Beaches in Kenya – Mombasa Beaches

Mombasa Beaches: The Kenyan Coast is a distinctive part of Kenya’s unrivalled tourism attractions and is home to over nine communities whose dialects gave the basis of the Kiswahili language, Kenya’s national language.

When it comes to beach-life Kenya is hard to beat, offering 700 kms of Indian Ocean coastline renowned for its white sandy beaches, clear waters, remote islands, and mysterious Swahili ruins. Protected for its entire length by a coral barrier reef lying just a kilometre offshore, Kenya’s beaches offer calm lagoons that are ideal for swimming and watersports, nine national marine parks promising sightings of whale sharks, dolphins, turtles and thousands of other tropical species; and some of the finest dive sites on the planet.

Add to this the fact that the coastal climate is as near perfect as it gets with an average daily temperature of 28 degrees centigrade, and a daily average of eight hours of sunshine, and you’ll rapidly conclude that Kenya’s coastline is one of the most alluring in the world.

The Culture Along the Kenyan Beaches

An exotic fusion of Arab, African and Portuguese influences, the Swahili culture is found nowhere else on earth. Typified by its serene pace of life, its sublime cuisine, its profound heritage and its welcoming people, the sheer delight of the Swahili lifestyle prompts thousands of tourists to return year after year to immerse themselves in its lilting languor; and to step out of their everyday worlds and into the enchanted Swahili world of winding alleys, peeping faces, bustling markets, white-walled mosques and black-veiled women.

Roughly divided into ‘North’ and ‘South’ of the island city of Mombasa, Kenya’s beaches offer a surprising diversity. South of Mombasa are; Shelly, Diani and Msambweni beaches.

North are Nyali, Kenyatta, Bamburi, Shanzu, Kilifi, Watamu, Malindi and, ultimately, the beaches of the island resort of Lamu.

Which Beach to choose?

Diani Beach is regularly voted one of the ‘finest beaches in the world’ by the global tourism press, but coastal charm is not entirely dictated by beaches. And each stretch of coast has its own subtle allure.

Malindi, for instance, is famous for its aura of Italian chic, its stylish shops and restaurants and its vibrant nightlife.

Watamu is adored for its sleepy rusticity, its magical mangrove creeks and its big game fishing.

Mombasa is the place to go if you want bustle and bazaars, and arriving in Lamu is a little like entering the enchanted world of the Tales of One Thousand and One Nights.

Finally, if all you want is beach, sky and sea, with perhaps the occasional harpoon fisherman emerging from the waves every now and then — head for Msambweni.

Kenya Coastal Highlights

If your idea of bliss is lounging on a sunbed, snorkeling over the reef, eating fresh fish simmered in lime and coconut and drinking cold beer on a silver beach you may have no interest in wilderness and cultural exploration.

But if you’d like to ring the changes here are some venues worth leaving the beach for:

  1.  The Shimba Hills National Reserve Easily reached from Diani Beach, the Shimba Hills are cloaked in forest and wandered by elephant. They are also the only Kenyan habitat of the rare and magnificent sable antelope.
  2. The Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve Within easy reach of Malindi and Watamu, this cool and shaded retreat shelters the last remnants of Kenya’s coastal forests and hosts some of Africa’s most rare and unusual creatures. It also promises a network of nature trails and some unrivalled bird watching.
  3. Kenya’s Machu Picchu, the lost city of Gedi Once buried in jungle, this ancient Swahili town was not discovered until the 1940s. Built in the 13th century and abandoned in the 17th century – some say due to the arrival of cannibals – it features ruined sultan’s palaces, sunken gardens and a network of medieval streets. It is also reputedly haunted by a dark creature that always seems to have just disappeared around a bend in the walls: yet always seems to be watching you.
  4. Next door is the Kipepeo Butterfly farm featuring 260 species of butterfly. Gedi is being considered for UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

Best Beaches in Kenya

This is a comprehensive list of the best Beaches in Kenya.

1. Diani Beach

Category: Best Beaches in Kenya

Diani Beach is a major beach resort on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya (in eastern Africa). It is located 30 kilometers (19 mi) south of Mombasa, in the nearby Kwale County.

