Similar to the more famous Zanzibar 500 km south, Lamu was a busy island trading post exporting mangrove poles, tortoise shells, ivory and African slaves. Lamu dates back to the late 14th century. The town is built with traditional materials with beautifully wood carved doors and lintels as its hallmark. Many buildings have flat rooftops to overlook the old town. The only mode of transportation is by foot, dhow, or donkey. There is only one vehicle on the island and that is an ambulance for donkeys.