East Africa Beach Holidays | Best Kenyan Coastal experience
Kenya is a favorite “beach and bush” destination for East Africa Beach Holidays – with arguably the best safari destinations and the most perfect tropical beaches offering the best Kenyan coastal experience.
The accommodation – whether bush or beach – ranges from rustic and adventurous to family-friendly, romantic honeymoon hideaways to lavish, exclusive luxury.
Whether you want to simply relax after an East Africa Beach Holidays safari or explore and experience the coastal attractions and water activities, the Best Coastal Kenyan experience has a place just for you.
The Kenyan coast actually does resemble the images on picture postcards: uninterrupted stretches of white sand beaches framed by towering tropical palms and warm, inviting turquoise waters.
Its stretches of coral reefs are perfect for diving and snorkeling. It’s very close to the equator and you’ll probably find it quite bizarre to go for an early morning swim in the sea – only to find that it’s warmer than your hotel swimming pool!
Sometimes, at low tide, you can walk out on the coral reefs for over a kilometer and explore the myriad sea creatures: from ‘dayglo’ hermit crabs to sausage-shaped sea cucumbers.
The perfect way to round off your best Kenyan coastal experience safari itinerary while on East Africa Beach Holidays Tour
Somehow, after the fairly structured days of safari game drives and bush routines, a relaxing East Africa Beach Holidays tour is the perfect happy ending.
While there are more than enough activities to fill your days – from water sports to city tours, shopping excursions to cultural visits – you’re free to just relax and do nothing but sip long, tall drinks and watch the exotic Arab dhows sail idly by …
There are a host of excellent lodges dotted along the coast, offering wonderful holidays for different occasions: families, singles, honeymooners, activity-seekers, and more so we’ll be happy to recommend a good fit for your preferences and budget.
Unlike some of the inland safari destinations that can be decidedly cool at certain times of the year, the Kenyan coast is seriously tropical.
Warm and temperate all year round, it can get blisteringly hot and humid at midday, especially in the height of summer (November to February).
Fortunately, there’s often a gentle on-shore breeze to keep things cool; which can pick up considerably at times to please the wind- and kitesurfers.
The ocean temperature stays warm all year round, ranging from 23 – 27°C (73 – 80°F). As with anywhere in Kenya, the sun is fierce and a good sunscreen is a necessity, not an option.
Diani is 35km (22 miles) S of Mombasa and 500km (310 miles) SE of Nairobi Creamy white beaches protected by an immense coral reef.
A warm, cobalt-blue sea dotted with pretty islands. Large scimitar-shaped sails drifting across a shimmering surface.
If you’re looking for that endless succession of postcard-perfect images, you’ll find them here, stretching south from Mombasa toward the Tanzanian border.
At the center of the South Coast action is Diani Beach, a pretty and extensively developed resort that’s managed to retain its celebrity good looks (and, thanks to the exclusivity offered by captivating places such as the Alfajiri villas, remains a bolthole for the likes of Africa-mad icons such as Brad and Angelina).
Easily one of Kenya’s best beaches, it’s possible to walk for 8km (5 miles) in either direction.
You’ll find a couple of caparisoned camels trundling across the beach, and bevies of beach boys planning their assault strategy as they aim to sell anything from safaris to sexual adventures to the unsuspecting (or terribly keen) tourists.
Yes, there’s a sleazier side to Diani’s easily romanticized charms, but it’s one that’s easily avoided. Instead of falling for the pesky hustlers on the beach, there’s plenty to keep you active between mealtimes.
Numerous companies offer all kinds of waterborne adventures and activities, including snorkeling and diving in the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park and big-game fishing out of Shimoni, a village just north of the Tanzanian border.
A coral-rich marine reserve is also a good place for dolphin spotting and whale-watching. It’s also possible to explore some of the offshore islands.
Wasini is a forested island with old Arabic ruins and is a popular luncheon venue, while at the northern edge of the marine park, a maze of water channels spreads between a patchwork of pretty mangroves and forested islands, one of which has been transformed into a paradisiacal castaway resort, Funzi Keys, which ranks among the most relaxing and atypical beach spots in Kenya.
And close by are the Shimba Hills National Reserve and the Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary, decent enough outings if you haven’t yet had your fill of East Africa Beach Holidays safari.
Where to stay on Kenya’s coast
Although the ‘hub’ of Kenya’s coast and East Africa’s busiest port, Mombasa is steamy, shabby and run-down, with not many redeeming factors.
For the intrepid explorers, the old city alleys are quite fun to wander through and the 16th-century Portuguese Fort Jesus makes an interesting visit. Most of the touristy hotels are in its northern suburbs.
The first main resort to the north of Mombasa is scenic Watumu. It has interesting rock formations along its coast and shoreline, which make it an excellent snorkelling and diving destination.
Nearby, there’s an ancient ruin city, Gedi, which can be explored.
Considered to be the best beach in Kenya, Diani Beach is palm-fringed with an excellent coral reef and sandbars that are great to explore by glass-bottomed boat.
There’s a good mix of hotels and lodges here to offer something for everyone’s tastes and preferences.
Diani has the lion’s share of local eateries, bars and things to do. Other beaches just a few kilometres further south and worth a visit include Galu and Kinondo.
The exotic Lamu archipelago includes a series of alluring islands; the main one is, of course, Lamu and nearby Manda island hosts the area’s airstrip.
Life here is slow and unhurried; influences from ancient Arab and African cultures and traditions are very much in evidence.
Very remote and rustic with virtually no cars or roads on the islands, it’s a tranquil escape from modern life stresses. *See Safety Precaution below
Safety Precaution While on East Africa Beach Holidays
Most countries have issued a travel warning to avoid the area around the Kenya-Somalia border, especially coastal areas like Lamu, where regional security and kidnapping incidences have occurred.
However, this high-risk zone is isolated and poses no threat to tourists. In fact, millions of visitors safely flock to safari and beach destinations in Kenya each year.
Please note that we are constantly updated on news and political situations in all countries we arrange safaris to.
Your safety is paramount to us and we do everything possible to keep you safe and informed at all times.
What We Suggest For 2022/2023
Traveling with local experts gives you an insider perspective on Kenya’s secret gems.