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  • Writer's picturePeter Gitonga


The Lamu Archipelago is located in the Indian Ocean close to the northern coast of Kenya, to which it belongs. The islands lie between the towns of Lamu and Kiunga, near the Coast Province. It is a part of Lamu District.

The largest of the islands are Pate Island, Manda Island and Lamu Island. Smaller islands include Kiwayu, which lies in the Kiunga Marine National Reserve, and Manda Toto. Today the largest town in the archipelago is Lamu Town, on Lamu Island. The town is on the World Heritage List.

The archipelago contains several archaeological/historical sites of great significance, such as Takwa and Manda Town (both on Manda Island) and Shanga (on Pate Island). Some have been partially excavated in later years, shedding important new light[which?] on Swahili history and culture.

When planning on filming in Lamu, there are several factors you need to consider.

As we discussed in our article about filming in Mombasa the bulk of Kenya’s film crew and equipment are based in Nairobi, the capital city. Lamu however is best accessed by a 1-hour flight from Nairobi. There are multiple daily flights available throughout the day.

  • Ground transport

The main means of transport between the islands is by boat. There are multiple boat taxis to ferry you from one end of the island to the other.

  • Hotels

Lamu has a range of boutique hotels to meet any budget category. From the high end facilities on the Shela side of the island to the more budget friendly BnBs at the town centre side, Lamu has all you need.

  • Kenya Filming Permits

Film permits can be organized through an accredited filming agent such as Prokraft Africa. The process takes about a week and you are ready to go.

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