Gently lapped by the rich warm waters of the Indian Ocean, the palm fringed white sandy beaches of Kenya’s picturesque coastline provide an idyllic tropical paradise and a popular destination for an exclusive beach holiday. The Kenya Coast, where the sea meets the wilderness, is an area of outstanding and raw natural beauty, home to a spectacular array of marine and land flora and fauna.
An extraordinary blend of exotic coral reefs, mangrove forests, turquoise lagoons, creeks, sacred Kaya forests, secluded islands and unspoilt bays combined with over 600 species of tropical fish in brilliant colours and bizarre shapes, endangered sea turtles and dugongs, whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins and even humpback whales, make Kenya’s coast an unparalleled holiday destination.
Having been an integral part of the maritime Arabian Spice Trade for over a thousand years, the Kenyan coast is also rich in history and forms a unique cultural melting pot between the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
Kenya’s coast is evolving as an exclusive high end beach destination with small boutique hotels and villas on private beaches, tucked away from residential developments. In addition to idyllic beach life, the coast also offers world class entertainment – whether you would like to sail away on a dhow, play golf on one in one of the most beautiful settings in Kenya, swim with dolphins, delve into the culture and history of Kenya’s coast, go deep sea fishing and diving, or immerse yourself in any other form of water sports, Kenya’s coast will leave you spoilt for choice.
Kenya’s sublime South Coast stretches for over 50km south of Mombasa, including the pristine beaches of Diani, Galu, Tiwi and Msambweni. Diani is the heart of the South Coast and one of the most popular beaches on the Kenyan coast for its very wide white sandy beach, beautifully fringed with palms. Diani has its own airstrip at Ukunda with daily scheduled flights from Nairobi and to most of the National Parks and Wildlife Conservancies.
Shimba Hills National Park is only a short distance away and is an attractive 1 or 2 day getaway for some nearby game viewing.
Africa’s oldest harbour city, Mombasa, is Kenya’s ancient and historic coast capital. The modern port handles most of the shipping for the East Africa region, while Moi International Airport is a gateway for tourists seeking an exclusive beach holiday on the Kenyan coast.
Fort Jesus, one of the 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites on the Kenyan coast, was built by the Portuguese to protect the port of Mombasa and is one of the most well preserved examples of 16th century Portuguese military fortification and a landmark in the history of this type of construction.
Renowned for accessibility, beauty and diversity of marine life, Malindi and Watamu, just north of Mombasa, form a Marine Reserve covering an area of 261km² with long stretches of casuarina fringed white sandy beaches. Watamu is also home to the stunning Mida Creek mangrove forest, which is excellent for bird watching.
Perched on the north east coast of Kenya, the scenic Lamu Archipelago comprises 3 tropical islands: Lamu, Manda and Pate, epitomizing tropical bliss. Lamu’s unique blend of pristine beaches, rich history, gentle Islamic ambiance, and an atmospheric old town makes this island one of Kenya’s most remarkable destinations. Lamu Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a place like no other, where, life has continued unhurried and barely changed for over 400 years. The town’s fascinating cultural heritage is embodied by the distinctive architecture of Arab, Indian and British designs, and by its winding mediaeval streets and bustling markets.
20 miles to the north, the Kiunga Marine Reserve is a tropical paradise of brilliant coral formations, colourful marine life, turquoise lagoons and endless sand dunes. The reserve covers an area of 270km² and incorporates over 50 offshore islands and coral reefs in the Lamu Archipelago. Visitors can land on a small airstrip in Kiwayu or enjoy a thrilling boat ride from Lamu.