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Over The Hills & Far Away
A journey to the beautiful and remote islands of Lamu and Manda, off the northern coast of Kenya, on the blue waters of the Indian Ocean
KARAM PURI

The hand-built sailing dhows glide listfully under the setting sun as the winds gently guide us back to Manda island. The African sunset, deep and fiery, melts into the sea as the Southern Cross begins to emerge from the pitch blackness of the sky. A sense of calm descends on this lost paradise before the madness erupts again at the bar at Peponi. This is a story of the fabled islands of Lamu and Manda.

The history of these islands date back to the 14th century, when Arab traders landed on her shores. The island thrived on the slave trade and invited traders from India, China, Oman, Yemen, and finally the Europeans. The SwahiIi coast emerged as a rich and diverse mélange of colourful characters, swashbuckling seamen, crafty traders, and notorious poachers. Its decline began in 1873, when the British closed the slave markets, and by 1890 it had become a part of Zanzibar. It returned from obscurity when Kenya got its independence in 1963 and tourism began to develop in the 1970s.

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November 2019

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