Kenya as a Beach Destination
When you think of Kenya, the initial images that spring to mind will be scenes of safaris and savannahs full of wildlife. Not many will imagine the palm-fringed stretches of pristine beach that curve along the country’s coastline.
Located on Africa’s east coast, Kenya boasts a number of beaches and protected marine parks as well as the stunning Lamu Island archipelago. The white sand beaches are post-card perfect visions of a tropical beach holiday. Kilometers of coastal regions are home to natural splendor and have the added benefit of being rich in historic cultural sites.
Kenya’s second biggest city is the lively heart of Kenya’s coast. Mombasa is home to a buzzing beachfront where visitors will find most of the country’s resorts, hotels and popular beaches as well as an array of restaurants and activities!
Great for: anyone looking for a festive and lively beach getaway. Mombasa is great for families, couples, groups and everything in between. It is also great for its deep sea fishing and diving spots.
Further down the South Coast, it is slightly quieter but no less beautiful than Mombasa. Visitors can look forward to a classic beach destination; white sand, palm trees and warm, turquoise waters. Kenya’s famous Diani Beach is found on the South Coast. This is one of the top beach destinations for water sports, surfing and swimming. Diani and the South Coast are renowned for snorkeling and scuba diving. Visitors can also take to the blue waters to swim with the migrating whale sharks when they are in the area.
Great for: a slightly quieter, classic beach getaway. Smaller groups, families and laid-back travelers keen on soaking up the Kenyan sun while relaxing in the warm, tropical Indian Ocean waters will love Kenya’s South Coast.
Further up the coast, Malindi is a centuries-old town at the center of a group of beautiful tropical beaches. This 13th century coastal town and its beaches offer visitors a much quieter, tranquil getaway. Malindi is relatively near to Tsavo East and West National Parks making a trip to the coast an easy add on to a Tsavo safari! Malindi Marine National Park is superb for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Great for: any sized group looking for a tranquil getaway complete with snorkeling, diving and deep sea fishing.
The Lamu Archipelago on Kenya’s idyllic north coast is an exotic beach destination. The picturesque archipelago is home to luxury resorts, tropical beaches and rich Swahili culture. Lamu Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town is made up of Swahili-style houses, winding streets, and cobbled courtyards dating back to the early 14th century. The old town is well-preserved and has been continually inhabited for 700 years making it an important center of Swahili culture.
Great for: smaller groups and couples looking for a quiet, exotic beach getaway. It is also a great destination for travelers interested in history and culture. The smaller islands in the archipelago are ideal for a private and exclusive trip.
Kenya’s coastline is a combination of many protected natural and historical sites. From the huge barrier reef which runs along the coast to historic Swahili old towns, and the sacred Mijikenda Forests; there is so much to explore on land and in the water.
Five Marine National Parks are dotted along the coast including Kiunga Marine National Park, Watamu Marine National Park, Mombasa Marine National Park, Malindi Marine National Park, and Kisite Marine National Park. Visitors to these National Parks can explore the protected marine areas and admire the rich and diverse ecology.
Kenya has the added advantage of being a year-round destination not only for safaris but also for beach holidays. The country’s proximity to the equator means the temperate coastal temperatures are consistently warm throughout the year with the best time to visit being from June to early March.
Nowadays, it is easier than ever to access Kenya and make sure not to miss out on anything the country has to offer. Venture from the savannah plains to tranquil turquoise waters by combining the bush and beach during an unforgettable Kenyan adventure.