Book Your Dream Beach Holiday in the Best Kenya Beaches

Exploring Kenya Beaches - Tiwi Beach, South Coast of Kenya
The beautiful Tiwi Beach

Soft white sand, warm turquoise waters, beautiful coral reefs, and vibrant marine life are the epitome of a dream beach holiday. Now imagine combining that with a rich cultural heritage, indulgent cuisines, and thrilling wildlife safaris. Awesome, right? Kenya, an East African country, delivers all this and more. 

In this article, we will discuss the best beaches in Kenya and the best time for a beach holiday in Kenya. We will also share our most booked Kenya beach and safari holidays. But before then, let us share how you can reach us to start planning your Kenya beach holiday and safari tour.

Contact Us to Start Planning Your Beach Holiday in Kenya

If you want to experience the best beaches in Kenya, we invite you to contact us via phone or WhatsApp at +254-704-532-105. You can also connect with us via email at or

Best Kenya Beaches - Photos by Our Clients

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Discovering the Kenyan Coast

Discovering Kenya Beaches - the Shanzu Beach
Shanzu beach

Kenya’s coastline, stretching along the Indian Ocean, is a treasure trove of picturesque beaches, each with its unique charm. From the bustling coastal towns steeped in Swahili culture to the pristine beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and excellent hotels the Kenyan coast offers something for everyone.

A beach holiday in Kenya perfectly blends relaxation and adventure. Explore the stunning coral reef, participate in various water sports, or simply find an interesting spot to bask in the sun.

If tranquillity is what you’re after, the South Coast is the place to be. Idyllic beaches such as Tiwi Beach and Galu Beach offer a peaceful retreat. The North Coast, on the other hand, is home to popular beaches like Shanzu Beach and Bamburi Beach. Here, lively beach bars and a range of beach resorts cater to every taste and budget.

No matter which part of the beaches in Kenya you choose to explore, an unforgettable beach vacation awaits.

Indian Ocean Delights

Kenya’s beaches are beautifully complemented by the Indian Ocean’s warm turquoise waters, vibrant marine life, and abundant watersports opportunities.

Dive into the underwater world and discover the mesmerizing beauty of the coral reef teeming with colorful fish and other marine creatures. The pristine beaches of Msambweni and Funzi Island are renowned for their tranquil stretches of coastline, where you can watch underwater creatures splash in crystal-clear waters.

As the sun sets, you’ll discover that the Indian Ocean has yet another enchanting side—beach bars serving refreshing cocktails. Watching the sun set with a drink in hand amid gently swaying palm trees and the sounds of waves caressing the shore is simply magical.

Whether you’re a sun worshipper, a water sports enthusiast, or simply looking for the perfect island escape, the ocean’s delights will leave you captivated.

Coastal Towns and Swahili Culture

Coastal towns in Kenya offer a fascinating blend of rich culture, history, and beach relaxation, making them ideal destinations for a well-rounded vacation.

African, Arab, and Indian influences are visible in Malindi, Kilifi, and Lamu. These charming towns come with roads, streets lined with stunning architecture, and colorful markets. Not forgetting the delightful scent of delicious seafood wafting through the air.

Don’t miss the chance to sail on a traditional dhow, a symbol of Kenya’s rich maritime culture. You can explore the beaches, underwater sandbars, and coral reefs along the coast.

Gazi Beach, located on Chale Island, Kwale County is another enchanting coastal destination worth exploring. Witness the stunning sunrise over the calm waters, surrounded by lush palm vegetation and luxurious beach resorts.

The vibrant and enchanting atmosphere of Kenya’s coastal towns, combined with the serene beauty of the Indian Ocean, creates an unforgettable experience that is sure to leave you longing for more.

North Coast Vs. South Coast Beaches in Kenya

Surfing along Kenya Coastline - the pristine DianI Beach
Kitesurfing in Diani

The city of Mombasa is roughly used to split Kenya’s coastal region into the North or South Coast.

South Coast, located across Likoni Creek, is renowned for its gloriously white sandy beaches, towering palms, remote islands, sheltered lagoons, mangrove forests, and world-class beach resorts. 

Diani Beach and Tiwi Beach are more popular destinations among vacationers. Besides beachside activities, tourists can visit Arab and Swahili ruins to peek into the region’s past.

Not to be outdone by the South, the North Coast is ideal for marine life viewing. So, if you’re into scuba diving, snorkelling, deep sea finishing, kite surfing, jet skiing, and parasailing, then you’ll find the North more ideal.

