Kenya is a premier wildlife safari destination in Africa. But did you know you could enjoy the Indian Ocean coast on one of the best beaches in coast Kenya?
The shimmering 536 km Kenyan coastline features sandy white beaches, calm azure water, and cool breezes. These beautiful beaches offer everyone myriad activities that will make your day.
You’ll engage in various activities such as swimming, snorkelling, and all water sports that come to mind. Thanks to its intricate history, the region is also a melting point of cultures. Expect to experience Araba, Indian, Chinese and European elements tracing several centuries.
If you are looking for a family-friendly destination, want to relax, enjoy a good time and food, or engage in one of your favourite water sports, Kenya has a beach for it.
Here are our top 10 picks for the best beaches in Kenya.
Welcome to the calm waters of the best beach in Mombasa. Diani beach is one of the best beaches in the world, with a reputation as the ultimate beach destination.
Located about 30 km outside Mombasa, the white sandy beach hosts various coconut palms frame shielding it from heavy waves. This shield makes the water a dream destination for anyone who wants to swim, dive and snorkel.
The beach also boasts some of the best beach resorts in Kenya. These resorts offer ultimate luxury, the best Swahili dishes, and incredible ocean views.
In the evening, get your dancing shoes and explore Diani’s nightlife. Kenya’s party capital Mombasa is also a few kilometres away!
With Watamu, you get more than one beach, a series of pristine beaches between Mida creek and the Indian Ocean. These include Turtle Bay Beach, Short Beach, Jacaranda Bay, Paparemo Beach, and Garoda Beach.
They offer clear waters under the blue sky with gentle waves, making it ideal for swimming and scuba diving. You can also snorkel in the nearby Watamu National Marine Park to explore its beautiful underwater life.
Watamu beaches also border one of Kenya’s most known historic sites, the famous UNESCO World Heritage ruins of Gedi town, and the Arabuko Sokoke Forest Preserve, with wildcats, antelopes, and elephants.
Galu Kinondo Beach
Galu Kinondo is a continuation of Diani beach and offers the same white sand. It offers fewer developments and traffic than Diani, making it the beach in Mombasa for those looking for a secluded, laid-back destination.
The beach is popular for water sports, such as kitesurfing and paddling. You can also snorkel or scuba dive in the clear waters to explore the underwater world. Expect to swim among eels, scorpion fish, sea horses, and other aquatic animals.
Lamu Island Beaches
Go back in time and experience authentic Swahili culture on Lamu Island. The island is home to numerous stunning beaches and one of the oldest coastal towns in Kenya.
Explore Lamu’s golden beaches in dhows and marvel at the sunset or relax and enjoy a sip. Lamu island beaches also offer some of the most sensational watersports in Kenya.
Beaches on Lamu Island include Shela beach, with no barrier reef, making it the best place to find fairly surfable waves.
Manda Island, just off Lamu. is home to stunning powdery white sand beaches. However, none stands out like the tropical Manda Bay.
Manda bay houses the calm, turquoise-blue waters of the Indian Ocean. The whole family can enjoy plenty of sunshine, and watersport enthusiasts explore the winds and water.
You’ll also have several areas to visit, including the UNESCO-designated town of Lamu.
Nyali is not the most metropolitan beach in Kenya but also Mombasa’s most secluded beach. The rarely visited beach offers anyone a quiet and serene ocean view where you can relax.
The little traffic makes Nyali one of the best surfing spots in Kenya. You can also swim and kayak without fear of colliding with someone. You can stroll in the sunset, build sand castles, or play beach rugby/volleyball if the water doesn’t interest you.
Near the beach lies Mombasa Marine National Park for the family to explore. You can choose to snorkel and explore the reefs and meadows under the water.
Other top beaches in Mombasa include Pirates Beach, Bamburi Beach, Mombasa Beach, Serena Beach, and Shanzu Beach.
In Malindi, you’ll find some of the best beaches to visit in Kenya, with Mambrui as the most beautiful. The beach experiences gentle offshore winds that make it a kitesurfing paradise.
The less frequented beach also offers a tranquil gateway where you can sunbathe, take a stroll, swim, or go deep-sea fishing. Snorkel in the nearby Malindi Marine Park and explore its exotic aquatic life or jump into a safari van and explore the Tsavo East National Park.
Mambrui beach has numerous luxury beach resorts with local and international cuisines for your tastebuds. You can also enjoy various drinks while listening to music besides a bonfire in the evenings.
Any solitude seeker will fall in love with this hidden gem. Chale beach is a popular bumming spot on Kenya’s only private island resort. You’ll also find other small, secluded beaches that anyone rarely visits. Of course, except for the endangered sea turtles that call them home.
The island also hosts native wildlife thanks to its dense mangrove forest. You can kayak in the mangrove or dive and snorkel along stunning coral reefs offshore.
If you want a honeymoon or a luxury beach destination, Chale beach in Kenya is perfect.
Malindi is world-famous for different reasons. It is where Vasco da Gama landed in Africa and is home to the best beaches in Coast Kenya. It offers a tropical climate ideal for sunbathing, swimming and surfing, with panoramic views in the background.
The area also nests numerous luxurious beach resorts and hotels with exquisite cuisines and the best drinks in town. The nightlife is also a dream destination for any party enthusiast. You’ll find top-of-the-chain and thrilling spots and events happening most nights.
Perched between the Indian Ocean and hills is the lovely Kikambala beach in Vipingo. It is a new entrant to the best beaches in coast Kenya but offers visitors an incredible time.
The beach boasts coconut palm grooves and white sand beaches, and long coral reefs that protect it. The reefs make it one of the best beaches to visit in Kenya for swimming and sunbathing.
The area saw changes recently from being a sisal hub to a tourism centre thanks to new mega-resorts. The nearby hills offer a bird’s eye view of the azure waters of the Indian Ocean and a perfect spot for ocean pictures.
Take the Family Out for a Funday at a Beach in Kenya
Pristine beaches, azure water, and incredible aquatic life feature along Kenya’s long coast. You’ll find some of the best beaches to visit in Kenya, with a flurry of activities for the whole family. You’ll find calm beaches for swimming and snorkelling, while some provide the right conditions for surfing.
You’ll also enjoy local and international cuisines with various cultures with elements of Asian, Arabic, European and Swahili cultures.
If you are looking for a tour package to the best beaches in Kenya, our registered and experienced partners have the best deals. You can also access the best tourism information about Kenya in our Destinations Kenya blog.