Kenya’s coastline is dotted with dazzling tropical beaches, each with its own character. From powdery sands to sacred forests and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, here’s a quick look at the best beach spots in Kenya
The surrounding lush vegetation sharply contrasts with the white, powdery beaches and the turquoise water, lending Diani a radiant appeal. There is a wide range of accommodation, with beach resorts, hotels, hostels and honeymoon tree houses. If you are not a water sports enthusiast, spend some time at the Colobus Conservation or hug a tree at the Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest.
Malindi beach is adjacent to Watamu beach, but you get to it first from Mombasa. The locals call it ‘Little Italy’ due to the large population of Italian tourists. Anglers come too, during the deep-sea fishing season, while water sports enthusiasts are present year-round to snorkel, waterski and scuba dive. The club scene comes alive after dark.
Lamu is the land of dhows. Dhow sailing is a cultural tradition in Lamu, so much so the locals hold an annual competition. Dhows are the cheapest mode of transport, used to ferry people from Lamu beach to Shela beach and Manda Island, all the way to Kiwayu Island right next to Kiunga Marine National Reserve.
Watamu and Turtle Bay
Watamu beach does not stretch for miles on end, but what it lacks it length, it makes up for with adventure. Its enormous coral reef makes it a perfect spot to snorkel and scuba dive. Sea turtles nest on a stretch of the beach near to the reef. If you are lucky, you could swim with whale sharks, depending on the time of the year. If not, head out to Arabuko Sokoke forest for a short safari. History buffs will be delighted by the sight of the Gede Ruins, an abandoned medieval settlement.
This is a real hidden gem. This tranquil beach is often snubbed in favour of its neighbour, Diani beach, due to its lack of amenities. Besides the 4-star Tiwi Beach Resort, the only other accommodation are cottages and guesthouses, with no bars and restaurants to hang out.
Tiwi makes up for this deficit by being one of the best snorkelling spots – you can actually touch the coral reef as you walk along the shores of the beach. It is well-liked by locals, particularly those from Nairobi. What makes this beach more appealing is the lack of beach boys. If you still insist, you can easily cross the Mwachema river in low tide to get to Diani beach.