Tag Archives: Lamu

In Kenya, islanders on heritage site count cost of $25 billion mega-project

Lamu Island on Kenya’s northeast coast was established some 700 years ago as part of a thriving Indian Ocean trade network that eventually stretched to Oman, India, Portugal, and China.

The mixing of those cultures produced the Swahili people and language, as well as an Islamic renaissance of architecture, poetry, and cuisine.

Lamu is regarded as the best preserved Swahili settlement in existence. The history, the remote white beaches, the carved wooden doorways, and the winding alleys, all make it a top Kenya tourist destination.

But change is coming – more drastic than any in Lamu’s history – that could irreversibly transform this ancient place. Read more…

Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

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Lamu after dark

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It was near nine o’clock in Shela, the sleepy village on the northeast beach of Lamu Island, when we ran out of soda for our brandies. Continue reading Lamu after dark

Why to visit Lamu ASAP. It’s as cheap as it will ever be.

View image on Twitter

My buddy Ian Cox made this storify using some tweets of mine about why you should  visit Lamu. His words:

My friend Jason visited Lamu Island on the nothern Kenyan coast for work and tweeted these photos. I won’t bother to explain the charms of Lamu as it’s all over Google. Right now the tourism industry is suffering and a huge number of the residents have been laid off from work. Why is it so? Read more…

Nairobi ‘Saba Saba’ rally reveals sharp ethnic, political divides

Supporters of the opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy or Cord attend a rally at Uhuru Park in Nairobi Monday July 7, 2014. Sayyid Azim/AP

A highly emotive rally of more than 10,000 people in Nairobi today capped a month of antigovernment protests led by longtime opposition figure Raila Odinga, who is calling for a “national dialogue” with President Uhuru Kenyatta as ethnic tensions reach a fever pitch.

The two political leaders were also on different sides in post-election violence in 2007 that led to a charge of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court at The Hague. That violence killed more than 1,000 people.

Kenya’s opposition today said it would pursue a national referendum to deal with deepening insecurity and economic woes that the Kenyatta government has struggled to solve.  Read more…

Kenya’s president: massacres aren’t Al Shabab but political opponents

President Uhuru Kenyatta today told surprised Kenyans that the grisly murders of 60 people in recent days – some while watching the World Cup – were not carried out by the terror group Al Shabab, but by local “networks” organized by his political opponents.

Al Shabab claimed credit for a massacre on Sunday of 49 people in the coastal town of Mpeketoni, and for killing at least 10 people on Monday in a small town nearby. Those incidents, in an area hit recently by Al Shabab, bore the hallmarks of the Somalia-based, self-described Islamist group, with masked attackers shouting “Alahu Akbar” and executing civilians who failed to recite Koranic verses.

Yet Mr. Kenyatta, in a televised address, blamed “reckless leaders” for inciting violence against a specific ethnic group, the Kikuyu, who are reportedly the victims of the coastal attacks.  Read more…

Worst since Westgate: New Al Shabab attack stirs Kenyan security doubts

A man observes the remains of destroyed vehicles and buildings in the town of Mpeketoni, about 60 miles from the Somali border on the coast of Kenya Monday. AP

Gunmen belonging to the Somali extremist group Al Shabab killed at least 48 people in a seven-hour rampage through a Kenyan coastal town late Sunday night, leaving many Kenyans wondering whether their government is capable of protecting them from terrorists.  Read more…

In pictures: Kenyan fishermen’s precarious life on the open sea

The crew Muftal Khaer.  From left, Ben, Bubu, "Mzee," Asst. Capt. William Kombo, Capt. Abdillahi Qassim, "Masta."
The crew of the Muftal Khaer. From left: Ben, Bubu, “Mzee,” Asst. Capt. William Kombo, Capt. Abdillahi Qassim, “Masta.” Photo by Jason Patinkin

Three times a week, a group of Kenyan fishermen sails to sea from an old Mombasa port to the deep waters off Tanzania’s Pemba Island in search of swordfish, marlin, tuna, and shark.  Journalist Jason Patinkin recently joined the crew for a two-day trip.  Read more…