Kenyan Village Ranked Among the Most Beautiful Worldwide

A photo of the alluring Lamu Vilage in Lamu County.
A photo of the alluring Lamu Village in Lamu County.

Architectural Digest, a renowned US publication owned by Conde Nast, has named Lamu among the 13 most beautiful villages worldwide - which you have probably never heard of.

The village was praised for its unique architecture that borrows heavily from the Swahili, Arabic, European, Indian, and Persian styles.

Ranked as the oldest Swahili settlement in East Africa, the village relies on donkeys for transport since both vehicles and motorcycles have been banned from operating on its streets.

Trying to access the archipelago, visitors are treated to unforgettable transportation by dhows and boats.

Dhows on the coastline of Lamu Village in Lamu County.
Dhows on the coastline of Lamu Village in Lamu County.

"Visit Lamu Fort, a fortress built between 1810 and 1823, which now houses a library and exhibition space, as well as the Lamu Museum, located in a former home built in the early 1900s. 

"Because of the narrow, winding roads, cars are a rarity, so be prepared to travel by (bicycle) or on one of the island’s more than 6,000 donkeys," the outlet praised the village.

In 2001, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) named it a World Heritage site

Part of the reason was due to coral stone and mangrove timber used in its buildings enhancing their simplicity while retaining features such as inner courtyards, verandas, and elaborately carved wooden doors.

"Lamu has hosted major Muslim religious festivals since the 19th century, and has become a significant centre for the study of Islamic and Swahili cultures," UNESCO description read in part.

The breathtaking Coastal village featured alongside 12 other villages, including Orta San Giulio in Italy, Frigiliana in Spain, Taxco de Alarcon in Mexico and Gordes in France.

Architectural Digest, a US-based magazine, is ranked among the most influential media outlets in the architectural world, with editions published in several other countries, including China, Germany, India, France, Italy, the United States and Spain.

It shares the same roof as other world-renowned titles such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and Wired - all housed by Conde Nast based in Manhattan, New York.

Donkeys at Lamu Village in Lamu County.
Donkeys at Lamu Village in Lamu County.
Patricia Alberth/UNESCO