Location

Sand Dollar Kayak Expeditions conducts guided tours through the Lamu Archipelago in the tropical waters off Kenya’s north coast.

The archipelago is positioned about 200km south of the Equator, along the same latitude as the Seychelles and the Galapagos Islands. The Lamu archipelago consists of numerous islands, which extend about 100km north of Lamu Island on Kenya’s north coast.

 
The islands of the Lamu archipelago are what remains of a 1000-year-old civilization that developed between the 9th and 19th centuries. Lamu was for centuries a trading port for ivory, rhino horn and slaves. Several of the southern islands have ancient forts and ruins. The islands of the northern archipelago border the remote and virtually inaccessible Dodori and Boni Game Reserves, with the islands themselves forming part of the 250km² Kiunga Marine National Reserve. The reserve is famous as a habitat for the rare dugong. It has at least five types of turtles and nine species of mangrove and is the largest breeding ground for the roseate terns.

The islands are surrounded by coral reefs thriving at the confluence of the East African coastal current and the nutrient rich Somali current. Occasional land animals, such as lesser kudu, bushbuck and various primates can be seen along the shores. The nearby mainland has freshwater marshes that provide an important water stop for many trans-Indian Ocean migratory birds, providing the opportunity to catch sight of various Kenyan species native only to the region. Depending on the length of the trip, tours will be conducted entirely within the Kiunga Marine Reserve or extend all the way south to Lamu Island.