The beach is about 10 kilometers (6 mi) long, from the Kongo river to the north and Galu beach to the south (the southern point of reference is an old Baobab tree). It is adjacent to the town of Ukunda, the population of which nears 100,000 inhabitants. A small airstrip is located between the beach area and the Mombasa-Lunga Lunga road.

Diani Beach was voted as among the top 25 beaches in the world in 2015 by TripAdvisor. In the Travellers’ Choice Awards (Best of 2015), TripAdvisor ranked Diani Beach the 22nd best beach in the world. Diani Beach was also voted third among the top 25 beaches in Africa.

Diani Beach
Diani Beach

2. Watamu Beach – Turtle Bay

Category: Best Beaches in Kenya

Turtle Bay is a long stretch of beach; about 7km long is located on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya, about 15km south of Malindi. The beach is known for its local reefs, clear water and soft white sands. The beach offers a great swimming opportunity, gives you a delightful feeling and the alluring ocean gives an amazing sight. You can engage in some beach activities such as surfing, sunbathing or take a long walk along the shores. Turtle Bay is perfect for a calm and relaxing day by the sea.

In the Travellers’ Choice Awards (Best of 2015), TripAdvisor ranked Watamu Beach 14th position on the continent among the top 25 beaches in Africa.

Watamu Beach
Watamu Beach

3. Nyali Beach

Category: Best Beaches in Kenya

Located in the white sandy beaches of Mombasa, the proud, legendary and lavish, Nyali International Beach Hotel & Spa is an icon with a unique history and social significance which has returned with its timeless grandeur and new and contemporary spirit. Our accommodation facilities and restaurants are inspired by the original art and provide the guest with an experience that is truly indulgent and exquisite.

Nyali Beach
Nyali Beach

4. Lamu Beaches

Category: Best Beaches in Kenya

Lamu Island is full of beautiful white sandy beaches, which are perfect for ultimate relaxation during vacation. Manda Bay and Shela beach are the most popular beaches in Lamu. These beaches are known for their picturesque views and peaceful ambiance. These beaches are surrounded by luxury resorts built around the ocean. These beach resorts offer visitors an exquisite place to have fun and relax during their holidays.

Lamu Beaches
Lamu Beaches

5. Vipingo Beach

Category: Best Beaches in Kenya

Vipingo beach is located near Kilifi in a coastal area which consist of Swahili villages. Surrounded by greenly vegetation of coconut palms, the water is calm and crystal clear. The beach is scenic but it’s always isolated with very little crowd. If you would love to spend some peaceful and romantic time with your lover or friends, Vipingo beach is the best place to visit.

Vipingo Beach
Vipingo Beach

6. Tiwi Beach

Category: Best Beaches in Kenya

Tiwi, a small settlement in Kwale County, has its fair share of a beautiful sandy beach in Kenya. The beach is located north of Diani Beach, which is about 17 km south of Mombasa. The beach offers nature at its peak and it’s a place you can go to experience the best beach vacation, especially if you enjoy relaxing in the sun.

Tiwi Beach
Tiwi Beach

 7. Gazi Beach

Category: Best Beaches in Kenya

Gazi beach is located 3Km from Gazi, a coastal town in Kenya. The beach is never crowded and it is the best place to go if you are looking for privacy during your vacation. The beach is surrounded by sumptuous palm vegetation and some luxury lodges that offer accommodation to visitors. If you are a sun worshipper, you will love Gazi Beach.

Gazi Beach
Gazi Beach

8. Bamburi Beach

Category: Best Beaches in Kenya

Bamburi beach is located on Mombasa’s North Coast, it’s amazingly calm and it boasts fine soft sand and calm water, an ideal place to go experience fantastic vacation. The beach is a popular destination for sun lovers and sand seekers. If you love walking, swimming or relaxing by the beach, Bamburi offers everything. It is a perfect place to find some relaxing peacetime.

Bamburi Beach
Bamburi Beach

9. Kikambala Beach

Category: Best Beaches in Kenya

Kikambala beach is located North of Mombasa, on the Indian Ocean. The long stretch of white beach, filled with white sands and shielded by a long coral reef is one of the best beaches of the Kenya coast. There are several beach resorts situated on Kikambala beach. The beach offers beautiful picture-perfect views and lots of space for locals and visitors to enjoy themselves.