North Coast is subdivided into Shanzu Beach, Bamburi Beach, Nyali Beach, and English Point Beach. The centuries-old Fort Jesus, near the town center, is worth visiting.

Let’s go into detail about some of the best beaches in the South and North of Kenya’s coast.

South Coast Gems

The South Coast of Kenya is home to idyllic beaches, marine reserves, and luxurious accommodations, perfect for a tranquil beach getaway. The palm-fringed white sand beaches and easily accessible coral reefs of the South Coast create an atmosphere of serenity and relaxation.

One of the best beach resorts in the area is Elewana AfroChic Diani, which offers a luxurious hideaway for travellers looking for an unforgettable beach experience.

Diani Beach

Diani Beach on the Coast of Kenya - Dining at Afrochic Diani
Elewana Afrochic Diani

Diani Beach, a popular destination in Kenya, is known for its 30 km stretch of white sand, coral reef, and a variety of beachfront hotels and activities. This tropical paradise, surrounded by lush greenery and the magnificent Indian Ocean, offers an idyllic escape for beach lovers and adventure seekers alike.

At Diani Beach, swimming, surfing and scuba diving are excellent ways to spend your time. You can also go sailing in traditional dhows, or venture inland to interact with the locals and explore Kaya Kinondo Forest.

The Ukunda airstrip located nearby is a great starting point for those looking to combine beach gateway with a Big 5 safari. It offers daily flights from both Nairobi and Masai Mara, making it quite accessible.

Tiwi Beach

Few places can compete with this stunning stretch of beach complete with turquoise waters, powdery beaches, and gently swaying palms. Tiwi Beach offers the ultimate beach holiday experience for those looking to enjoy their vacation away from the bustle of the more popular beaches in Kenya.

Besides soaking up the sun, swimming, snorkelling in Tiwi Africa Pool, and boat riding, tourists can visit the Tiwi River where mangrove forests and various bird species thrive.

Kisite Marine Reserve

Dolphins on the Coast of Kenya - Dophins at Kisite Marine Park
Dolphins at Kisite Marine Park

The wonderful Kisite Marine Reserve is a protected marine wilderness comprising coral reefs and small islands. It’s home to various types of coral, fish, and other marine species including puffer fish, morays, butterfly fish, snappers, dolphins, hawksbill and green turtles. July and December are great months for viewing the humpback whale and whale sharks.

The spectacular coral gardens beneath the surface beckon you to indulge in scuba diving, snorkelling and boat rides.

Other Beaches on the South Coast

Other beaches on Kenya’s south coast include Galu Beach and Kinondo Beach. When you’re not discovering these breathtaking coastal landscapes, you can visit the Colobus Conservation Center or go on a safari to Shimba Hills National Reserve. 

On a day trip from Diani Beach to Shimba Hills, you can explore its diverse habitat made up of grasslands, giant trees, coastal forest and wildlife.

North Coast Escapes

The North Coast offers a range of beach escapes, including:

  • Mombasa, Kenya’s largest city, is home to incredible attractions such as Fort Jesus, the vibrant bazaars and winding alleys of the ‘Old Town’, and the iconic Mombasa Tusks
  • Nyali—a quieter beach that offers a mix of vibrant beach life and tranquil relaxation
  • Bamburi Beach—another beach on the North Coast that also offers a mix of vibrant beach life and tranquil relaxation

These beaches cater to different preferences and budgets, providing options for every traveller.

Bamburi Beach

Kenya Beaches - Bamburi Beach in the North Coast
Bamburi Beach

The Bamburi Beach is a wide expanse of a light sandy beach bordered on one side by beautifully blue waters and the other by coconut palm trees. When the tide is low, the beach stretches back to reveal the coral beach below. 

Bamburi beach is ideal for swimming, scuba diving, diving, snorkelling or going on a glass-bottomed boat ride.

While most visitors enjoy water related activities, you can venture out of the beach to visit Haller Park, an ecological nature park that is home to antelopes, giraffes, buffaloes, hippos, and various plant species. 

Shanzu Beach

Located off Mombasa Malindi highway is Shanzu Beach, a long coastline stretch that’s quieter compared to other Northern Coast beaches.

It’s perfect for swimming, windsurfing, snorkelling, and dhow cruises. The low tide comes with waters so shallow that you can walk over to the reef or make your way to Bamburi Beach.

