Lamu Museums are located in the North Coast, a World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful & serene locations on the African continent. Museum attractions include the Lamu Fort, Lamu Museum, German Post Office, Swahili House and the Takwa Ruins.
The National Museums of Kenya helps preserve and promote this rich cultural heritage in collaboration with partners in the annual Lamu Cultural Festival.
The pair of rusted old canons that point out to see are a reminder of the days when it was necessary to guard the Island from envious neighbors and colonizers.
Located in Northern Kenya, Lamu Fort was built between 1813 and 1821, with the assistance of Seyyid Said, Sultan (ruler) of Oman, who was cultivating a promising new alliance with Lamu.
The Sultan used Lamu Fort as a base for defeating the Mazrui dynasty rebels in Mombasa, and for establishing control over the East African Coast.
In 1910, Lamu Fort was turned into a prison by the British Colonial Administration. MauMau (those who fiercely resisted against the British rule) were detained here. The fort served as a prison up to 1984, and thereafter declared a monument in the same year.
Today the Fort houses a library with an excellent collection of Swahili poetry and reference material on Lamu. It also hosts an exhibition mainly concerned with environmental conservation. A conference facility is also available for rent.
Built on the seafront, Lamu House overlooks Manda Island and mangrove forests, as you marvel at ancient dhows sailing past.
With regards to architecture, Lamu House gives visitors a glimpse into the Swahili traditional home setup; it is an example of 18th century Swahili house.
Lamu House depicts the lifestyle enjoyed by wealthy Swahili merchants in the olden days. Lamu House was abandoned by a wealthy merchant, until it was eventually possessed and renovated by the National Museums of Kenya.
These are the remains of a town which thrived in the 15th and 16th century, but was abandoned in the 18th century.
The unique mosque with a large pillar is the most notable, and symbolizes the burial of a Sheikh below the wall. Takwa was eventually abandoned due to the endless fighting between the people of Takwa and Pate.
A casual visit to Takwa ruins can be complemented by a picnic or overnight camping.
German Post Office
The German Post Office was established in 1888, and operated until 1891 after the withdrawal of the German settlement in Witu (a German protectorate).
The post office facilitated communication within the German protectorates in the Coastal region.