��Many activities are seasonal so we have provided a Reference Guide for general assistance.
Please note that the collection or purchase of shells, starfish and wildlife products is illegal.
VIEW MAP OF CONSERVATION AREAS