About Lamu Island, Lamu Archipelago And Shela Village

Lamu Town, Island and Archipelago, all of the same name, lie 2 degrees south of the Equator along Kenya’s coast. The archipelago is a chain of islands separated from the mainland by a narrow channel bordered with dense mangrove forest and protected from the Indian Ocean by coral reefs and large sand dunes.

Lamu Island has been a port of call for travellers for centuries. The many historical sites are proof of the area’s long and rich history which, when combined with all the natural attraction of its tropical setting, make Lamu a wonderful place to visit.

The streets of Lamu town are narrow, cool and quiet. They are surprisingly intimate spaces enclosed by massive stone buildings whose thick coral rag walls give the town its distinct colour and texture. In December 2001 Lamu Town became a world heritage site in order to protect the oldest inhabited Swahili settlement south of the Sahara.

Shela village where Peponi is located is 2 miles from Lamu Town. The origin of the village is unknown, but according to tradition it was settled by people from nearby Manda Island. In 1813 the famous “Battle of Shela” took place. This was an attempt by Pate Island, allied with the Mazrui clan from Oman, to subjugate Lamu. The attempt failed totally, and the defeat of Pate at Shela signalled the rise of Lamu as the leading power in the archipelago.

Dhows At Sunset Outside Peponi Hotel Lamu