Lamu’s narrow streets remain unchanged, and in the markets and squares around the fort life moves at the same pace as it always has. The port of Lamu has existed for at least a thousand years. There are no vehicles on this island, and the donkey and the dhow remain the dominant form of transport. The town was founded in the 14th century and it contains many fine examples of Swahili architecture. The old city is inscribed on the World Heritage List as "the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa".
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