Kikambala Beach
Kikambala Beach

10. Shanzu Beach

Category: Best Beaches in Kenya

Shanzu beach is located 30km from Mombasa, off Mombasa-Malindi Highway. The beach is surrounded by coconut palm groves and has several beach resorts and hotels, bars and restaurants, where visitors can lodge, enjoy and have fun during their holidays. The beach offers pleasant views of the sea, sheer beauty of the coast and endless water spots. It is a perfect place for a tropical beach vacation; it provides a variety of adventures that give visitors remarkable experiences.

Shanzu Beach
Shanzu Beach

Mombasa Beaches – South Coast Beaches in Kenya

Diani Beach Kenya

Category: Mombasa Beaches

The beach is about 10 kilometres (6 miles) long, from the Kongo river to the north and Galu beach to the south (the southern point of reference is an old Baobab tree). It is adjacent to the town of Ukunda, the population of which nears 100,000 inhabitants. A small airstrip is located between the beach area and the Mombasa-Lunga Lunga road. The water remains shallow near shore, with some underwater sandbars near the surface which allow wading with a clear view of the sandy bottom.

Diani Beach
Diani Beach

Along the beaches are hotels catering to all tastes; from small boutique properties for the discerning traveller to larger family hotels. There are also self-catering properties where you can enjoy privacy and informality. Here guests can enjoy water-sports such as windsurfing, sailing, snorkeling, water-skiing and scuba diving. Diani Beach lies 35km south of Mombasa city. The beach covers the shores for about 25km.

Tiwi Beach

Category: Mombasa Beaches

Tiwi is a beautiful beach located north of Diani Beach. Tiwi Beach is much quiter compared to Diani and is a more preferable spot for a romantic beach getaway. At tiwi you can also enjoy a number of water sports and five star accommodation at several hotels and resorts.

The first real magnet on the coast south of Mombasa is Tiwi Beach, which lies a couple of kilometres to the east of the main road. Popular among budget travellers having a bit of a splurge, Tiwi rates as genuine tropical paradise material and attracts lots of Kenya resident families down from Nairobi. The reef lies just offshore, and there are good snorkelling opportunities at high tide, especially at the northern end.

Tiwi Beach
Tiwi Beach

With the exception of the large Amani Tiwi Beach Resort at its southern end, Tiwi is still cottage territory, with a handful of plots vying for business. The main drawbacks (though you might think they’re advantages) are the relative isolation of the beach from Mombasa and Diani, and the lack of restaurants and bars outside the cottages and guesthouses. The clear pluses are fewer tourists and fewer beach boys. In the dry season, you can walk to the south end of Tiwi Beach and wade across the Mwachema River to Diani Beach and the strange Kongo Mosque, right next to the Indian Ocean Beach Resort.

Galu Beach

Category: Mombasa Beaches

If you are seeking even more serenity along the South Coast, then Galu Beach would be your destination of choice. Galu Beach expands it’s white sandy beach as far as the eye can see, with palm trees fringing over the tropical coastline and turquoise clear water is sheltered by a coral reef which makes it a safe swimming lagoon, perfect for a beach vacation or holiday.

Other Beaches in South Coast Mombasa

  1. Kinondo
  2. Chale Island
  3. Funzi Island
  4. Msambweni
  5. Shimoni
  6. Wasini Island

Mombasa Beaches – North Coast Beaches in Kenya

Bamburi Beach

Category: Mombasa Beaches

Bamburi Beach offers a picturesque stretch of sandy beach with a good number of top class hotels and resorts lined up facing the blue waters of the Indian Ocean. The beach is located in close proximity several town attractions.

Nyali Beach

Category: Mombasa Beaches

Nyali Beach offers long miles of white sandy beach, backed by private villas, hotels and gardens. They are suitable for those seeking a beach holiday with the convenience of Mombasa’s urban attractions close at hand.

Shanzu Beach

Category: Mombasa Beaches

Shanzu Located about 20 kilometers from Mombasa city along the Indian Coast, is a town, a lovely spot, with superb beaches and many beautiful and interesting places to visit. There is a holiday market in Shanzu with lots of small shops and a Bazaar offering a large collection of local crafts at very good prices.

  1. Kilifi
  2. Watamu
  3. Malindi
  4. Lamu Island

Kenya Beaches – Malindi Watamu Video

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