Other Beaches on the North Coast

Kikambala Beach, Pirates Beach, Nyali Beach, and English Point Beach are other beach spots on Kenya Coast offering breathtaking views of the ocean and its surroundings. Recreation options include riding camels, exploring the reef, swimming, and a host of water-related sports. 

Each of these destinations offers beautiful and memorable experiences. From adventure and relaxation to a blend of both, the scenic beaches in Kenya’s North Coast have a range of activities to satisfy every traveller.

Lamu Island: An Enchanting Getaway

Lamu Island on Kenya Coastline - Lamu Beach
Lamu Beach

Lamu Island, part of the charming Lamu Archipelago, is a peaceful and romantic beach destination away from the crowds.

As one of the most well-preserved and oldest Swahili towns in East Africa, the coastal town offers a unique cultural experience alongside its stunning beaches.

Visitors can explore the narrow bustling streets and markets of Lamu Old Town on foot or a donkey, taking in the impressive architecture and unique heritage.

Some of the renowned Lamu beaches include Shela Beach and Manda Bay. These Lamu beaches boast stunning views and a tranquil ambience to complete the enchanting getaway that is Lamu Island.

Shela Beach: Serenity by the Sea

Shela Beach is the perfect beach holiday destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Stretching for 12 kilometres, it offers:

  • White sands
  • Peaceful waters
  • Peaceful atmosphere
  • Crystal-clear waters
  • Soft, white sands
  • Heavenly setting
  • Opportunities to unwind and reconnect with nature

Swimming, sunbathing, snorkelling, and kayaking are just some of the exciting activities available at the beach, allowing you to make the most of your time in this tranquil paradise. 

As you immerse yourself in the serenity of the sea, you’ll understand why Shela is considered one of the most beautiful spots in the Lamu archipelago.

Manda Island: A Hidden Treasure

Manda Island, part of the Lamu Archipelago, is a lesser-known gem with scenic beaches and a laid-back atmosphere. The island is home to the flourishing 9th-century ports of Takwa and Manda town, offering a unique glimpse into the history and culture of the region.

The delightful ambience of Manda Bay with its stunning views makes it the perfect destination for those looking for an authentic side of Kenya’s coastline.

Snorkeling and traditional hand line fishing are some of the thrilling activities that can be enjoyed on Manda Toto, a smaller island nearby. 

Whether you’re looking to explore the island’s rich history or relax on its beautiful beaches, this hidden treasure provides a truly unforgettable experience.

Malindi: Ocean Adventures

Malindi on Kenya Coastline - Malindi Beach
Malindi beach

Malindi, a popular beach destination in Kenya, offers excellent opportunities for deep-sea fishing, diving, snorkelling, and exploring the local culture.

Located along the Indian Ocean coast, Malindi is known for its beautiful beaches, luxurious hotels, and vibrant atmosphere.

Visit the Malindi Marine National Park for an unforgettable diving and snorkelling adventure, where you can explore the stunning coral reef and encounter a diverse range of marine life. 

With its unique blend of beach relaxation and ocean adventures, Malindi is a must-visit destination for any beach lover.

Malindi Marine National Park

Malindi Marine National Park, a protected area, boasts diverse marine life and corals, making it a prime location for snorkelling and diving adventures. The park is renowned for its:

  • Vibrant fringing reefs
  • Stunning coral gardens
  • Tranquil lagoons
  • Lush seagrass beds

Snorkelling and diving are amazing activities that can be enjoyed at the park, facilitating up close and personal with the fascinating marine life that calls this protected area home.

Diving into the underwater world reveals colourful fish, intricate coral formations and the serenely beautiful reef environment of the coral reef south.

Whether you’re an experienced diver or a first-time snorkeler, the Malindi Marine National Park offers an unforgettable underwater adventure that you won’t want to miss.

Watamu: Nature's Bliss

Views of Kenya beaches - Watamu Beach
Watamu Beach view from Hemmingways Resort

Watamu, a scenic beach destination renowned for its clear waters, soft white sands, and local reefs, provides an ideal setting for beach activities and relaxation.

This coastal paradise offers the perfect combination of natural beauty and exciting water sports so that you can make the most of your time by the sea. 

Some of the activities you can enjoy in Watamu include:

  • Snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters to explore the vibrant coral and exotic tropical fish
  • Diving adventures to discover the underwater wonders
  • Relaxing on the soft white sands and soaking up the sun
  • Taking a boat trip to explore the local reefs and marine life

With its stunning backdrop and range of activities, Watamu is a beach destination that has something for everyone.

