Lamu Island is a port, city, and island just off the shore of Kenya in the Indian Ocean approximately 150 miles from Mombasa. It is a part of the East African country of Kenya. Lamu was founded in the 12th century. Lamu is one of the longest-established and best-preserved remaining settlements of the Swahili tradition in east Africa that remains today. The island has continually been inhabited for over seven hundred years, and continues to be an important center in eastern Africa.