Explore Kenya’s Coastal Tourist Sites: Kenya’s Indian Ocean coastline, which stretches 1,420 kilometers from its border with Somalia in the north to Tanzania in the south, is as picturesque as any in Africa. Islands and coral reefs, beach resorts, and old spice-trading villages dot its shoreline, and life flows at a leisurely tropical pace.

Whenever discussing the Kenya coast, it’s not only a matter of where to go. The Kenyan coastline is also an exciting, extremely active place, with opportunities to go diving or snorkeling, go along the coast in a dhow (traditional wooden sailboat), or simply relax on the beach.

Just inland from the sea, there are historic ruins, a holy forest, and an elephant park. Best time to visit: June to October with lower temps, less rain, and ideal for kitesurfing; October to March or April which is great for diving and snorkeling.

Explore Kenya’s Coastal Tourist Sites.

Visit Diani Beach

Notwithstanding its status as the most popular beach resort town on the Kenyan coast, Diani Beach is still a fantastic spot to visit. Diani Beach is just spectacular, with fantastic hotels for all budgets, more water sports and aquatic activities than any other coastal town, and a long and magnificent arc of sand. Other adjacent beaches include Tiwi and Takaungu, as well as Kaya Kinondo, a holy woodland.

Accommodation choices include great backpackers and even better boutique beach hotels (such as Maji or Afro Chic Diani Beach). Activities include diving, snorkeling, water sports, kitesurfing, and boat tours.
How to get to Diani?

There are flights from Nairobi, or a 2-hour drive from Mombasa with a brief vehicle ferry on the way.

Visit Fort Jesus in Mombasa.

Mombasa, one of Africa’s famous ancient towns on the Indian Ocean coast, is large, rowdy, and full of clues to its interesting past. Look out to sea from UNESCO World Heritage-listed Fort Jesus, which has stood vigil here since the Portuguese erected it in the late 16th century. Sample the various elements that shape Swahili culinary culture. Or forget yourself as the call to prayer clashes with the aroma of spices in the old city’s tiny passageways.

Pay a visit to Wasini Island.

Wasini is a stunning location where you will not find people. The diving and snorkeling at Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park are world-class, and the reef may be the most spectacular on the Kenyan coast. With a lovely beach environment, Swahili ruins, and plenty of other activities, we could just opt to remain indefinitely.

Explore Watamu

Watamu, one of the lovelier tiny villages along Kenya’s coast, has one of the most beautiful white-sand beaches you can imagine, as well as some of the greatest dawn views in Kenya. Despite its small, Watamu has plenty of wonderful places to stay and activities to do both on land and at water. There is also a local sea turtle protection effort.

Visit Shimba Hills National Reserve.

Cool, green Shimba Hills, one of the few spots to go exploring for wildlife near Kenya’s shoreline, is home to elephant, sable antelope, giraffe, buffalo, zebra, hippo, and a variety of monkey species. It’s a good way to mix up your beach vacation without embarking on a large trip. Shimba Hills is around 40 kilometers south of Mombasa, and travel providers in Mombasa and Diani Beach offer day tours to the area.

Journey to Lamu

Lamu has soul. This laid-back archipelago, which rivals Zanzibar as a medieval East African center for the Indian Ocean spice trade, preserves the essence of those golden days unlike anywhere else in Kenya. It’s a world of classic architecture, timeless fishing villages, breathtaking beaches (Shela is a personal favorite), and a plethora of excellent things to enjoy while basking in the refreshing wind of the ocean. There are daily flights between Nairobi and Lamu Airport (on Manda Island), and highways run down the coast, connecting you to Lamu Island by bus or private vehicle. Boats also link all of the islands in the archipelago to the mainland.

Visit Malindi and Funzi Islands

You might do worse than select Malindi as your destination along Kenya’s coastline. Malindi, one of the main resort towns, is particularly popular with Italians (making it a great gastronomic destination), and it is well-known for its fantastic kitesurfing conditions.

Of course, it is popular in part because of its long and gorgeous beach, which is backed by palm palms. Malindi has regular flights from Nairobi and Lamu. It is just 115 kilometers north of Mombasa, approximately two hours by vehicle.

Funzi Island is a mangrove island where it is more about exploring for birds and crocodiles than lounging on the sand, making it a lovely contrast to the beach-and-palm-tree mix that is so common along Kenya’s coast. Although most visitors come for the day, staying overnight is an excellent opportunity to meet the residents. Funzi Island is 35 kilometers south of Diani Beach and is reachable by small boat from Bodo.

Explore Kenya’s Coastal Tourist Sites
Funzi Islands

Checkout Kilifi

Kilifi, like no other place in Kenya, is stylish and environmentally sensitive, and it is more than just a gorgeous face. It’s all about the amazing seafood, diving and boats, and the old ruins of Mnarani. And with Vuma Cliffs, an incredible location of gigantic baobabs and black coral cliffs, as well as the magnificent Bofa and Takaungu Beaches, you may decide you never want to leave. Kilifi is located 73 kilometers north of Mombasa and 48 kilometers south of Malindi via road.

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