The Old Stone town of Lamu is a world heritage site - a place where culture, history and custom are all blended into a unique way of life - and the Lamu Archipelago today is aa mystical, exotic and serene as it has ever been. The white sandy beaches of shela and Manda, the peaceful creek and dense mangrove forests and the rich Swahili culture draw visitors to Lamu year after year.
Lamu Cultural festival is an annual event dedicated to celebrating and preserving the local culture of the Lamu Archipelago. It is timed each year to coincide with the high tide, which creates conditions ideal for the large jahazi and smaller Mashua dhows that gather to take part in exciting dhow races. Other competitions include a fast-paced donkey race along the sea front and swimming races, in which visitors are encouraged to participate.
The festival presents a rare opportunity to see traditional dances from the scattered islands of the archipelago in a single venue. Groups of musicians on stage play Swahili and Arab Music; Lamu women and female visitors are treated to a Swahili bridal ceremony and beautiful poems composed to express the trails, tribulationa and triumphs of love and life. Hotels, restaurants and street vendors take the opportunity to celebrate delicious traditional foods during the festival.
The Swahili people are known for the accomplishments of their craftsmen and women and these traditional skills including wood carving, mat making, Swahili embroidery, dhow building and caligraphy are all on display. Come experience and celebrate the Swahili Cultural Heritage.