In addition to its beautiful beaches, Watamu is also home to the ruined city of Gede, an exciting 13th-century city set deep in the middle of a lush tropical forest.

You can explore the fascinating history of this ancient site, and then return to the tranquil waters of Watamu Beach to relax and rejuvenate. With its unique blend of nature, culture, and beach activities, this small town of Watamu truly is a blissful destination for any traveller.

Wildlife Safaris and Coastal Excursions

Kenya Beaches and Wildlife Safari Tours - Shimba Hills National Park
Wildlife in Shimba Hills

Intertwining your beach holiday with wildlife safaris makes for a truly unique Kenyan experience. As you indulge in coastal excursions and explore the country’s amazing wildlife in game reserves, you’ll witness the breathtaking beauty of Kenya’s Coast.

From the serene Shimba Hills National Reserve to the fascinating Gedi ruins, there’s no shortage of adventure and discovery awaiting you along the Kenyan coast.

You can also visit Marafa Hell’s kitchen, in Malindi, to behold the picturesque sandstone cliffs and gorges that resemble the Grand Canyon in the US.

Whether you’re a beach lover, a history buff, or a wildlife enthusiast, Kenya’s wilderness safaris and coastal excursions offer the perfect combination of adventure and relaxation.

Whale Shark Encounters

Venturing beyond Kenya Beaches to spot whales - Whale sharks in Diani
Whale encounters

Most visitors will steer clear of whale sharks they are typically not aggressive and do not pose a threat to humans. 

These gentle giants, the largest fish in the ocean, are a truly awe-inspiring sight as they glide gracefully through the water, filtering plankton and small fish through their gills.

The experience of swimming or diving alongside whale sharks, observing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, is truly unforgettable. 

Whale shark encounters are available in various locations around the world, however, the warm waters along the Kenya coastline are an ideal setting for these encounters.

Beach Activities for All Ages

The diverse range of activities on Kenya’s beaches caters to all ages, ensuring that everyone can find something to their liking.

From swimming and sunbathing to surfing, sailing, windsurfing, deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, and snorkelling, there’s no shortage of fun on Kenya’s coast.

There’s no shortage of fun and excitement to be had along the Kenyan coast. The beautiful beach, warm water, and diverse marine life create a playground for both children and adults alike. They provide endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation.

Whether travelling with family and friends, or on a romantic getaway, beaches in Kenya cater to every preference and interest. 


In conclusion, Kenya’s coastline offers a diverse range of beach experiences, from pristine white sand beaches and coral reef to historic Swahili towns and cultural attractions.

With a wide variety of beach activities, wilderness safaris, and coastal excursions, a beach holiday in Kenya promises an unforgettable experience for all travellers. So, pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to explore the best beaches in Kenya beaches.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Kenya Have Nice Beaches?

Kenya definitely has some of the best beaches in Eastern Africa and the continent at large. The beautiful white sandy beaches are perfect for a romantic stroll or a day of soaking up the sun!

What Is the Number 1 Beach in Kenya?

Diani Beach is the number 1 beach in Kenya, and it’s easily accessible from Mombasa. With stunning views, world-class beach resorts and a host of activities like kitesurfing, jet skiing, and snorkelling, this 16th-century Kongo Mosque location is breathtaking. Other beautiful beaches in Kenya include Tiwi Beach, Manda Bay, Kikambala Beach, and Gazi Beach.

Which Is Better Kenya or Zanzibar?

Kenya’s Coast Province offers a secluded and relaxed experience with plenty of beach time and seafood, while Zanzibar is the ultimate destination for epic watersports, culture, and spices. So if you’re looking for a more relaxing holiday, Kenya is the better option, but if you’re seeking an adventure-filled getaway, Zanzibar is the clear choice.

Can You Swim at the Beach in Kenya?

The stunning white sand beaches of Kenya offer crystal clear waters for shark-free swimming and a variety of watersports, making it a great place to enjoy a swim.

Are There Any Beaches in Nairobi?

There are no beaches in Nairobi. Nairobi doesn’t border the coast of Kenya meaning it doesn’t have any beaches. The coastal towns of Mombasa, Malindi, Kilifi, and Kwale are endowed with beautiful beaches.

Sailing to Wasini island in traditional dhows
Pinewood Beach Resort and Spa
Bamburi Beach
Kenya Beaches - Bamburi Beach in the North Coast
Bamburi Beach