Kenya is renowned as a safari destination. But Kenya also has a simply stunning, idyllic coastline, which truly feels like a different world from the greenery and savannahs of the safari country! Here's why you should add Kenya's coastline to your itinerary...
Miles and miles of palm tree-fringed beaches of soft white sand and warm aquamarine waters. Here you will find small friendly ancient fishing villages, many offshore marine parks that protect long coral reefs and beaches where, from time to time, turtles come to lay their eggs.
Inland from the coast, there are beautiful archipelagos, almost Arabic, Lamu with its dhows and donkeys, Funzi with mangrove channels and sandbanks, and Kiwayu with its miles of deserted sand.
Temperatures average 28°C, cooled by breezes and eight hours of sunshine a day, and a relaxed "no shirt, no shoes, no problem" lifestyle, no wonder the coast is popular with Kenyans and visitors alike. What a way to end an action-packed safari and escape the dark and rain of any global winter!
Some of our popular spots include:
The most popular beach is sophisticated Diani south of Mombasa. Although there are many hotels, shops, and services, Safari Guru's go to accommodation is Alfajiri Villas, offering their Beach, Garden and Cliff Villa. The beach itself is a long stretch of white sand fringed by palms and other indigenous bush, and most accommodations are low rise and inconspicuous. Thanks to beautiful coral reefs, it is also one of the best places to snorkel and dive among the richly diverse marine life of the southern Kenyan coast. Boat safaris abound, and there are also some fantastic bars and restaurants to frequent.
North of Diani, the Watamu region is Watamu Bay, Blue Lagoon, and Turtle Bay. These are all protected as part of the Watamu Marine National Park and are considered to be one of the best snorkelling and diving areas on the Coast of East Africa. There are plenty of other laidback activities of fishing, windsurfing, and sailing with some lovely beachfront hotels and stunning private houses for longer stays.
Arrr, Lamu……The peaceful, boho-chic, relaxed Lamu Archipelago is just 2 degrees south of the equator, a few miles off the coast of northern Kenya. The archipelago has two main islands— Lamu Island and Manda Island but is otherwise a chain of islands, separated from the mainland by a narrow channel bordered with dense mangrove forest and protected from the Indian Ocean by coral reefs and large sand dunes. Lamu Island has been a port of call for travellers for centuries, with many historical sites showing the area's long and rich history when combined with its stunning tropical setting, make Lamu a wonderful place to visit.
This has a real "no news no shoes" atmosphere, where your transport is barefoot or by donkey down narrowing alleyways! Beaches are deserted, with the most common sounds are the chink of your ice in your glass or the creak of a dhow.
Lamu town's streets are narrow, cool, and quiet. Surprisingly small spaces enclosed by massive stone buildings with thick coral rag walls give the town its distinct colour and texture. Lamu Town became a world heritage site in December 2001, protecting the oldest inhabited Swahili settlement south of the Sahara.
This ancient port town has the magic of a bygone era where Omani, Yemeni, Indian, Portuguese, and British influences have all left their mark. When you arrive in Lamu, you are traveling back in time. Lamu's islands are steeped in a history of many global cultures and religions, but the islanders predominantly follow the Islamic faith. This is a conservative Muslim town with an ancient heritage of peace and goodwill.
Where to stay on the coast? As you may expect, there is a huge range of accommodations on the Kenyan Coast to suit travel style and budget. From owner-managed unique villas and bungalows to more international-style hotels or boutique properties offering it all. For a taste, there are three set out below, but we'll find the ideal spot and place to suit you.
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