LAMU (Xinhua) --
More than 50,000 local and international tourists
are due to attend a four-day annual Lamu Cultural Festival, a
major tourism event which kicked off in the coastal region on
The festival, which first started in 2001, is
a four-day event celebrating coastal Lamu’s heritage and
traditions in a carnival atmosphere.
Each year, the Lamu Archipelago, a cluster of islands along
Kenya’s north coast, comes to life during the annual Lamu
Lamu Old Town has a unique cultural heritage passed down for
over 700 years; an attribute that earned Lamu Island a place in
the coveted UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites in 2001.
According to Betty Radier, chief executive officer of the
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), the event continues to attract
growing numbers of local and international tourists every year.
Under the theme ‘Tembea Lamu’ (Take adventure in Lamu),
Radier said the event will showcase the diverse and distinct
Lamu culture with dances, poetry, henna painting, displays of
handicraft and unique competitions such as dhow and donkey races
to spice up the festival.
"We expect higher participation this year owing to enhanced
marketing of the event.
"Lamu Cultural Festival is among the key
events that KTB is supporting in line with the tourism product
diversification strategy agenda to showcase Kenya’s rich
cultural diversity," she said in a statement.
Radier said the festival will also be used to affirm Kenya’s
continued commitment as a destination towards the
diversification of its tourist offering to complement the
traditional safari and beach attractions.
Hotels and other accommodation facilities in Lamu are gearing
up for roaring business as thousands of local and international
participants flock into the iconic island for the 18th edition
of Lamu Cultural Festival.
According to KTB, local, regional and international tourists
have made bookings for the four-day event which ends on Sunday
with over 50,000 participants expected to attend the festival.
Radier said the government has invested heavily in enhancing
security in Lamu and the surrounding region as part of
preparations for the annual event.
Most visitors to Lamu Island fall in love with its relaxed
and peaceful lifestyle.
She said visitors during the festival will have a chance to
experience life in Lamu at its most exuberant and joyous.
Boasting rich cultural splendor and a rare historical living
heritage, Lamu cultural festival reveals an important and
brilliant part of Swahili culture with a rare and wonderful
opportunity to experience the island’s unspoiled beaches,
medieval ambience, architecturally magnificent Old Town,
gracious population, and traditions of an enchanted island where
history continues to live.